Fairbanks Wellness Court shares message of sobriety with Fairbanks community

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On Sunday afternoon, the Fairbanks Wellness Court held an event to share their message of sobriety with the public at Golden Heart Plaza.

Wellness Court members gave testimony about their past struggles and hope for the future that the program has been able to bring to their lives.

The Wellness Court program was created to offer treatment and probation for defendants as an alternative to lengthy jail time.

The group of 32 participants, as well as several graduates of the program, handed out food and water to many of those in attendance downtown.

Monte Ford, a probation officer for the Wellness Court, testified to the lives he has seen change in the program.

"You know, I think when people come into the court, into the program, they're really hurting. I see little by little, day by day, changes in their lives, in their mindset, in the way they think - the way they think about themselves and their family.
It's amazing when I see people that have maybe even lost their kids because of alcohol, because of drug addiction, and after they've been in the program for a while, they're clean, they're sober and they begin to get their kids back, they begin to get their family back and relationships are healed."

A counselor for participants in the Fairbanks Wellness court, Max Todhunter, adds that a stable support base has been a key factor for all of his clients.

"Sobriety and recovery and this kind of effort is an extremely difficult task and you spend a whole life time getting there. You need as much help as you possibly can. It's almost impossible without a huge group of people. A huge group of people got you to where you are, you kind of need a huge group of people to get away from it or to heal from it."