About Us

NOWA’s Foundation was Built by Members
Members are the reason NOWA exists. From the very first Recovery Walk we held, to naming the center “No One Walks Alone”, figuring out which peer groups to offer, and finding ways to have fun in recovery…. Members lead the way. As people in recovery, we have learned that connections, empowerment, and choices are some of the keys to building the lives we want, and we use this philosophy in everything we do. 

Mission Statement
No One Walks Alone is a safe place where peers and loved ones support and empower one another. NOWA is an atmosphere of positivity and compassion. We believe in each other and honor all pathways to recovery, while embracing a new way of life in recovery. Our goal is to inspire, motivate & encourage the Blackstone Valley community by showing recovery is possible.

We Love Members & Volunteers! 
Members and volunteers are needed. Are you in Recovery? Love someone who is in Recovery? Looking to get involved with the Recovery Community? Looking to give back to our community? Come stop in our Recovery Center & get involved!

We Love Giving Back to our Community!
We strive to connect our members to the community at large. Our members, volunteers, and staff engage in a variety of community events and efforts in order to promote a positive lifestyle and offer hope and support to others.

How does a Recovery Support Center support people around recovery?
Recovery Support Centers are operated by, with, and for the members, with staff who are in recovery, as well as volunteers. Our program at NOWA is designed and decided upon by the members and staff together.

Recovery Support Centers provide a positive space and environment for those who are in recovery or seeking recovery to:
*Connect with others in recovery & the community at large
*Learn new ways to support their recovery
*Involve family & friends in their recovery
*Find outside supports & resources
*Prepare for & find employment
*Help others & give back to the community
*Plan & engage in a variety of events & educational workshops
*Break the stigma of addiction by being a power of example
*And so much more!!

Family, friends, and children are welcome at the NOWA Recovery Support Center, and we encourage allies and loved ones to get involved. We are a community of peers, loving our lives in recovery! Come join us! 

 Benefits of NOWA Membership
*Narcan & Harm Reduction trainings
*NOWA Boutique – Take or leave items
*One-on-one support
*Resume building
*Haircuts for milestone achievements
*Access to treatment
*Building skills for work
*Computer use
*Help with CORI
*Peer support groups
*Smoking cessation support
*Leadership development
*Fun Events & Laughter!!

NOWA Recovery Support Center

Code of Ethics & Conduct



What does ethics mean?

--A moral guide to the principles we as a community live by.   

What does conduct mean? 

--Treat others, yourself, and personal property, with integrity and respect.


We have an atmosphere of being positive, courteous, truthful, respectful, and friendly at all times. Our actions show how the community sees “US” - the Recovery Community.

  • We resist the use of profanity.   
  • We strive to be a safe recovery-oriented environment at all times.   
  • We empower each other to be honest and respectful to one another.  
  • We refrain from engaging in gossip or the spreading of rumors.  
  • Privacy and confidentiality are expected.  
  • What you see and hear here, must stay here at NOWA.   
  • Our center is violence free and the possession and use of weapons are prohibited.  
  • We will be judgement and confrontation free here at NOWA. 

Responsibility to People in Recovery

  • We are caring, generous and compassionate – always remembering where we come from and that people can change!  
  • We respect other people’s definition of “Recovery” and people are in Recovery when they say are.  
  • We work hard to support and empower others to move forward in Recovery.  
  • We treat one another with compassion, unconditional love, kindness, and honesty, and we practice patience.   
  • We are always here to listen and offer experience, strength, and hope. 

Responsibility to the Recovery Center

  • We are responsive and receptive to the needs of our Recovery Center.   
  • We contribute to our RSC by being part of the meetings, groups, activities, and the participatory process. As we know, this is vital to our Recovery.  
  • We encourage members to volunteer.  
  • We keep the RSC clean and organized.  
  • We take responsibility of maintaining a safe recovery-oriented environment.  
  • We will follow the guidelines of a safe and positive recovery support center. 

