JOPLIN, Mo. — The ROCC Recovery and Outreach Center is something that Joplin has never seen before. It will be another way to help people acheive success in long-term recovery organizers say.

We talked with Paula Donaldson recently at the newly repurposed building, 14th and South Main and she gave us a little more insight into what is happening. “It’s going to be a drop-in center. It’s a program that will be run by peers.”

“It will help people who are affected by drugs and alcohol as well as mental health issues. It will be a safe place for them to come, a place where they can come and hold meetings participate in meetings that we have. We have photography classes, we have a sober yoga class on Sundays, we have other trainings and classes as well that are available.”

“This is going to be a peer-run facility. Therefore it’s non-clinical. But we will be able to get people in touch with help that they need, different resources and the help that they need. Because sometimes the systems are so difficult to navigate.”

Keep in mind this is not a religious organization. Paula goes on to say, “It is not faith based although some of our classes are faith based. But this is for the community and run by peers in the community.”

“A certified peer support specialist is someone who encourages and assists others who are suffering something that they have recoved from. And now they have taken classes and education and been certified by the state of Missouri.”

Jennifer Harris, the newly named manager of The ROCC is a certified peer support specialist, by definition, “a person with significant life-altering experience. This is also referred to as “lived experience“. These specialists support individuals with struggles pertaining to mental health, psychological trauma or substance use. Because of their lived experience, such persons have expertise that professional training cannot replicate.”

Drug court meetings are helping clients make obligations towards goals. Mental health accomplishments are made through art, photography and yoga classes. It’s something that is being modeled off of Springfield and Northwest Arkansas successful programs. You can currently view Joplin ROCC January schedule online CLICKING HERE to see their Facebook page.


(FROM: THE ROCC INFO) The struggle for long term recovery from alcohol, drug and mental health disorders, the combination of any two or all three can lead to overwhelming feelings of hopelessness when an individual is left with a lack of support and knowledge. The hour spent with a therapist, probation/parole officer, 12 step meeting/support group/sponsor is beneficial and critical to an individual’s recovery. But what about the other 23 hours of the day? Peer Recovery Support Specialists are individuals with a lived experience in overcoming substance use/mental health disorders with certified training to help those in need connect to community support services, life skill training, and serve as a mentor to an individual who many need help working through the obstacles and struggles that come with sustaining a path of long-term recovery.


Peers encouraging and empowering peers along a path of change, supporting those who struggle to live life on life’s terms and embracing those who strive for a life in long term recovery.

Yoga classes, Photography classes, Alcoholics Anonymouns, an ever-evolving schedule and landscape of what can meet the community needs.
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The purpose of the Organization shall be to provide Peer Recovery Support Services to those in need by partnering resources to strengthen individuals, preserve families, and build strong communities through Peer empowerment in education, community outreach, social support systems, and other charitable services: To initiate and foster programs that alleviate the stigma and obstacles of an individual and their families recovering from the effects of Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders. To organize educational and training programs intended to combat the problems associated with sustaining long term Recovery. Using a ROSC (Recovery Oriented System of Care) Model to ensure all needs of an individual can be met including but not limited to education, health, judicial, transportation and safety.


We pledge as peers to do no more harm to the individual who is hurting. To meet the person where they are. To be compassionate, honest, thoughtful and caring in our words and actions. To encourage, empower, and praise through struggles and success along their journey of recovery. To promote self-care to one another and be mindful always that we are role models of long-term recovery.


  • Greeter/Receptionist: Responsible for check-in to facility. Shift supervisor and volunteer point person.
  • Resource Material Organizer: Makes sure current and pertinent materials available for take away (brochures, etc) as well as new, helpful posters.
  • Maintenance Coordinator: Responsible for coordinating facility repairs and improvements.
  • Custodial Team: clean up crew after events and on weekly basis. Will report bathroom inventory needs.
  • Event Planner/ Calendar Manager: Responsible for maintaining accurate meeting/class schedule and point persons contact info.
  • Group Facilitator(s): Those running or leading meetings and/or classes.
  • Assistant Volunteer Coordinator: Responsible for maintaining volunteer list with contact info and recruiting volunteers.
  • Security/Parking Lot Monitor(s): Help with safety in and outside the facility.
  • Kitchen Team: Responsible for maintaining kitchen – cleaning, inventory, and maintenance.
  • Coffee Team: Could be part of the Greeter/Shift supervisor responsibility. Works closely with kitchen team.