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UCHRA Selects New Community Intervention Director

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCHRA Selects New Community Intervention Director

UCHRA has selected Melissa Hoisington as its new Community Intervention Department Director.

Hoisington will head a department that operates Day Reporting Centers designed to rehabilitate justice-involved individuals. Cheryl Cox is retiring after 35 years with the agency.

“Two years ago, they redid the grant and we are now, we are still supervision, but we are drug and alcohol-related and we started three DRCs,” Cox said. “It’s been a ride and it’s been a joy. And I look forward to the program carrying on even better.”

Cox said the after some 18 months of work, the agency has opened centers in Putnam County, Smith County, and Warren County. She said she believes her team will be pleased with her replacement and she looks forward to seeing the Day Reporting Center program thrive under Hoisington’s leadership.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Audrie Nicholson works with Smith County center. She said the program’s success lies with clients trusting the staff to support them. She said client success is often not one big thing that brings them happiness and rehabilitation, but an accumulation of many smaller moments of growth.

“It’s relationships that get restored through our program,” Nicholson said. “It’s drivers licenses that get reinstated. It’s jobs, homes, cars that get had by the clients. It’s watching them build trust. It’s healing that begins to happen through the individual therapy.”

Clinical Mental Health Counselor Christy Dukes said she has worked with two cousins, both raised in households with parents addicted to drugs. She said both have been caught up in the felony system due to using and selling drugs.

“They found a group of people who believed in them and who weren’t out to catch them doing something wrong and put them back into the system,” Dukes said. “They found some people who were wanting to support them, plug them into resources, get them safe secure housing, which is huge in this population.”

Dukes works in the Warren County office. She said the program offers financial counseling, employment counseling, and mental health counseling. She said since working with the DRC, both individuals are employed and working to restore healthy family connections.

Hoisington most recently served as the Senior Regional Crisis Director at Volunteer Behavioral Health. She brings 15 years of social work experience.


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