Responsibility to the Community

  • We strive to be productive, responsible, and respectful members of our society.  
  • We are committed to supporting our community at large.  
  • We vow to be “Law Abiding Citizens” within our society.  
  • We are aware of the positive impact of our good deeds within the community, the RSC, and for ourselves.   
  • We will practice public safety and education in harm reduction, while changing the stigma associated with addiction in our community.  
  • We show the community who we are by sharing our powerful voices. 
  • We show the community why we are here by paying it forward. 

NOWA Recovery Support Center Guidelines


  • Smoking is allowed out back of the center near the garage.
  • Please make sure to put cigarettes out fully before throwing them in cigarette receptacle.
  • No vaping or chewing tobacco while inside the center.
  • Please pick up after yourself.
  • Anyone who is in the bathroom more than 3 or 4 minutes will get a knock on the door to check in. If no response, expect a staff to get involved.
  • No soliciting in the front of the Recovery Support Center.
  • Respect groups while they are in session.
  • What happens at NOWA stays at NOWA.
  • All visitors, guests and members must sign in.
  • Staff park down in the Unibank parking lot.
  • Food is only allowed in the dining area on the 1st floor.
  • Thank you for not wearing sunglasses and hoods in the Recovery Center.
  • We strongly encourage all to refrain from political discussions, But please exercise your right to register and vote!!

NOWA Online Group Guidelines & Notes

Note to facilitator: Please place the name of the group in the chat box, along with these guidelines, before each meeting. Please have someone read these guidelines out loud to the group before starting the meeting.

· At NOWA, we welcome all pathways of recovery, & we are a judgment free space. Our meetings are based on the peer recovery model, and follow a variety of formats. Please be mindful of which meeting you’re attending & the format being used. We have formatted & unformatted meetings at NOWA. Meeting structure is explained at the beginning of each meeting.

· Please keep your connection muted when you are not sharing in order to improve the quality of the audio.

· Please keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts & feelings. Use “I”-statements whenever possible. Please limit your sharing in order to be mindful of the time & respectful of others’ desire to share. Please do your best not to interrupt others as they share.

· Please remember that this is a public, online forum & others will be hearing your words & reading your chat comments. Chat comments are similar to a group text. All current, prior, & future attendees receive them.

· Although anonymity is not guaranteed, we ask that all participants maintain confidentiality with what they hear. Please refrain from sharing other people’s stories or past shared experiences and thoughts in our groups, or outside this forum. Other’s people’s stories and information are their own to share if and when they feel it is appropriate.

· Positivity is contagious! Encourage people on their goals, & celebrate accomplishments. Please do not give advice or feedback unless directly asked by a group participant. We are here to support one another not “fix” each other.

· Please allow people to express emotions like tears or crying without interruption.

· Please try not to use offensive language and/or graphic descriptions or glorification of drug & alcohol use.

· Always take care of yourself! If you need to take a break from the meeting, please mute your connection, or exit & re-enter the meeting quietly so as not to disturb others sharing.

· If you are having technical difficulties, please let the group know, and someone may be able to assist you online or offline.

