17 Sep The Faces of Hitchcock: Joe Black
My name is Joe Black I am a resident of the Glenville community and a proud member of the Hitchcock Center for Women Board.
Question 1: Why did you get involved with Hitchcock?
My involvement with Hitchcock stems from the fact that I had previous experience working with mental health and addiction. I found that both mental health and addiction require a degree of services and support that many don’t realize is needed. Consequently, it is my belief that the stigma of addiction combined with a degree of ignorance about the problem enables people to neglect the issue and sweep it under the rug as an isolated issue that does not directly impact them. Despite overwhelming data that suggest otherwise, addiction has been defined as a social-economic matter, suggesting that the issue is more prevalent in poor communities. I have also heard arguments that addiction is a choice and that people just lack the will and or skills to change. In all, the reoccurring theme that continues to exist is that addiction is not my problem. Hitchcock, however, has accepted the challenge and has agreed to embrace the challenge walking hand and hand with those deeply entrenched in the fight of sobriety.
Therefore the decision to join the Hitchcock Board was simple. I had recently moved to the Glenville neighborhood and upon seeking ways to get directly involved in my community, the opportunity was presented to me to join this board. I found that my ability to directly support the community from a board level would be the best use of my time, skills and capacity. Furthermore, Hitchcock’s services to the community directly aligned with my vision and passion for my neighborhood.
Question 2: when you talk about Hitchcock and the community, what is something that surprises people about the work of Hitchcock?
To me, I actually believe that many people just don’t know about Hitchcock and the services being provided. Despite being located right off of Superior in one of the largest historic buildings in the community, people still have no clue where Hitchcock is and exactly what services are provided. Hitchcock is a hidden gem, so many of time people are completely surprised about its location, services, and over 40-year history in the Glenville community.
With the increased awareness of the opioid epidemic, I find that people are also intrigued by the political implications related to addiction services. Specifically, the allocation of federal dollars directly impacts the services that Hitchcock is able to provide. The federal support is further complicated by the fact that families are directly impacted. The fact that Hitchcock provides service for the entire family, housing both mothers and children, is something that often surprises people.
Question 3: What are some ways people in the community can get involved with Hitchcock?
I think there are a couple things.
One, informing ourselves about addiction and understanding the resources available including those at Hitchcock and sharing that within our internal networks. I think part of the challenge that we face is that more people need to know who and what Hitchcock is and what we do and therefore I would argue that if we all take the time to make sure we pass this information on, that is one big step.
Secondly, I think it’s important that we all recognize the impact that drug and addiction have on our communities and our city as a whole and that we must put money behind our intentions to support these services.
Join us on October 18th for our annual breakfast and help us celebrate 40 years of service or if you’re unable to join us, please consider supporting HCFW’s work with a donation.