"When I initially got here, it was rough," mentioned Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, Executive Director, Northeast Delta Human Services Authority. But, Tonya Larry, the person we have tasked with pulling this off, she's come here, she's established it, she's brought the community around."
"I immediately got busy, finding a spot that was centrally located," said Tonya Turner-Larry with the Hope Peer Support Center. "And here we are."
The Hope Peer Support Center will be a recovery-oriented center for people facing mental health, substance abuse, and development disability issues.
Emerson Stanton was at Thursday's opening and told us the peer support center in Monroe helped him with an alcohol and drug problem and got him back in church.
"It got to a point in my life where I got down and was starting to have suicidal thoughts," commented Stanton. "And it helped me in that. And it just brought lots of joy."
"[Even though] you may have a mental illness or substance abuse challenge, you still can be successful," stated Sizer. "You still can remain in your home, and you still can earn a job, and you still can be at work and be a productive citizen."
"We believe that recovery is possible," Turner-Larry explained. "It provides a place where they can socialize, they can learn skills, they can gather information about different programs and services."
The Northeast Delta HSA also operates peer support centers in Monroe and Ruston. They plan to place additional Hope centers throughout the 12-parish northeast Louisiana region.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.