NOWA Background and History

Craig (Our biggest advocate): This first all began in 2012 when the Northbridge coalition was developed. The Northbridge coalition was developed in conjunction with local schools, police department, Family Continuity, Whitin Community Center and a number of nonprofit organizations and concerned citizens within the town of Northbridge. This happened in response to a couple of tragic events that had occurred in town. The coalition then developed several task force, one which was around substance use and mental health as well as several other task force that were set up to address certain particular critical needs in the area. One of them was developed around resources where Heather Elser, who’s at the Whitin Community Center, did a needs assessment in the area. They concluded that there needed to be a one stop place for people to go when they are trying to connect with services. They had received a small grant, and at that point it was called the Blackstone Valley Connector (BVC). The BVC was just a local resource for the community that helped people to connect with food banks, recovery services, NA, AA, therapy, fuel assistance, etc. It was only open several hours a week due to it being run solely by volunteers and student interns when they could help. We started to notice the police department really get involved and work with people with substance use and mental health. After that we made a partnership with the police department. We then received a grant from Milford regional hospital for two years to support us in building a jail diversion program, working with police officers and six surrounding police departments in local towns to support those with mental health and substance use. The BVC then started a drop-in center that was led by some of the staff working at the RSC today (Rebecca Z & Lori H). This drop-in center was happening in a downstairs space at Family Continuity and we were helping connect individuals with substance use, those seeking recovery and those affected by substance use. At that point in time, a request for proposals from the state department of public health (RFR) came in and we were able to secure funding for one month in July 2018. This funding was to fully furnish an unfunded drop-in center or recovery support place. We received $25,000 to clear out the space, buy books, shelving, office supplies, etc. At the end of that one month, the state again put out another RFR, that there were going to be 6 allotted RSC‘s in the state and We applied for that. Matt G then became a volunteer at the NB Coalition. We then developed the first No One Walks Alone walk in town, which started development before we were ever awarded our RSC contract. When we first started writing our RFR for the RSC there was a lot of conversing amongst community members about what an RSC would look like in our community. This was a huge piece as to why we got the RFR. When they looked at how we came to be, our history and how we evolved over the years, the staff at Family Continuity working with community members and those in recovery coming together. They wanted it to come from the recovery community as well as the community at large. The walk was also an important piece as it was an introduction of the RSC by having the first walk. When it came time to decide on a name for the RSC, members came up with several names and put them in a suggestions drop box. NOWA (No One Walks Alone) was one of them. We then had a vote and tallied up the top three names and then had another vote on the final name. NOWA was the top voted name!

Ed A (Our longest volunteer and member): I am a man in long-term recovery, and I am a member volunteer at NOWA. So much has happened since I became a member. My experience has been warm, welcoming, and inviting since my first day. I was encouraged to participate in the first walk planning in 2019 and I’ve been a participant ever since. I signed up to be a member right away, it’s been almost 2 years now, and I have volunteered and participated in many planning committees since then. I was new to the Whitinsville area and community and it was a wonderful opportunity for me to build a network in a place I was unfamiliar with. Matt G and Rebecca Z and so many other people in the community welcomed me, embraced me and supported me. They helped me on my journey in these last two years to find my own pace and my own place and be able to share my voice in different areas that I wouldn’t of had an opportunity to do. I was able to really become an integrated part of the community, reaching out to other people and supporting others in their journey. The resources that the RSC has accumulated and begun to disseminate out into the community, their relationships with the first responders and the legal system, active participation in the jail diversion program and recovery bed placement. The act of resource that NOWA has become in the community has been wonderful to witness and participate in. This past year has been odd, awkward and uncomfortable for everyone, but I think it’s been powerful for NOWA. Previous to COVID there was a growing volume in the community in quite a number of active people coming to the center interacting with each other and excited about the opening of our new facility. I remember the development process, planning the walk first, and deciding the name for the walk was such a great name that should completely apply to the RSC. Then finding a property that was so close and familiar to everyone, there was a lot of excitement and engagement and participation among the community in moving. As we were transferring over, we were seeing a lot of people coming to our member appreciation meals and community meeting. It was a powerful, engaging experience for all of us. As COVID has caused us all to be more quieted down, the zoom situation has helped and allowed us to stay more connected on some level. The core membership of NOWA has strengthened and developed plans and taken action into furthering our reach into the community so as soon as everything begins to open up people won’t feel as though we’ve disappeared. Everyone still knows that NOWA is still here and active and ready to go as soon as protocols allow us to reconnect and help people in-person. This has been a wonderful thing to witness and be a part of. I am excited and grateful that I’m here today and that I’ve been able to be a part of this as it’s been coming along.