Local mom and recovery advocate Sarah Lockridge is trying to raise $20,000 for Fellowship Missions by the end of the year.

Lockridge, who started the Save Our Sobriety S.O.S. ministry last year, is partnering with Fellowship Missions to help provide scholarships for those who need financial assistance for treatment.

The scholarships would be granted to individuals in need who apply through the Fellowship Missions Addiction Recovery Hub and help pay for any type of addictions treatment. That could include rehab, detox, rent at sober-living homes, taxi vouchers to appointments and prescription costs.

“When I started Save Our Sobriety I saw that people wanted treatment but either they didn’t have the funds to do it and most people don’t have insurance,” Lockridge said. “And I just found out recently that some people with insurance can’t afford the out-of-pocket.”

For people who haven’t been touched either by addiction themselves or someone they care about, they may not realize the costs that come with fighting to stay sober. For example, to live in one of the sober-living homes in Kosciusko County, rent is $600 a month, Lockridge said. Tack that rent bill onto other fees that might be in play such as a $100-a-week ankle monitoring bracelet and court fines, things add up.

“Not to mention, most of these people have felonies, so they’re hardly able to find decent work, and some don’t have reliable transportation to and from a job,” she said.

Lockridge helps those in recovery try to feel dignified and does so by providing them with presentable clothing and toiletries when she can. Last Christmas, Lockridge and her daughter, Dreanna Yoder – a recovering addict – stuffed nearly 100 stockings for those fighting to stay sober.

This year, Lockridge is lending her voice to shine a light on what Fellowship Missions’ Addiction Recovery Hub already has in place.

That hub can point people in need to services and resources to help them that include detoxification, residential treatment, sober living, outpatient counseling, medication assisted treatment, support groups and recovery mentors.

“The hub was created in February and that is the community resource for everything addiction and recovery,” Recovery Services Director of the Hub Ann Hasse said. “We work with anybody in the community, with both individuals and families, who are struggling with substance use issues, and we also work with any of our community resources to collaborate on different projects and to provide awareness of if we see gaps in services.”

One gap the hub has identified is detox services, Hasse said, so, “We’ve been surveying and exploring and trying to figure something out.”

Hasse said the hub is excited to be partnering with Lockridge’s S.O.S. group. Both she and Lockridge agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt the recovery community.

“We’ve seen the relapse rate go up because of the pandemic,” Lockridge said. “It has been increasing all around. Suicide has increased, overdoses have increased and relapses have increased, because in the beginning people couldn’t even go to their meetings, so relapse was occurring. Recovery is ongoing. If you’re not in a program of some sort and working on a recovery, you’re working on a relapse, so it’s imperative.”

Lockridge has a goal to reach $20,000 by the end of December for the scholarships, and there are several ways to donate. Anyone can donate by going to www.fellowshipmissions.net and clicking on the “donate to our mission” button. However, in order for the donation to go to the S.O.S. scholarship fund, the donor will need to specify that on their donation. Donations can also be made at Fellowship Missions, 1520 Winona Ave., Warsaw.

For individuals in need of services and/or to apply for a scholarship, visit the website and click on the hub button, or call Hasse at 574-268-9555, ext. 111.

“I’m just using my voice and my platform and my love for those that are suffering from substance use disorder to try to help,” Lockridge said. “I basically want to say, ‘Hey! Fellowship Missions has all this here. Use them,’ and then say, ‘Hey, community! If you want to make things better, help them,’ because that’s how we make things better. We need people to step up and care and say we see you.”