The Power of Collective Action & Leadership

To tackle the addiction crisis in America we must look both “up-steam & down-stream” for solutions. Complex issues to be addresses, include: health care access equity, broader prevention models, the integration of physical and mental healthcare, long-term oriented treatment models, ending stigma, addressing racism, health insurance parity, de-criminalizing addiction, increased investment in cures/solutions/research, extensive education during medical school, access to reversal tools for first responders, monitoring the distribution of pharmaceutical medications & medical prescriptions, policies and regulations curbing corporate lobbying by “big alcohol”, community safety programs, an increase in affordable housing, greater employment opportunities, etc. These issues are intertwined and often inseparable.

COR has a long history of partnering with other social justice, municipal, advocacy-oriented, service-providers, and public health agencies – in local communities, at the State-level, with nationally focused groups and with organizations that address these issues and operate internationally.

To call out two such collaborations currently, we are proud to be part of Facing Addiction’s Community Action Network and are inspired by partnering with Canada’s She Recovers.

Below are some community oriented offerings by COR and local coalitions with which COR is/has been engaged.

Open Recovery Education for Employees & Employers

COR’s innovative workshops & presentations engage and educate participants about health, wellness, inclusion & diversity –  through the lens of  recovery from addiction in the workplace.  The creation of  recovery-conducive work environments, supports individual health, enhances organizational sensitivity, expands diversity and reduces the costs associated with lost productivity resulting from addiction recovery issues.  The interactive and customization workshops address:

  • Audit of current work environment: structural, social and personal norms, policies and culture related to drinking/drugging, addiction/ recovery, health & wellness
  • Support for employees in recovery and those impacted by addiction
  • Resources available beyond EAP crisis intervention/recovery programs
  • What  ‘Open Recovery’ is and why it is important
  • Develop recovery-conducive work environments

To learn more about Open Recovery education in the workplace, please contact Fay Zenoff at 415-296-9047 or

Building Recovery-Ready Communities

COR has been actively engaged in local coalitions and with community partners to increase the efficacy of our individual efforts which promote health and safety for the benefit of all individuals, families and under-resourced neighborhoods across San Francisco and Bay Area.

Health and safety initiatives strengthen ‘Recovery Ready’ communities which support those in recovery to live, work and socialize in healthier environments (rather than toxic environments which can be demoralizing, isolating and trigger relapse). COR aims to not only help prevent relapse, decrease usage and reduce the consequences of addiction – but also to support environments which foster recovery and support wellness for all.

To learn more about our Environmental Advocacy, please contact Pedro Torres at 415-296-9921 or

tenderloin safe passage


Safe Passage
Safe Passage is a collaboration of Tenderloin-based non-profits, schools, and merchants that:

• Ensure children safely get to and from school

From painting murals on sidewalks, providing safety training for parents, to acting as “corner captains” situated along a designated route, all efforts create safe pathways through a tough neighborhood. Acting as deterrents to drug dealers and users, Safe Passage members also become a reliable and positive community presence for youth. Safer streets, healthier lives.

Center for Open Recovery has brought our expertise in youth development, public health, substance abuse, and facilitation to this effort. Safe Passage is guided by an Advisory Board that includes: the Tenderloin Boys & Girls Club, La Voz Latina, Mercy Housing, Youth with a Mission, Glide, DeMarillac Academy, UCSF, Tenderloin Residents, TL HIP, and Center for Open Recovery.

san francisco health improvement partnership


San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership
The San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership (SFHIP) brings together the efforts of key community health improvement collaborators into an aligned endeavor to :

• Ensure safe and healthy living environments
• Increase healthy eating and physical activity
• Increase access to high-quality health care and services

Center for Open Recovery’s involvement with SFHIP has been as an advocate for the inclusion of ‘long-term recovery’ to be among the health care priorities of the City & County of San Francisco .
COR has also been involved in SFHIP’s Alcohol Policy Working Group to address alcohol regulation, and thereby create healthier communities that can help sustain long-term recovery.

