WESTBROOK, Maine — "I lost everything in my life, my life was completely out of control," said Melanie Bickford. "I lost my house, my kids, my car, everything."
Support and encouragement, even from one person, can make all the difference in changing someone's life for the better.
"I had an epiphany moment where I was sick and tired of being sick and tired."
For Bickford, that person is Danielle Rideout.
"I'm in recovery myself," said Rideout. "I'm in long term recovery from substance use disorder and a part of my own program is giving back the services and the help that I was given."
Rideout is the liaison for the Westbrook Recovery Liaison Program.
"It gives a face to the name and it breaks down a lot of barriers for people," she said. "But if someone's not comfortable talking face to face I get text messages all the time and phone calls."
It started as a grant program but when that ran out, Westbrook started funding the program.
They help people get into treatment programs, connect with primary care doctors, find employment, housing, even food, all at no cost.
"Anything that's going to help someone better their lives," said Rideout.
In two years, Rideout has connected with 500 people. People like Corey Warren.
"I've been 100% sober for 26 months," said Warren. "I've never been happier."
Many are referred to the program by police officers.
"I actually was referred by one of the Westbrook Police officers, officer May, she's awesome," said Bickford.
Before that Bickford didn't know who to call. But that was then.
"Now I'm in college," she said. "I'm going to get my human services degree, that way I can help people like Danielle is."
The Westbrook Recovery Liaison Program helps people battling substance use disorder in Buxton, Gorham, Westbrook, and Windham, all at no cost. If others from surrounding communities call or reach out, Danielle Rideout will help connect them with resources closer to their homes.