On Friday businesses in New Hampshire will come together for a job fair in Portsmouth targeted at hiring people in the drug recovery community.
About 25 businesses are expected to be there, including local restaurants, retailers and recovery organizations.
Sarah Curtis is running the job fair for the recovery center Safe Harbor. She’s been substance free for two years. And she says getting rehired at her old job last year is a big reason why she’s stayed in recovery. But she thinks not enough businesses are taking that leap.
“These people are hard workers and they deserve a second chance and it is a disease and who wouldn’t exclude someone with diabetes or cancer," Curtis said. "They’re dedicated, they’re honest, and 9 times out of 10 they are extremely grateful that someone invested in them and gave them an opportunity to better their lives."
The call center Chameleon Group in Portsmouth has been hiring people in active recovery for the past year including Curtis.
CEO Dana Lariviere said he hasn’t had any problems – in fact they’ve been his best workers.
“People say, well I don’t want to hire an addict, well you are hiring them now - we are both hiring them. The difference is I know about it," Lariviere said. "I think what you have to do is convince them that the apocalypse isn’t going to happen if you bring these folks in.”
Friday’s job fair will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.