Key partners in SFHIP include San Francisco’s non-profit hospitals, Building a Healthier San Francisco Project, The Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCSF, and The San Francisco Department of Public Health

The Tenderloin Health Improvement Partnership (see below) is also part of SFHIP.

tenerloin health improvement partnership


Tenderloin Health Improvement Partnership
Tenderloin Health Improvement Partnership (TL- HIP) is a multi-sector, collective impact partnership committed to:

• Improve community health, safety, and wellbeing in the Tenderloin

This collaboration also seeks to foster physical activity, healthy eating and access to health care for residents in the neighborhood. By creating healthier neighborhoods, we create healthier communities in which to sustain recovery.

COR has served as a member of the TL-HIP Community Advisory Committee, participating in governance and overseeing the Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Community Benefit Plan. Center for Open Recovery has also served on the Advisory Board, offering expertise on addiction and advocating for long-term recovery in the community.



Chicano Latino Indigena Health Equity Coalition

The Chicano Latino Indigena Health Equity Coalition’s goal is to:

• Reduce health disparities

The coalition does this by advocating with respect to policy and program development on behalf of the Chicano, Latino, and Indigena communities who are affected by such inequity in San Francisco
Often alcohol abuse is coupled with domestic violence or other criminal acts, for which the consequences – for members of these populations – include deportation for those living here without authorization. As more members of these communities are displaced from the Mission District due to the rising cost of housing, the Coalition is increasing its presence in the Tenderloin.

COR has served on the Steering Committee of the Coalition.

Other partners include:
Asociacion Mayab, CARECEN, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Mission Neighborhood Health Center, SF AIDS Foundation Latino Programs, UCSF Clinical & Translational Science Institute, and Horizons Unlimited of San Francisco.

TL Healthy Corener Store Coalition


Tenderloin Healthy Corner Store Coalition

The Tenderloin Healthy Corner Store Coalition is an effort led primarily by Tenderloin residents to:

• Increase access to fresh and healthy foods

This food justice coalition helps merchants transform their convenience stores (in which liquor is typically the key merchandise) into grocery stores through grants and the support of expert consultants. This initiative gives merchants the tools to be responsive to customer needs and to help create a healthier community.

The Coalition’s work connects with COR’s vision to create healthier communities for individuals seeking and in long-term recovery.
Center for Open Recovery is a founding member of the Coalition and sat on the Steering Committee for years. Many of COR’s youth program participants took part in this prevention work.

Members of the Tenderloin Healthy Corner Store Coalition also includes: The San Francisco Department of Public Health, UCSF Clinical & Translation Science Institute, Vietnamese Youth Development Center, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Center, Central City SRO Collaborative, Feeling Good Project, San Francisco Tobacco Free Project, AAIMS, and the Heart of the City Farmers Market.

SF Alcohol Prevention Coalition


San Francisco Alcohol Prevention Coalition
San Francisco Alcohol Prevention Coalition is a youth-led coalition designed to

• Decrease youth binge drinking

From discouraging alcohol advertisements targeted at youth, to addressing issues of access to alcohol, this coalition educates and empowers youth to engage in the civic process to advocate for health in their communities.

Employing an environmental prevention approach, youth develop leadership skills by engaging in research, developing findings, building community support, and making recommendations to policymakers. Prevention goes hand-in-hand with long-term recovery and the creation of healthier communities for all residents and families.

COR has been part of the Steering Committee and worked with the youth in the Tenderloin who have also been represented in the Coalition. We contributed our expertise in alcohol regulation, government/community relations, and our vision to create recovery-ready communities.

Other organizations involved include: Horizons, YLI, OMI/Excelsior Beacon Center, Asian American Recovery Services, Filipino Community Center, Community Youth Center, Japanese Community Youth Council, and Vietnamese Youth Development Center.