Marc Johnigan, President and CEO of Twin Cities Recovery Project, Inc. (TCRP), struggled with substance use disorder (SUD) for 25 years. Like many individuals who suffer with SUD, Mr. Johnigan was incarcerated on multiple occasions and also was homeless. After losing a son to violence, Mr. Johnigan turned his life around. He sought and received help for his SUD, enrolled in college, and began volunteering with others with SUDs. In 2016, he established TCRP in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
As set forth in its mission statement, the goal of TCRP is “to offer assistance and support to those suffering from substance use disorder in their transition toward lifestyles of health and productivity.…” TCRP does this in various ways, including through its Social Club. The Social Club offers individuals an opportunity to engage in activities, such as dancing and playing cards, to show that it is not necessary to drink alcohol or use drugs to have fun. It offers individuals the chance to engage with others in recovery and take part in social interaction without fear.
TCRP also offers a grief and trauma support group and an opioid and substance use family support group. Participants in the grief and trauma support group attend an eight-week course that teaches them how to recognize, understand, and address past grief and trauma in a healthy way. The opioid and substance use family support group offers a six-week session to the loved ones of individuals who lost their battle with an SUD, to those who are still struggling with an SUD, or to those who are recovering from their SUD.
Through its Street Ambassador Outreach Team, TCRP provides “harm reduction equipment, program information, essential needs packages containing PPE, hygiene products, masks, gloves, contraceptives, and naloxone” to individuals on the street who are currently using drugs or experiencing homelessness. In addition, TCRP has provided naloxone training for the reversal of opioid overdoses to anyone who wishes to receive instruction. TCRP offers these trainings at its facility twice monthly, and TCRP staff are available to go to any location to offer training.
TCRP has a robust peer recovery specialist training program called the Peer-2-Peer Recovery Development Academy which offers a week-long, 46-hour training to any individual interested in obtaining certification as a Minnesota Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS). Academy participants can take advantage of internships and individual tutoring to help with the certification process. Many of the academy graduates have gone on to work in the recovery field.
Finally, TCRP collaborates with two outside organizations to provide further assistance to individuals in recovery. First, through a collaboration with The Stairstep Foundation, TCRP provides free, weekly GED tutoring and test preparation. Extra tutoring is available for those in need. Second, TCRP provides monthly HIV testing at both of their locations. In partnership with The Aliveness Project, TCRP provides education on HIV/AIDS and information on sexually transmitted diseases and safe sex. In order to incentivize people to get tested, The Aliveness Project provides gift cards to individuals who are tested or who refer others to get tested.
To learn more about TCRP, logon to: https://twincitiesrecoveryproject.org/