Spenser's Voice Fund
Spenser Flowers, an active member of the Hampton Township community, died on Jan. 1, 2017, at the age of 20, from an accidental heroin overdose. Spenser’s struggle with addiction was relatively short but ultimately deadly. Throughout his battle – with his family’s caring support – he remained kind, loving and so very, very funny. Two days before he died he agreed to return to treatment. He spent two hours the night before he died researching facilities to identify the rehab program into which he wanted to commit. Spenser didn’t want to die – he wanted to stop using drugs and begin recovery.
Spenser’s Voice Fund was established by his family members, Tina, Chris and Sam Flowers, to honor Spenser’s spirit and voice, and to support organizations and agencies working to curb the drug epidemic in young adults.
Grants made from the fund include:
- Prevention Point Pittsburgh: Prevention Point Pittsburgh (PPP) is a harm reduction organization. PPP provides the only county-approved needle exchange program in southwestern Pennsylvania and is the only agency in the area that will provide Naxolone and training to anyone, upon request, at no cost. The 2019 grant from Spenser’s Voice, which is the third to PPP, will be utilized to help fund PPP’s Naxolone supply for 2020 and to establish a transportation fund to be utilized to transport clients to treatment, recovery housing, etc., outside of normal operating hours.
- Hope 4: Hope 4 is an organization headquartered in Irwin that provides a community support center for those in recovery from substance abuse and their families/loved ones. Spenser’s Voice made a grant to Hope 4 in May, 2019, to fund the costs associated with hiring an Activities Coordinator, to staff additional weekday meetings and weekend activities, and to cover travel expenses of two staff members who attended the National Alternative Peer Group Conference in May, 2019, in Boston. This grant was the fourth to Hope 4.
- Familylinks: For decades, Familylinks has provided a broad range of successful addiction treatment and recovery programs in the Pittsburgh region. In 2018, Familylinks partnered with former Pittsburgh Penguins star, Kevin Stevens, on the Power Forward with Familylinks Program to provide education and awareness programming regarding addiction and recovery options to local school districts, college groups, youth and adult athletic leagues and neighborhood agencies, like Boys and Girls Clubs. The 2019 grant from Spenser’s Voice, which is the second to Familylinks, will fund production of informational and promotional materials to be distributed at Power Forward events, to partially fund outreach staff and to underwrite a joint Spenser’s Voice/Familylinks event.
- Holy Family Institute: Holy Family Institute offers many services and programs throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania in connection with its mission to empower children and families to lead responsible lives. Through its Shores program, Holy Family provides in-home and in-school addiction recovery services throughout Allegheny and neighboring counties. The 2019 grant from Spenser’s Voice, the second to Holy Family, will be utilized to fund client incentives and materials for Shores’ recovery services to adolescents (ages 12-18) and young adults (ages 18-21). Additionally, the grant will fund client registration fees for GED exam and trade school and college applications and the purchase by clients of apparel for job interviews.
- Liberty Station/Gateway Rehabilitation: Liberty Station is a 24-bed halfway house in Bridgeville for young men ages 13-23. Liberty Station is operated by Gateway Rehabilitation. The 2018 grant from Spenser’s Voice is being used to fund staffing for adventure-based counseling and equipment and supplies for a new music therapy program.
- Recovery United: Recovery United offers many services related to recovery from addiction including the operation of five recovery homes in the South Hills for both women and men. The grant from Spenser’s Voice funded scholarships for five young men (otherwise unable to afford the fees) to live in Recovery United housing for two months.
Symbol, above left: Spenser was an avid reader and loved the Harry Potter book series. The green heart resembles the Harry Potter lightning bolt, green was his favorite color, and the heart symbolizes the continuing love of his family and friends.
Spenser's family has also established a scholarship fund in his honor.
Type of Fund