In celebration of National Recovery Month, the Merced DRC, a non-residential reentry center in California run by GEO Reentry, hosted its third Soberfest event on Sept. 8 at the Merced County Courthouse Park. National Recovery Month celebrates life and second chances for those who have overcome addictions. Soberfest aims to do the same by connecting members of the Merced community with local law enforcement and recovery organizations through family-friendly activities, including music, food vendors, bounce houses, face painting, free raffles and prizes, and free Zumba sessions.
Soberfest attendees had the opportunity to meet with Merced County’s SWAT team, Dive and Rescue Team and K-9 unit. Many local nonprofit and support organizations were present to share information on their services so attendees were aware of resources available in Merced County.
The Merced DRC sponsored Soberfest in conjunction with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, Merced County Probation Department and Tsunami Collaboration Inc. This collaboration emphasizes the important relationship between GEO Reentry and Merced County law enforcement and corrections officials in helping individuals turn their lives around.
The Merced DRC, which opened in 2008 in partnership with the Merced County Probation Department, prepares probationers for successful reentry through evidence-based programming, including cognitive behavioral therapy, life skills training and employment readiness classes. The center connects participants to a strong network of Merced County resources to help with long-term issues such as alcohol or drug abuse. GEO Reentry also operates an in-jail program in West Merced that begins reentry programming while individuals are still in custody.
GEO Reentry frequently hosts community events like Soberfest, which are designed to connect its participants, as well as community members, with tools and resources that can help them overcome their problems. GEO Reentry also encourages community connections through regular volunteering, participation in community-wide events and activities, and through ongoing partnerships with local organizations.