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This Tucson organization is 'changing lanes' on addiction recovery

Lenny Simons has been in recovery for over a decade from drug addiction. Now he's helping others get back on their feet.
Lenny
Posted at 4:47 PM, Apr 30, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — If you were just hanging out in Udall Park, it would look like your average pick-up softball game.

While competition in the four-team tournament is fierce, it's the challenges off the field that the players are trying to win.

"When you get into recovery, a lot of us we don't know how to live sober," Lenny Simons says. "This allows a way for us to get back into the community, doing things here in Tucson."

Everyone on the field is either in addiction recovery, they're supporting someone in recovery, or they are pretrial or probation officers.

Changing Lanes Baseball

Lenny Simons has been clean for over a decade. He decided to start Changing Lanes Recovery to help others down a path which was hard for him to start on his own.

“I did a lot of damage to Tucson. I did a lot of damage as far as my crimes were. So starting this program, this agency, is kind of like making amends for all the damage that I’ve done," Simons said.

Jeannette Garcia is one of Simons' clients.

“There was drugs, alcohol, relationships. Love was an addiction for me," Garcia said. "And it’s okay to say you need help. That’s true strength.”

JG

Garcia turned to Changing Lanes Recovery for help, saying the group setting helps foster community and get people who need help back on their feet.

"Changing Lanes offers a program that is a women's group, so we can come together with no judgment," Garcia said. "It's a sisterhood what we've built, and it's one of my favorite groups to go to.

The big events like this one at Udall Park are a way for all of Simons' clients to begin creating meaningful relationships back within Tucson.

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Lenny Simons

"That's the whole goal," Simons says. "To build this community and have them feel like they're part of something."

While Simons provides much of his treatment to his clients for free, it still all costs money. Changing Lanes Recovery is a nonproft, 501(c)(3) organization that is always accepting donations.

If you know someone who needs help, or want to help yourself, you can visit the Changing Lanes Recovery website by clicking this link.

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Adam Klepp is a reporter for KGUN 9. At his previous station in Yuma, Adam focused on a range of local issues including the border, water rights and healthcare. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and attended both Loyola University Chicago and Syracuse University. Share your story ideas and important issues with Adam by emailing adam.klepp@kgun9.com or by connecting on Twitter.