When Marc Johnigan moved to Minneapolis from Dayton, Ohio in 2010, he noticed something missing in his new community: a place to have fun in recovery, especially in the African American community.
Marc knew from first-hand experience that connecting with people who have been successful in recovery is critical for sustaining long-term recovery. He saw how important the West Dayton Club was to his mother’s recovery journey, which she embarked on when he was in his late teens. At the Club, Martha Thompson found a welcoming environment where she and others in recovery could play cards, shoot pool, socialize, and support each other. When she didn’t yet feel comfortable at family functions, the Club gave her a place to feel understood and welcomed, especially during the holidays and other special occasions. Through the West Dayton Club, she built a new ecosystem that has helped her sustain recovery for over thirty years.
So in November, 2016, Marc opened the Twin Cities Recovery Social Club in South Minneapolis, his own version of the West Dayton Club. A person in long-term recovery himself, he wanted to create the kind of place where people in transition to a life in recovery could not only socialize, but could connect to other resources that developed the whole person. Two days before the Social Club hosted its grand opening, Marc also launched a Grief Support Group.
Marc lost his son to gun violence in 2007. “We are losing people left and right,” Marc said. “There are so many of us walking around today with unaddressed trauma and grief, with depression, fear, and feelings of hopelessness. People need an outlet to discuss the pain they’re living through. If we want to support recovery from substance use disorder, we also need to help people with the process of grieving – not just death, but also childhood trauma, broken relationships, loss of jobs, and other losses.”
Over the next two years, Marc added a Community Safety/Conflict resolution program, an HIV/AIDS Awareness Program, recovery outreach, and peer-to-peer recovery coaching to the menu of the organization’s offerings. Recognizing that they were more than just a Social Club, Marc and his Board of Directors decided to rename their 501c3 nonprofit the “Twin Cities Recovery Project” in time for their 2-year anniversary celebration last November.
Marc is a graduate of Minnesota Recovery Connection’s Recovery Coach Academy and worked as a Peer Recovery Specialist for MRC in the Ramsey County Adult Substance Abuse Court. As MRC got to know Marc and the Twin Cities Recovery Project (TCRP), it became clear to us that the organization’s mission, values, processes, and programs had all the makings of a Recovery Community Organization. It has been a great honor to work alongside Marc and his team, and we are thrilled to announce that on February 11, 2019, the Association of Recovery Community Organizations approved TCRP’s application to be designated an official Recovery Community Organization.
TCRP is the fourth new Recovery Community Organization recognized in Minnesota in the past year, bringing Minnesota’s total number of Recovery Community Organizations to six. The community-based, peer-to-peer support and advocacy provided by TCRP is a welcome addition to the continuum of care for people with substance use disorder, and we know that recovery is contagious. Thank you, Marc, and the team at Twin Cities Recovery Project for spreading recovery!
The Twin Cities Recovery Project’s mission is to offer assistance and support to those suffering from substance use disorder in their transition toward lifestyles of health and productivity by offering a drug free environment as well as resources to develop the whole person. This will enable them to build healthy and positive relationships and to become productive members of society.