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 (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 2020 grant from Spenser’s Voice, which is the fourth to PPP, will be utilized to help fund PPP’s transportation fund that transports clients to treatment, recovery housing, etc., outside of normal operating hours, and for its Community Health Advocate program by which, in addition to the provision to our neighborhoods of health, prevention and risk reduction education, Naxolone is distributed to members of our communities.
- Hope 4 is a Peer Support Community for individuals and families recovering from substance abuse. The goal of Hope 4 is to provide a safe, healthy and non-judgmental place for those motivated to get well in a community of recovery. The 2020 grant from Spenser’s Voice is to fund operating and staffing costs, along with travel expenses for Hope 4 employees to attend the 2020 National Alternative Peer Group Conference. This grant is the fifth to Hope 4.
- 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 2020 grant from Spenser’s Voice, the third 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 bus passes, Uber/Lyft rides, gym memberships and other items aiding sobriety, such as age-appropriate games/activities, arts and crafts supplies and journals.
- Sage’s Army is a drug awareness/prevention organization with a primary goal of offering support, guidance, and encouragement to others who have been affected by the substance abuse epidemic. Sage’s Army operates a 24/7 Helpline, hosts grief and family support groups, provides community education, and currently is expanding its programming to offer outpatient recovery services and social activities for those in recovery. The 2020 grant from Spenser’s Voice will be utilized for staffing and Smart Recovery training for staff members.
- Familylinks: Grants in 2018 and 2019 to Familylinks provided funding for materials and production of Power Forward (with Kevin Stevens) events 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.
- Gateway Rehabilitation: A 2018 grant to Liberty Station, a 24-bed halfway house in Bridgeville for young men ages 13-23, previously operated by Gateway Rehabilitation was used to fund staffing for adventure-based counseling and equipment and supplies for a new music therapy program.
- Recovery United: A 2018 grant to Recovery United funded scholarships for five young men (otherwise unable to afford the fees) to live in Recovery United sober living 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