As both a person in long-term recovery and someone with prior justice involvement, Greg is no stranger to the consequences of the war on drugs. Growing up in Fayetteville, Greg spent more than 20 years going in and of the juvenile justice system, the State adult criminal justice system, and eventually the federal prison system. However, during Greg’s last incarceration he decided to take a new path. Now Greg is a North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist and SMART Recovery Facilitator, who is currently pursuing his degree in social work. As our Cumberland County Linkage to Care Coordinator, Greg is a member of the Fayetteville Cumberland Opioid Response Team, the Post Overdose Response Team, the Fayetteville Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program, and a critical link in connecting syringe service program participants to care. You can also reach out to Greg for community partner collaboration, overdose recognition and reversal training, harm reduction education, and training on harm reduction principles and cultural competence.
Michelle Franklin Blackmon
Michelle is a life-long resident of Haywood County. Her commitment to helping others through harm reduction is informed by her lived experiences with homelessness and struggles with mental health and substance use disorder, as well as having lost several loved ones to overdose. Michelle and her partner Mark are passionate about helping out unsheltered neighbors in Haywood, Michelle is a mother of three as well as having two grand-babies
Alicia Brunelli serves as NCHRC’s Technical Assistance Coordinator, bringing a unique perspective to the work. As an Outreach Worker, Alicia gained experiences in improving and providing harm reduction strategies while bridging gaps to current drug users, justice involved individuals, structurally marginalized populations, and to those who engage in sex work. Influenced by experiences as a former drug user and former federally incarcerated individual, she aspires to make an impact in raising the quality of life for those individuals while lessening the harms of drug use and judicial trauma.
Shannon comes to the NC Harm Reduction Coalition with her passion for reducing injuries in communities and supporting the team to ensure they have the resources they need to do impactful work. Prior to joining, started her career in marketing and communication for the State of NC and national highway safety programs but quickly realizing her passion for grants and how funding can help get more programs out into communities. She lead grant and financial management sections for State highway safety office and before ending her career, she lead NC Safe Kids and Injury Prevention Section for the NC Department of Insurance where she managed 47 county coalitions and was able to increase programs to reduce risk in all ages.
Reid is a non-binary harm reduction advocate who hails from Carteret County, North Carolina. They are a former drug user who currently lives and works in Durham. Reid started as a volunteer at NCHRC after completing an Associate’s in Substance Abuse Counseling and realizing that the traditional forms of treatment taught were not reacting to the diverse populations and experiences that exist. Reid offers overdose reversal training, distributes naloxone and information at local events, and works on the Durham mobile exchange as well as operates the Friday fixed site in Durham. They are excited to begin phlebotomy training and be able to provide HIV/HepC testing for participants. Reid is a proud believer in harm reduction, prison abolition, and securing rights for sex workers and drug users.
Charlton Roberson, CADC, QMHP
Voni Goodson-Simpson is a Wilmington native. For more than twenty years, through her work, she has been a committed advocate for those battling mental health issues, chronic disease, substance use disorder and survivors of domestic violence. Her current position with Norh Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition allows for her community service to continue.
Loftin Wilson is a Harm Reduction Programs Manager at NCHRC. Loftin grew up in Alamance County and now lives in Durham. His journey with NCHRC began as a volunteer in 2010. Loftin worked part-time as an outreach worker for five years, before starting as full-time staff in the fall of 2015. Loftin now divides his time between providing direct services and doing program management and development for NCHRC’s harm reduction programs. His areas of focus include making harm reduction accessible for people who are: transgender, living in rural communities, and incarcerated.
Harm Reduction Outreach Worker – Haywood
A formerly-incarcerated, former drug user and sex worker, Veronika (they/them) is driven to support people of similar backgrounds in the mountains they have come to call home. Coming out as trans and becoming radicalized in the South motivated them to pursue a degree in Social Work, which they hope to follow with a Master’s in Public Health and apply to a career in Harm Reduction. Veronika is a street medic and spends much of their off-time doing wound care and other forms of mutual aid for unhoused and low-income people in Western NC. They are looking forward to building more relationships in Haywood County and improving participants’ knowledge of and access to wound care/first aid.