Community West Foundation Grantee Spotlight: Stella Maris

Daniel Lettenberger-Klein, Stella Maris, CEO and Marty Uhle, President & CEO, Community West Foundation

Community West staff, board members and guests visited grantee agency, Stella Maris, earlier this month to learn more about their mission and services. Founded in 1948, Stella Maris is an addiction recovery center and one of only two stand-alone detox providers in Greater Cleveland. Their clients can move through a full continuum of care on one campus block including withdrawal management (detox), inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, recovery management, and supportive housing.

Stella Maris’ continuum of treatment supports individuals on their path to recovery and helps them achieve results that regularly surpass industry standards on average by 30% across all levels of care. Community West Foundation has been funding their work since 2006 and recently sponsored their Waves of Awareness event held on Public Square where 5,000 purple flags were on display representing the lives lost to accidental overdoses in Ohio last year.

The group met in Stella Maris’ coffee shop, which is open to the public, before moving into the auditorium to hear from CEO of Stella Maris, Daniel Lettenberger-Klein. Daniel spoke about the nonprofit’s growth since the pandemic out of increased need in the community. He also spoke about the prevalence of synthetic drugs, like fentanyl, and how they are negatively affecting the community. Not only are drugs like fentanyl causing an increase in accidental overdoses, but also extended chemical detox due to the potency of the drugs. They also heard from a woman who shared her remarkable survival story of being a victim of human trafficking and addiction.

After a brief tour of the facility, the group moved into the cafeteria area for dinner where additional agencies joined them for further discussion about addiction recovery. The nonprofits represented included The Edna House for Women, The Ed Keating Center, St. Herman House/FOCUS and The Lantern Center for Recovery. All of these nonprofits are also Community West Foundation grantees that provide programs and services to those suffering from addiction.

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