AKRON, Ohio — The founder of Akron Say No to Dope, Tugg Massa, often says, “I don’t do excuses.” Massa said his approach is necessary for incoming addicts seeking sobriety. He, too, was an opioid addict, but he has remained clean for years.
“Since we started in 2016, we’re almost a 1,000 people in,” said Massa. “You see all these people dying still. I’ve just seen a lot of people die, or they’re in prison. I’ve seen a lot of people up and down the boulevard.”
Just months ago, Massa opened the Summit County Recovery Center.
“We help them find detox, treatment,” said Massa. “Once they’re done with treatment, we help them find housing.”
Once addicts find themselves back in the world—after surviving lock up or treatment, finding work is tough. In 2014, Danielle Caron, president of Aspire Employment started helping felons fill out job applications.
“I started out of my dining room,” said Caron. “Everybody deserves a second chance, and sometimes a third chance and a fourth chance and a fifth chance.”
Caron said her company Aspire offers weekly job fairs, showcasing work in fields like: manufacturing, cleaning, and food. temporary employment that could lead to permanent work.
“Now, we’ve placed probably close to 1,500 people in the last year,” said Caron.