2021 is about to end in less than 3 months and there is still so much more work to do! We would love to share what Yaya Por Vida Foundation has accomplished for Q3 to continue to help those in our community suffering from substance use disorder.
In July, we focused on highlighting BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month by not only sharing culturally appropriate resources but shedding light on current health disparities still plaguing our communities today - especially when it comes to recovery support and harm reduction services. It is also up to us within the BIPOC community to create change, analyze barriers and help fill gaps that were systemically built for oppression. Access and representation mean everything to the mental healing our people desperately need to continue to thrive. July was also an emotionally charged month filled with hope, anger and sadness all at once. On July 11th, the people of Cuba decided to mobilize publicly in a protest against the communist regime. Coming from Cuban heritage and having a strong sense of community no matter our branch of service, we felt compelled and gravitated towards becoming a part of the movement. Systems of oppression like the one's Cubans are living under is incredibly traumatic and stressful; leading to mental illness and substance use disorder. Our cause, where we are from and this revolutionary uprising is incredibly interconnected. Thanks to SOS Cuba and Laura Marrero, we were able to donate 1,500 masks, wound care, socks, hygiene and personal care items to affected provinces in Cuba where supplies were being purposefully taken away from sympathizers of 11 de Julio/ Movimiento San Isidro. As the Cultural Compliance Alliance, member Angelo Lagares linked with Adapt Pharma to begin launching one pager user guides on how to administer Narcan in Spanish. This step is a big push towards making linguistically appropriate tools available for all. Inclusion, Diversity and Equity saves lives!
In August we hosted our very first workgroup for Recovery Community Organizations as part of our work for Cultural Compliance Alliance alongside Miami Recovery Project and Latino Recovery Advocacy. 'Importance of Cultural Elements: Building Community Recovery Capital in RCOs" had over 20 community leaders, change makers and staff looking to learn more about creating a recovery space that is truly accessible for all. During this time we also received Yoga 4 Change's impact report on how our Reaves House ladies are benefitting from their Mindful Movement series. An average of 19.71% of participants experienced an increase in positive mood, 20% decrease in stress and 15.90% decrease in pain. Thank you Yoga 4 Change for being a stellar partner! August was also International Overdose Awareness Day on the 31st. We focused our entire month on educating the public with Narcan training, dispelling myths surrounding Fentanyl skin-to-skin contact and providing over tools to support safe use. We would like to thank Lincoln Beard Brew Co, for allowing us to host IOAD Narcan training and distribution in their location as well as allow us the space to remember our lost loved one, Yaritza "Yaya" Rollan. All of Miami was lit up purple thanks to joint efforts with Miami Recovery Project and Project Opioid. August was also an unfortunate turning point in the lives of our houseless community and those that serve them. There has always been a war on poverty, but it is now becoming more apparent than ever. We were alerted two weeks ago prior to our 08/28 outreach of encampments we serve being "cleaned up". This is usual. We did not expect for permanent DOT signs to be posted declaring camping as unlawful, fences being moved closer to the sidewalk to avoid our houseless friends from sleeping on these grounds without getting arrested or fined for obstructing a pathway and criminalizing our outreach efforts with the city's revamped law - fining persons $250 or more for feeding 25 houseless folks or more. As of today we are still fighting in the front lines questioning where the accessibility to resources are but still doing our work to continue to enable life for all. In August we were also selected to be only one of 12 community leaders to take part in the Radical Partner's Neighborhood Heroes Lab: Cohort 4. Big shout out to Mind and Melody for referring us and the entire Radical Partners team for believing in us. We are blessed to be in the most powerful room in Miami!
We celebrated not only Recovery Month in September but the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. This year's theme for National Recovery Month was centered around recovery for everyone - every person, every family, every community. Now is this theme REALLY being placed into full practice by major Recovery Community Organization across the country? This is the question we posed to the public as we challenged current systems of care lacking in closing the health disparity gap in recovery for the latino/a community. We launched our weekly limited virtual series on our Instagram titled "5 Minutos en Color' - a public conversation in Spanish on the many facets of limitations experienced within our community regarding recovery and harm reduction support. Thank you to Regina de los Santos, Grisel Pacani, Angelo Lagares and Michelle Fernandez for being wonderful guests! Another BIG thank you to Fire Hospitality Group, our supporters, friends, colleagues and patrons for the generosity this month in helping us fundraise through Lincoln Beard Brew Co,, Strange Beast and Maxwell Brother's Clothing Store. FIU Maps also pulled through with raising funds this month as we entered a new phase in our outreach. Huge hugs and love to Green Have Project as they graciously share their community garden with us as the new home of our Care Kits for the Houseless as well as the launch of our Art as Healing: Street Edition series. David Roper and his team are a powerhouse in Overtown helping it's residents learn how to sustainability grow food and provide organic home-grown produce at no cost.
We have been selected to be a part of Miami Foundation 's Give Miami Day this year! Early Giving begins November 15th. Give Miami Day begins November 18th . If you would like to be one of our fundraising champions visit the link below to create your very own fundraising campaign on our behalf. Help us continue to create a community that harbors more Healing, more love and more life for ALL!
To be a part of our October 23rd and November 27th drives please email us at email@example.com. Donations are accepted via CashApp $yayaporvidaMIA, paypal papypal.me/yayaporvidaMIA , using our Amazon wish list at https://smile.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/ls/HON89YBFBQD2 or making Yaya Por Vida your smile.amazon.com charity!
Thanks again to all of our wonderful colleagues, friends and Family for providing so much love, support and encouragement as we continue to grow. As always, please reach out to us directly if you or a loved one is in need of help. Your information will be purely confidential.
See you next year!