HAGERSTOWN, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - The Simmer family lost their daughter Brooke to a heroin overdose in 2015, but now they are honoring her memory with Maryland’s newest sober living home for adult women built on love and grief.
“It’s a new beginning for a lot of girls, a lot women that are struggling out there and that’s what we’re trying to deliver here is home and promise,” said Brooke’s father, Kevin Simmers.
Kevin and Dana Simmers’ daughter was one of those women — an addict whose life was overcome by heroin.
The couple is turning that tragedy into triumph and hope to help others before it’s too late.
Brooke would be proud.
“She would love this,” said Kevin. “She probably would say, ''Why in the hell is it taking so long'.”
Sixteen women will live in the home and the sober house will teach them the skills they need to support themselves and survive -- including producing, packaging and marketing chocolate.
“I think she’s incredibly proud of us right now. Her dad would tell her on a daily basis, ‘I’m so proud of you’ and I think she’s saying to us today with this beautiful weather, it’s 60 degrees and we’re in the middle of winter so I think that’s her way of saying, ‘I’m so proud of you dad,’” said Brooke’s mother Dana Simmers.
Kevin Simmers is a former narcotics detective in Hagerstown. To honor his daughter, Simmers will attend Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address as Congressman David Trone’s guest.
“I think it’s very important that people understand that drug addiction is a disease and we need to have the conversation where we need to treat it like that,” said Kevin Simmers.