For National Recovery Month, Huntsville is working to fill the gaps

single-meta-cal September 15, 2022

September is National Recovery Month. As we work to increase awareness about mental health and addiction recovery, the City and its partners are coming together to help our community access much needed resources.

Recovery Organization of Support Specialists (R.O.S.S.) and the City’s Community Development Office will present Breaking Down Barriers, a no-cost resource recovery event on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Max Luther Recreation Center, 207 Max Luther Drive NW.

Breaking Down Barriers will feature free food, live music, HIV testing, Naloxone, mobile showers, kids’ activities, clothing and more. Family Life Center will also provide complimentary on-site assessments for individuals needing treatment services.

“At Breaking Down Barriers, we will be providing direct services to people that need them the most,” said R.O.S.S. Peer Educator Aubin Cawthon. “With substance use, mental health, health care and other basic needs available, we will be able to fill some of those gaps.”

The back story

The concept for Breaking Down Barriers started when Cawthon, R.O.S.S. Outreach Specialist Jessica Alford and Rev. Rosie Veal Eby from the Church of the Nativity Episcopal were looking for an empty lot to host the event. Eby, who works closely with Community Development on a number of initiatives, reached out to Director Scott Erwin about a space.

“Scott was excited to do more than just offer a lot and suggested we use a City building,” Cawthon said. “The rest is history.”

Once R.O.S.S. began partnering with the City, Cawthon said their reach grew extensively.

“The ability to let our community know there are life-saving resources is the reason this event is happening, so to do it on a broader scale seemed very important,” he said.

A natural fit

Erwin said Breaking Down Barriers is a natural fit for Community Development, which focuses on strengthening all aspects of our community through affordable housing initiatives, public service and education programs.

“There are many different needs within our community, and we are always seeking partnerships,” he said. “We are excited to be a part of Breaking Down Barriers, where supportive services will be made available to anyone seeking recovery.”

This year will mark the first Breaking Down Barriers in Huntsville, but Cawthon expects it will become an annual event that evolves to support our growing population.

Whether you are directly affected by addiction or just want to give back to your community, Cawthon said you’re welcome to attend or support Breaking Down Barriers.

“As our city grows, so does our struggle and the relationships we make at events like these are how we continue to grow in the right direction,” he said. “For the people or families that are affected by substance use disorder, you are not alone and we want to show you that at Breaking Down Barriers.”


Huntsville Transit will provide complimentary Orbit bus service during the event. For more info or to RSVP, click here.