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Photovoice Art Workshops for Adults

Sponsored by the Tobacco-Free Partnership of Covina/West Covina

We need YOUR views and voices to raise awareness about secondhand smoke in shared living environments.

Are you a resident of Covina or West Covina bothered by your neighbor’s secondhand smoke and looking for a way to voice your views at the community level? Join the effort to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke by enrolling in the Photovoice Art Workshops for adults (18+). Photovoice Art Workshops uses a method where community members participate in raising awareness on health-related issues and attracting attention of city leaders through photography and narration.

Starting the week of October 6, 2020
-Free to enroll for adults 18+
-No experience necessary
-Meet other like-minded community members

Space is limited. Register here:

Follow us on Instagram: @SOScovina @westcovinaCAN

For information contact: Elsa Greno, Project Coordinator at

SMRS Staff Highlight: Michelle Anders

"I was raised in a healthy family dynamic. I started my career as a firefighter and loved what I was doing. I met my now ex-husband who introduced me to meth. My life spiraled downward, and I gradually started losing everything: my career, my self-respect, my sense of direction. I landed in prison with a four-year sentence. I had long periods of abstinence, but it failed when I got into another bad relationship and ended up relapsing.

I was released from prison one more time and made the decision to transition to treatment. I was able to learn a lot about myself and how to utilize coping skills. I now have 4 years sober. I knew that I wanted a career where I can be in a helping field. I was told by a friend that there was an opening for a Case Aide at Royal Palms, and here I am. Working here at Royal Palms has inspired me to get into school to obtain my Drug and Alcohol counseling certificate – my goal is to work as a counselor.

The joy that I get the most is when I am able to help someone change their life around and show them that it is possible to make a change, no matter what stage or phase they are in at that moment. It will be challenging, but the reward at the end of the day is far greater than any drug."


Alumni Success Stories

SMRS Staff Highlight: Kevin Butler

"I spent over 40 years addicted to alcohol and other drugs. By the age of 50, I had reached my bottom. I ended up in the hospital and was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. I would have died within a year if I didn’t stop drinking or be in desperate need of a liver transplant. At that moment is where my journey of recovery began. I prayed to my Higher Power, whom for years I did not have a relationship with, asking for forgiveness, healing, and directions. After a few weeks in the hospital, my road to recovery became clear. A dear friend of mine heard I was sick and asked me to go to a meeting with him at his church, and I agreed. I walked in that meeting room, and there, I had a spiritual awakening. There I found forgiveness, healing, direction, and most important to me, love. I spent the next few years healing and learning the 12-Steps and the 8 principles of Celebrate Recovery.

After being a refinery technician of almost 30 years, I decided I wanted to give back and become a counselor, so at the age of 55, I went back to school. During my internship, I was assigned to Royal Palms. Just like the meeting room experience, when I walked into Royal Palms, I knew that it was the place for me. I love what I do, and I always remember something my sponsor once quoted to me: 'Make your message and not yourself the most prominent thing. Set your heart on what your higher power has given you to do, and don’t be so foolish as to let your own difficulties or your own abilities stand in the way.' My experience with staff at Royal Palms is like working with family, and it is always rewarding to me to see the change in the residents’ lives. Also, I can say that my life has changed for the better. I have recovered from liver cirrhosis and am living a life far more rewarding then I can ever imagine."

We are here to help!

If you know anyone that needs help with mental health issues, substance use, abuse, or addiction, please do not hesitate to call us!

SMRS Staff Highlight: Niah Ramos

“At the age of 15, I entered a treatment center for the very first time…this is where my journey began. For the next 25+ years, my pattern was bouncing in and out of treatment centers, prisons, and back to the street life. I finally became desperate enough and completely surrendered to my disease of addiction. One step at a time, I got clean and decided to give myself a chance. I came in with 28 felony convictions, was on public assistance, volunteered to make ends meet where I could work for a few extra dollars, and worked in a minimum wage paying job in retail. I kept asking myself, ‘is this all there is for me in this new way of life?' I kept moving forward with faith and integrity, one foot in front of the other, no matter what.

I was offered a job at SMRS and my whole world changed. I call that my ‘Hope Shot.’ I began attending school and found out not only was I smart, but I was capable! Within three months with SMRS, I was promoted to the intake department. It took someone else believing in me to inspire that change for me to believe in myself. I am now self-supporting and off of public assistance and can provide for myself. I love what I do because I bring inspiration to SMRS clients on a daily basis. I get to give them that ‘Hope Shot’ that I was given.

At SMRS, it's a process of constant improvement, and people at work look up to me and ask me for advice. I get to show them the change in me, of someone who was once a hopeless addict. My coworkers are like family. Every single person I work with is appreciated. We support and help each other. When I see the light come on in a resident's eyes and they make a point to thank me ... I know that I'm doing a good job too.

My advice to everyone is: Don't give up on yourself no matter what. Trust the process, you never know what's in store for you. Please don't leave one second before the miracle occurs!”