Roanoke Valley HOPE Initiative

The Roanoke Valley HOPE Initiative (RVHI) “with Angels” is designed to provide a gateway to professional resources for persons suffering from SUDs (Substance Use Disorders), in any form (opiates, meth, marijuana, alcohol), within the greater Roanoke area, specifically but not limited to Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem, Vinton, Botetourt and Craig, who ask to enter the HOPE program. This program is also designed to inform the community at-large as to the severity of the Opioid epidemic confronting this community.

RVHI acts as a gatekeeper and a pathway for the community to learn about and access substance abuse services that are available to everyone (hopefully, before an overdose or fatality occurs). RVHI consists of volunteer members (Angels), the Roanoke City Police Department, and civilian partners that facilitate monthly (or more frequent) community-based “drop in” sessions/meetings for persons with SUDs, where they can get information about professional health services available to them, as well as turn in any drugs or drug paraphernalia they may have in their possession.

The community-based “drop in” sessions take place at the Bradley Free Clinic on the second Monday of each month. Intake hours are from 11:00AM – 4:00PM.  From Monday – Friday 9 – 5pm the Roanoke Police Department will accept walk-ins and will link them with volunteer Angels as best as can be done – the placement process will be more comprehensive and streamlined on the official “drop in” days.

At the “drop in” site, a sworn officer is present to do simple warrant checks and assist with completion of participant forms to be signed. If you have an active arrest warrant or charge or are considered unsafe, or if you are unable to benefit due to being high, inebriated, or psychotic, you will not be admitted into the program.  Drugs or drug equipment will be turned over to a “sworn officer”.  Once documented, a sworn officer will properly dispose of these items.

After a screening interview with the volunteer “Angel” to identify the appropriate level of treatment, the participant will be matched with the following services that they are ready for and that best meet their needs:

  • Medical detoxification programs
  • Residential Treatment programs
  • Inpatient/Outpatient mental health services
  • Outpatient Services
  • Training on the proper use of nasal Naloxone
  • Peer recovery supports

Ongoing community efforts are being made to increase affordable resources that cover the full spectrum of the necessary continuum of care. Service availability may depend on insurance coverage.  Scholarships are provided for residential treatment through a network sponsored by the law enforcement affiliated nonprofit called, Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI); however, transportation may be a barrier, as most of these sites are throughout the country.  Every effort will be made to provide timely treatment, but this cannot be guaranteed.

The Roanoke Valley HOPE Initiative’s ultimate goal is for individuals with the disease of addiction to know where to go to find answers and advice before it’s too late.

Janine Underwood                              Cheri Hartman, PhD                                           Scott Leamon

Bradley Free Clinic                              Carilion Department of Psychiatry                      Roanoke Police Department

540-344-5156                                      540-981-7099                                                      540-537-6804


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