STEPS Orange County’s Vision Boards


This month, 17 members from our attended a  group where they created "vision boards." The activity was based on the RCCS conversation worksheet they received on "Awakening Hope."

The RCCS has five conversation areas that staff can utilize to engage with clients.

We believe that hopes and dreams fuel an individual's recovery journey. Our role is to partner with clients and have conversations that "awaken" and grow one's belief in a meaningful future and the believe in that possibility. 

The boards were made with the hope of inspiring members to focus on the goals they would like to achieve, and visualize the hopes and dreams for they have for themselves. 

Transforming Everyday Household Products Into Hygiene Kits and More

When Lindy Cain sees baking soda and vinegar, she doesn't just see an elementary science project in the making; Lindy sees an opportunity to teach the members of ؼ how to make a variety of household products in her DIY group hosted at the program every week.

Lindy Cain, Team lead at ؼ Sierra Vista Act, makes bug repellant from household items at her diy group session.

Lindy Cain, Team lead at ؼ Sierra Vista Act, makes bug repellant from household items at her diy group session.

"I taught our group how to clean their entire house with baking soda and vinegar," said Lindy. "I mostly focus on household and hygiene products. We do laundry soap every couple of months, we do dish soap, we've made dandruff shampoo, we make face lotion, face wash, face scrub, chap stick."

The DIY products are easy to make and use low-cost ingredients, most of which can be bought with food stamps or EBT funds.

"Many of the members don't have much money, and the money they do have, they need it for other things. I try to make things that our members don't normally have and can help them out in the community," said Lindy.

One of the members was having trouble walking on the weekly mile-long hikes they would take as part of a health and wellness curriculum at the program. The member's heels were scaly and cracked, which made it painful to walk long distances. He tried using a salve the doctor prescribed, but it didn’t work. Lindy looked up how to make foot salves and found a recipe for one that included magnesium.

“We melted magnesium flakes into water with oregano oil, beeswax, and water to make a lotion," said Lindy. "He started using it and his feet cleared up, which remedies had never done before. Now he can go on walks and exercise and his feet feel good."

Lindy Pull Quote.png

"Lindy goes above and beyond in her creative ways to engage and activate the members to live the lives of their choice," said Jennifer Hinkel, Vice President of Development at Telecare. "I participated in a DIY session where members were making a bug repellant lotion out of beeswax, coconut oil, baking soda, lemongrass, and lavender. Since many of our members walk or spend time outside, they really appreciated the session and the product that they could take and use that day."

For ideas and recipes, Lindy says she looks mostly on Pinterest, , or . Members also come to her and pitch ideas to replicate items they like to see if they can make them in the DIY group.

"It's skill-building and it’s also socializing with other members and myself, while they are learning about things in the environment. They enjoy learning about the different oils and the different properties and what they are used for," said Lindy.

Setting up a DIY group is easy, said Lindy. If you're interested in trying one at your program, Lindy provided some helpful tips for getting started.

How to Start a DIY Group

  • Buy ingredients in bulk. Lindy uses Amazon and Sam’s Club to purchase larger items at a lower cost.

  • Don't think too hard about containers. For dish soap, Lindy uses water bottles. For laundry soap, you can use plastic bags. You can also use portion cups, like for condiments, which you can buy in bulk at Sam's Club.

  • Just do some research and don’t be afraid of it — it's really easy.

Products the DIY group make include lavender, coconut and honey soap, lotions, face scrubs and much more!

Products the DIY group make include lavender, coconut and honey soap, lotions, face scrubs and much more!

Finding Hopes and Dreams in Ink and Needles

There’s a reason friends and family warn us not to get tattoos — they're permanent. If you change your mind, removing the ink is long, costly, and painful (like running sandpaper across an open wound).


In some instances, tattoos are permanent labels of a past no longer serving a person, especially when someone is trying to move forward in a journey of recovery. Our in Oregon recently heard from a resident who wanted to cover a tattoo he got in prison that aligned him with a white supremacist group.

"It was very clear that he got the swastikas because he feared for his safety," said Kimberley Smith Daly, Team Lead at the Recovery Center. "It was a particular source of shame for him. It’s not what he believed…he did it because he felt he needed to protect himself."

Kimberley called her friend, Justin Heath, a mobile tattoo artist who works with several substance use treatment providers as well as private clients, and transforms old tattoos into new works of art at a reduced rate.

"He has a lot of clients, but this is something he does to give back to the community," said Kimberley. "The tattoos he's doing today that the guys are paying for, he's hardly charging them anything at all because he wants them to have the pride and the value of purchasing their own tattoo, but he knows they aren't always affordable."

After many hours sitting in a chair, the swastika tattoo transformed into a butterfly. Another gentleman at the Recovery Center at Woodburn had a tattoo of an offensive phrase on the back of his neck turned into a soaring eagle. Two symbols of hate changed into symbols of hope and strength.

