Nexus Newsletter | November 2021

This month’s newsletter features our Recovery Support Services (RSS) program, a shoutout to our community partners PepsiCo/Frito-Lay and the North Texas Food Bank, and a staff highlight with Recovery Advocate and Charge Staff, Dori DeMay.

Support

You’re Invited!
Nexus 50th Anniversary Disco & Dessert
Friday, November 12, 2021
8:00 – 10:00 PM
The Joule

Since 1971, Nexus has helped women embark on their recovery journey. Join us in honoring this historic milestone at our 50th Anniversary Disco & Dessert fall fundraiser. Get out your dancing shoes and boogie attire! Angie and Rush Waghorne are the event chairs for this 1970s-themed celebration, which features funky town tunes by Emerald City Band, delectable desserts, and cocktail and mocktail libations.

Secure a sponsorship or purchase your tickets TODAY! For more information, visit nexusrecovery.org/50th-disco-and-dessert. All Disco and Dessert sponsors receive an invitation to attend an honorary reception for our 50 for 50 anniversary campaign donors from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  

Nexus is committed to hosting a safe, in-person event and following all CDC guidelines. All guests will be encouraged to wear a mask upon entering the venue. If you are not feeling well, we encourage you to stay home. Please click here to view the current CDC guidelines regarding gatherings.

Security

Niki Prince, Director of Outpatient and Recovery Support Services (RSS), at Nexus recently shared what it’s been like to provide recovery support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Niki along with her team of 6, which includes both recovery coaches and administrative support staff, offer peer support, case management, and resources for women in recovery. RSS is designed to connect and engage with women before, during, and after completing treatment at Nexus.

“RSS staff play a key role at Nexus, providing peer-to-peer services focused on mentorship and role modeling for women who are just starting their recovery journeys,” says Niki. After completing treatment, RSS staff members continue connecting with women by giving life skills, coping skills, and support in doing day-to-day activities. Peer specialists can even accompany women and offer moral support as they go to doctor’s appointments or see their children. RSS is also able to provide financial and transportation assistance for women who are needing help transitioning into life outside of Nexus.

Because the emphasis is on connection and engagement, the pandemic has presented new and exciting challenges for RSS staff and has inspired more creative methods for keeping women engaged, and removing barriers and building bridges to long-term recovery, while ensuring their safety. When the shelter-in-place ordinance went into effect in March 2020, RSS began providing more regular phone contact in lieu of in-person engagement. Today, every client participating in RSS is contacted a minimum of two times a week by either a phone call, text, email, or on Zoom.

Earlier this year, RSS moved off-campus to an office at 3312 N. Buckner Blvd, Suite 232. The new location is easily accessible by public transportation for Nexus alumni. In addition, clients in residential treatment can participate while minimizing the risk of exposure to on-campus clients. Recently, RSS started hybrid groups with both in-person and online options so that women can attend based on their individual comfort level. Groups are held on a variety of topics including recovery support and educational groups, including how to use PPE and vaccine education. RSS has also hosted vaccine clinics and transportation to COVID-19 testing sites so that women can get tested.

RSS serves as an invaluable resource for the recovery community and for women who are in the process of rebuilding their lives. “We have seen a lot more alumni coming into our new location, not necessarily because they need a lot of support, but because they want a safe, sober place,” Niki notes. “Our Buckner location serves as a safe space for women where they can also receive other forms of support to achieve long-term recovery.”

Community

Nexus is grateful for our North Texas community for providing resources and support that help us meet the needs of thousands of women and children each year. We are especially appreciative of two partners – PepsiCo/Frito-Lay and the North Texas Food Bank – who serve as an invaluable resource for our organization.

PepsiCo/Frito-Lay employees visited Nexus on Thursday, October 21, 2021, to volunteer, as part of the company’s annual Day of Caring, a company-wide employee volunteer day that anchors the PepsiCo Giving Campaign. In partnership with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, this event is one of the largest employee giving campaigns in the metroplex.

Volunteers performed critical maintenance repairs and cleaning around campus, built a wall for storage in the Admissions area, and served lunch for the women, children, and staff at Nexus. In addition, they donated 100 welcome bags with toiletries, socks, and journals for clients who enter treatment with nothing.

“We are so honored that PepsiCo has once again partnered with Nexus for its Day of Caring,” says Community Engagement and Volunteer Manager, Beth Hunter. “The services that volunteers perform each year help beautify our campus, meet our critical needs, and boost morale for the women and children we serve as well as our staff, who work tirelessly delivering essential services.”

Nexus has also recently expanded its partnership with the North Texas Food Bank to help provide food for the women and children in residential treatment. While at Nexus, women and children receive 3 meals a day, plus healthy snacks to meet their nutritional needs. Substance use disorders negatively impact the health and wellness of women as well as their children, which is why nutrition is an important part of the long-term recovery process. Proper nutrition and hydration help restore physical and mental health and improve the chance of recovery.

The North Texas Food Bank makes weekly food distributions to Nexus, which include high-need items like bottled water and milk. In addition to providing these critical items, this partnership has helped Nexus reduce food costs. The money Nexus saves on nutrition services can be used in other areas of the organization to better serve our clients. “We are so grateful for the North Texas Food Bank,” says Liz Hufford, Kitchen Supervisor. “This partnership is making a huge impact on our organization and the quality of food is wonderful.”

Dignity

This month, we are featuring staff member, Dori DeMay, who is a Recovery Advocate, Trainer, and Charge. Dori celebrated 6 years of sobriety in August and has worked at Nexus since June 2017. Throughout her time, she has worked in every dorm and in every shift. Dori didn’t initially plan to work at Nexus. She first learned about Nexus as a member of the Freedom Group, an AA group in Mesquite. Dori began volunteering on Sunday nights with the group who brought AA meetings to Nexus. She really enjoyed interacting with clients during the meetings and began serving as a sponsor to lead those who were interested through the 12 Steps. After being told repeatedly that she was good at connecting with the clients and because she was volunteering at Nexus more and more, she consulted with her higher power and started working at Nexus.  

In her current role, Dori works overnight because it allows her the flexibility to provide care for her elderly mother during the daytime. She plays a very important role at Nexus by documenting the number of hours of group counseling, group education, and alternative activities that clients receive in the State’s database. This data is accessed by Child Protective Services, the courts, and attorneys who view a client’s progress in treatment. Documenting this data as accurately as possible is critical because people’s lives are at stake.

For Dori, Nexus has a family atmosphere because her fellow colleagues care about each other and demonstrate strong teamwork to achieve a common purpose. “There is a shame and guilt that is associated with this disease,” she says. “As a staff member, you can help women through those feelings and help them realize it’s not who they are. What other job allows you to do that?”

She is grateful for her sobriety and the 12 Steps, which have made her job at Nexus and the life she now has possible. “Although it is a fast-paced and often challenging environment, the rewards for helping another person, another woman through her substance use disorder is amazing,” she says. “I’m extremely grateful that I work at Nexus.”

Do you want to work at Nexus? We’re hiring! To learn more, please reach out to Ana Beseda, Chief Human Resources Officer, at abeseda@nexusrecovery.org or visit nexusrecovery.org/employment.

Upcoming Events

As a unique circle for individuals (40 and under), the YSC is for people seeking social networks to support our North Texas community . Join the YSC to connect with like-minded people and support Nexus families in need along the way! Attend our fall mixer November 18 from 5-7 PM at YO Lobster. This is a FREE event open to community members with complimentary appetizers provided. See our Facebook Event Page for more.