SCARBOROUGH — The challenges that Jaime Higgins experienced in helping her brother Devon access rehabilitation services for heroin addiction inspired her to help start Operation HOPE last year at the Scarborough Police Department.

During a yearlong sobriety, Devon Higgins volunteered with Operation HOPE and helped others get into rehab programs, before he died Sept. 26 of an apparent heroin overdose.

Now Jaime Higgins has established the Devon Higgins HOPE Scholarship so that her brother’s name will continue to be a part of the innovative, police-based addiction intervention program.

“I didn’t want other families to struggle like we did,” Higgins said. “Because of him I was dedicated to helping others struggling with substance use disorder.”

Higgins said she got the idea for the scholarship from an initial donor who suggested establishing a fund in Devon’s name that would help others get rehab services. Started last week, the fund has already raised $5,100.

Through Operation HOPE (Heroin-Opioid Prevention Effort), people who are ready to get clean can walk into the police station on Route 1 and ask for assistance in getting into a rehab facility. The program has placed 208 people in the past year.

The scholarship will help pay for 30-day stays in residential rehab facilities, which can cost $650 to $3,000 at discounted rates negotiated by Operation HOPE, Higgins said.

To donate to the Devon Higgins HOPE Scholarship, make a check out to Project GRACE, the Scarborough nonprofit that handles donations to Operation HOPE. Note the scholarship in the memo line.

Checks may be sent to Project GRACE, P.O. Box 6846, Scarborough, ME 04070 or dropped off at the police station at 246 U.S. Route 1. To make a donation online, visit the Project GRACE website at projectgracemaine.org and look for Operation HOPE under “Giving.”

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CORRECTION: This story was updated at 1:13 p.m. on Oct. 26, 2016, to correct the mailing address of Project GRACE.

 


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