PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Every September for 21 years people have lined up on the Interstate Bridge holding hands and reciting the Serenity Prayer. This is a big gesture to promote a simple message.

“Recovery is possible for every person, every family and every community,” said Erica Gregson with 4D Recovery.

September is National Recovery Month and is used to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices.

LaKeesha Dumas, the consumer engagement coordinator for Multnomah County Mental Health and Addiction Services, was among the crowd on the bridge. She said she was a homeless crack addict but has been clean and sober for 10 years. She’s now giving back to the community as part of an oversight and accountability council created after Oregon voters approved Measure 110 in 2020.

LaKeesha Dumas, the consumer engagement coordinator for Multnomah County Mental Health and Addiction Services, September 5, 2022 (KOIN)
LaKeesha Dumas, the consumer engagement coordinator for Multnomah County Mental Health and Addiction Services, September 5, 2022 (KOIN)

That council is tasked with deciding which treatment and recovery centers get funding from Oregon’s marijuana tax fund. She acknowledged the brand new process — which will allocate about $300 million — has been slow.

“It’s never been done like this before, so it took a little more time,” she told KOIN 6 News. “But we were able to transform a whole system.”

Those allocations finally were made, giving 41 behavioral health resource networks in Multnomah County $59 million. 4D Recovery, which serves 18-35 year olds, also made the cut.

Measure 110 Behavioral Health Grantees in 2022

“Meeting people my age in recovery was an absolute life changer,” said Elton Frice. “My first experience with recovery was going into a meeting and seeing a lot of older folks and I didn’t feel like I could connect. And so meeting other people my age was totally life changing.”

4D Recovery also serves people in Washington and Clackamas counties.

Behavioral Health Resource Networks in Clackamas County received $14.5 million, while those in Washington County got just under $21 million.