Family's United for Change
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A new group combating addiction plans to take a different approach than the traditional support group. They say they are focused on promoting societal change. "There are some places that you can go for support groups but that was more frustrating to me because all you do is sit around and listen to people that are suffering the same," said Marianne Sinisi, a parent involved in Families United for Change. "There's not really a group of action." Sinisi lost her son to a drug overdose late last year. She says she didn't feel she like she was being heard even at the most crucial times. "I decided to look for people that would listen and maybe try to make some change that share the same feelings I do, whether they've lost or whether they are just battling it themselves," Sinisi said. "They have a purpose and have something that they're wanting to see accomplished," said John Gray, pastor of Hope Community Church Hope Community Church is opening its doors allowing Sinisi and others who have been affected by addiction to join a new group Families United for Change. Sinisi hopes the group can help families battling addiction, and change public perception. "The stigma that is attached to dependency is just horrible because they have to overcome that as well," Sinisi said. "It's time everybody stops thinking of addiction in the dark ages. We need different forms of treatment." She wants the group to promote unity and impact lives. "Everybody wants to give up and just say you can't change it and I just think if we battle together to try to make change then I think as a community we can do something," Sinisi said. Families United for Change plans to meet every second Tuesday of the month at Hope Community Church in Altoona. Their first meeting is May 14 at 7 pm. Gray encourages anyone in the community to attend.