Hope Council on Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse, Inc. in Kenosha, has been around for some 55 years. It has only been located at 6103 39th Ave for a few months. That was the reason for today’s celebration attended by more than 100 community members, leaders, dignitaries, staff, and volunteers. Guests were spoiled with snacks and dessert. Non-alcoholic beverages were also provided.
Executive Director Michelle Sandberg and her husband painted every inch of the building. “It’s actually a little smaller that our old building, but the layout works better for us,” Sandberg told KCE Thursday. “With the rise in overdoses and those seeking treatment for substance use disorders, our work is more important than ever before.”
Sandberg is happy that the organization was able to find a new building in the center of the City. Since the agency serves all of Kenosha County residents, it is now closer to clients on the west side of the county.
Hope Council provides many services, but among it’s biggest services is it’s assessment of impaired drivers. Any Kenosha County residents that are convicted of an OWI must report to the Hope Council for an assessment. Staff can read court records, police reports, ask questions of the clients, and look at past records. They then assess the client and place them into on five catagories:
Irresponsible Use – Education
Borderline Irresponsible Use – Education or Treatment
Suspected Dependency – Treatment
Substance Dependency – Treatment
Dependency Remission – Treatement
Hope council does not treat clients, but instead provides them with a long list of providers. Hope Council then becomes the gatekeeper for the clients to get their licenses back.
Hope Council is funded by donations and client fees. The clients must pay for the assessments and drug tests. There are also some small grants that get written, but the organization doesn’t have the capability to write for the larger federal grants. You can donate in person or online. Donations are tax-deductible.
Before Sandberg, Guida Brown was the executive director from 2009 – 2022. Brown still works for the agency part-time. Brown implemented a very popular and successful program to test folks for drugs. This is used in criminal and family courts. Don’t cut your hair off or try to bring in someone else’s urine. At the hope council, they take clippings of your fingernails and can detect drug use from up to six months before the test. This is very helpful for family court commissioners and judges to track usage or lack of drug usage for parents.
When asked about Sangberg, Brown’s successor, Brown said “if tonight’s open house turnout is any indication, Michelle sure is connected to the community. Michelle is very well equipped to do this job well and to bring this agency into its next era.”