"We want to get people to where their hopes and dreams are," said Kimberley. "There are companies that will help get people’s gang tattoos removed, but these guys liked the idea of artwork and liked the idea of having it become something beautiful and something they could be proud of, rather than just trying to erase it."

Kim Pull Quote.png

"Kim's actions will profoundly impact these two men's lives for the better for the rest of their lives," said Jim Sechrist, Telecare’s Regional Director of Operations in Oregon.

Since having their tattoos covered, both residents have made ardent strides in their recovery. 

“He has been so bright and cheery, and more outgoing, and having conversations with people, initiating more conversations with people,” said Kimberley about the man whose tattoo transformed into an eagle. “It’s the shift in self-esteem that is so key to moving forward in recovery.”

Telecare Opposes Graham-Cassidy Repeal Bill

As you may have heard, the latest effort to repeal the ACA is currently very close to being voted on. Telecare opposes this bill, as it would eliminate expanded Medicaid funding for so many of the people we serve, sabotaging state initiatives to address the overdose crisis and fight substance use disorders. Cutting or capping Medicaid and ending the Medicaid expansion will be devastating to those who can’t afford health care in the private market. It would allow states to eliminate requirements that private insurance cover substance use disorders and mental illness. It would also allow them to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing illnesses. This bill would disproportionally affect the people we serve in so many ways.

Telecare is sending letters to Senators in the states we serve. If you feel moved to do so, please contact your senator right away. Please call your Senator urging them to vote NO on the bill. You can call 888-852-0653, which allows you to contact your member of Congress.

The National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors also offers these facts for crafting your own message. 


1.     MASSIVE STATE BY STATE FUNDING CUTS. The released a report showing in 2027, every state in the nation would see federal funding cuts under Graham-Cassidy, totaling nearly $300 billion.

2.             NO FULL CBO SCORE. The announced it would not be able to produce a complete analysis on Graham-Cassidy that includes the impact on deficits, how many will lose coverage or the increase in premiums by September 30.  Senator Bill Cassidy admitted “.”

3.             PRE-EXISTING CONDITION PREMIUM HIKES. The released a report showing how much more people with pre-existing conditions would pay each year under Graham-Cassidy. For example, an individual with asthma would face a premium surcharge of $4,340. The surcharge for pregnancy would be $17,320 and $142,650 more for patients with metastatic cancer.

4.             WORSE THAN BEFORE. found that this bill was “more disruptive for most states than prior Republican efforts.” The Washington Post found this bill is worse than previous health care repeal bills, writing “"The latest Obamacare overhaul bill gaining steam on Capitol Hill slashes health-care spending more deeply and would likely cover fewer people than a July bill that failed precisely because of such concerns."

5.             MORE UNINSURED VETS. study showing Republican repeal efforts would increase the number of uninsured veterans. The report showed that the ACA’s Medicaid expansion had increased coverage for low-income veterans who lived further from VA facilities. The report found that the ACA was responsible for reducing the uninsured rate of veterans by about one-third, from 9.1% to 5.8%, in 2015.

6.             MORE UNINSURED CHILDREN. The released an analysis showing that children are at immediate risk of losing coverage in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Utah with CHIP funding running out quickly.

7.             KEY STAKEHOLDERS OPPOSE. The ,,, and and are all unified in opposing the Republican repeal bill.

8.             GOP GOVERNORS OPPOSE. Republican Governors from , , and have come out against the plan.

9.             FAILS THE MCCAIN TEST. The NYT's David Leonhardt's column, "."

10.          RAND PAUL IS A 'NO.' GOP Senator Rand Paul opposes Graham-Cassidy,, “In all ways, this bill is also ObamaCare Lite. In no way is it repeal the way we promised. I will oppose this bill as I did the other fake repeal bills, and I urge those who want repeal to do so, as well.“

11.          INCLUDES THE AGE TAX. This repeal bill still lets insurance companies charge up to 5 times more for people over 50, what AARP has dubbed an “Age Tax”.

12.          NO GUARANTEE IN THE HOUSE. eot "Would the House pass Graham-Cassidy? It's not a slam dunk."

Clark County E&T’s Quote Board


Staff at the (E&T) center in Vancouver, WA, spent the last month or so writing their favorite quotes on a bulletin board in the program designed by one of their team members in Social Services, Shawn Wolf.

Shawn’s inspiration for the bulletin board was the Disney movie UP. Staff members were invited to add their own favorite quotes to the balloons to encourage, inspire, and to make others laugh. (”Why are iPhone chargers not called apple juice?”)

“UP is about enjoying life every day,” said Shawn. “Life’s not only about the big monumental moments. It is equally important to say YES to the small miracles that surround you.”