By Morgan Petronelli
Maurice Clarett, a former running back for The Ohio State University, decided that after a stint of struggling with drugs and alcohol, he would change both himself and his hometown of Youngstown for the better by co-creating The Red Zone with his colleague, Simon Arias.
The organization is mainly a social service organization that provides counseling, mental health services, intensive outpatient program and treatment, community integration, case management, intensive family-based services and other community social outreach programs and events just to name a few.
The organization is rooted in the idea of being a positive impact resource for those struggling with mental illness, drug and alcohol problems. The ultimate goal of The Red Zone is to make people better no matter if they are a journalist, athlete, or teacher.
He said the organization seeks to help out anyone and everyone in their time of need in the city of Youngstown.
Andrea Dejacimo, clinical director at The Red Zone, spoke about what brought her to the program.
“I wanted to come to a startup agency. I was interested in the process of getting certified through the state and through CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities), which is a governing agency,” DeJacimo said.
Besides providing housing to those suffering from addiction, The Red Zone also actively works to contribute to the community.
The Red Zone connects with schools and supports over 300 families and kids by setting up events such as their recent Easter bunny brunch and the Parent-Child Superhero Bash.
Clarett’s organization partners with others, such as City Kids Care run by Brandon Perry. Together, the two organizations run a program Every Child Deserves a Bike, an operation that seeks to provide 800 children in the Youngstown area with bikes.
Clarett expressed that he is grateful to be able to connect to people. He said he hopes that The Red Zone’s impact helps the hearts and work ethic of all those involved in the Valley.
If interested in getting involved with The Red Zone, information is available at http://www.theredzone330.com.