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Gratiot County is an enjoyable place to live, but, like the rest of our country, suffers from a drug and alcohol use epidemic. This epidemic has a devastating impact on individuals and their families. While many people enjoy the rural nature of Gratiot County, the area has more limited resources, services, and funding available than larger metropolitan areas. The reduction of in-person services during COVID exacerbated this shortage. Support for families who have loved ones suffering from substance use disorder (SUD) is nearly nonexistent. The stigma of SUD in a small, close-knit community makes it even more difficult for individuals and families to reach out for help.


The goal of the Gratiot FAN chapter is to help individuals and families struggling with SUD realize that they are not alone, and to provide help, save lives, and reduce the stigma associated with SUD.


The receptiveness of local law enforcement and judicial, mental health, and business professionals to helping our community from within, and the speed with which the program has developed since the first discussions, has been remarkable. In the spring of 2023, Alan Gatlin had recently retired from Alma College and was looking for a way to give back to the community he has lived in for more than 20 years. Alan began discussions with Chief Overla from the Alma Police Department, Kalin Greene, who is the Director of Problem-Solving Courts, and Prosecutor Laura Bever. All of them responded quickly and enthusiastically, as they had witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of addiction. They recognized how difficult it is to find help and the stigma associated with addiction that sometimes stands in the way of individuals and families seeking the help they need.


At this point, the working group expanded to include Judge Barkman, Undersheriff Sopocy (now Gratiot County Commissioner Sopocy), and other members of the law enforcement, mental health, and business communities. The initial working group was converted to an 11-member board of directors, and an advisory group of over a dozen individuals volunteered and joined the effort as well. In November of 2023, Gratiot County launched Hope Not Handcuffs and, in the spring of 2024, will begin sponsoring monthly Family Forums.


The group has received help and inspiration from FAN and Hope Not Handcuffs directors, as well as Phil Pavona from Ingham County-Okemos FAN.


3rd Monday of the Month

6:30 pm

St. Louis City Hall

300 N. Mill St.

St. Louis, MI 48880





The Hon. Cori Barkman has been a circuit court judge in the 29th Circuit Court (which includes Gratiot and Clinton Counties) since April 2021. Prior to taking the bench, she was a trial attorney with the Michigan Department of Attorney General for approximately 18 years and served for 3 years as an administrative law judge. Barkman currently presides over the only felony drug treatment court in Gratiot County and is committed to addressing the community need for more resources to assist families impacted by substance use.



Vice President

Alan Gatlin, who lived in and raised a family in Alma, Michigan, for over 25 years, spearheaded bringing Families Against Narcotics and Hope Not Handcuffs to Gratiot County. A retired senior vice president and chief operating officer of Alma College, he has more than 30 years of executive experience and is a former president and chief executive officer of a number of automotive and heavy truck parts manufacturing, distribution, and services businesses, including WW Williams and Alma Products. Gatlin is passionate about helping individuals and families struggling with addiction find the help and support they need.




Emily Rayburn is a Gratiot County native and Saginaw Valley State University graduate. She is the program director of the Gratiot County Substance and Suicide Prevention Program at Child Advocacy. Emily decided to join the Gratiot FAN board of directors because helping people in their most challenging moments is a passion of hers. She is excited to see this partnership take off!




Curtis Dancer is the finance director/treasurer for the city of Alma. When he first heard about FAN, particularly the Hope Not Handcuffs Program, he instantly thought that it was a service that was needed in his community. Curtis has lived in Gratiot County his whole life and has seen firsthand what addiction can do, which is why he wants to help support programs that provide the necessary services to help these people. A volunteer for Alma Action Association, Gratiot Young Professionals Network, and Gratiot County Community foundation, Curtis believes that FAN will be a valuable community resource for years to come.





The chief of police for the city of Alma, Kendra Overla is a Gratiot County native and Delta College and Central Michigan University graduate. She is also a dedicated community volunteer who joined the Gratiot FAN board to help facilitate an opportunity for health and healing. She believes that the collaborative efforts of FAN and the Hope Not Handcuffs program offer our community members compassion, support, and needed resources. 




Casey Mueller has been employed as a law enforcement officer with the city of Alma since 2003 and is the department's community service officer. The holder of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University, he worked on MAGNET (Mid-Michigan Area Group Narcotics Enforcement Team) in 2012. That assignment made him realize how strong addiction is for some people and the need for treatment and resources in our community. Casey enjoys the outdoors and working in the schools with the children of Gratiot County.




Shaun Davenport is a customer service representative with Avalon and Tahoe. When he was approached with the opportunity to be a part of Gratiot County FAN, he couldn't resist. As a member of the 12-step community, Shaun strongly believes in the mission of Families Against Narcotics, especially the Hope Not Handcuffs program. Growing up in Alma and being familiar with the challenges faced by families in Gratiot County, he is passionate about providing the necessary resources to support those affected by addiction. Shaun understands that addiction can happen to anyone, and is committed to creating a safe and supportive community for families.




Joe Yourchock is the Gratiot Integrated Health Network’s jail and court services counselor and the 
Gratiot County Critical Incident Response Team coordinator. A certified correctional health professional, he holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Alma College and a master's degree in professional counseling from Central Michigan University. When Joe was approached about joining the Gratiot FAN board, he felt honored to be on the ground floor of an organization like FAN, which supports those in need of recovery services and their loved ones.




Laura Bever is the prosecuting attorney for Gratiot County. A former private attorney and family law referee, she was raised in Gratiot County and returned here to raise her children. Laura is an active volunteer and board member with many community organizations, and is a supporter of many treatment court programs, several of which involve those with addiction. 




A lifetime resident of Gratiot County, Steve Sopocy is the Gratiot County commissioner. He has a total of 30 years of law enforcement experience and is a retired Gratiot County undersheriff and retired lieutenant with the Ingham County Sheriff's Office. Steve says that he spent his entire professional career working with people who were struggling, or had struggled, with narcotics. He wants to continue to help and support people in our community who have substance use disorder issues.




Kalin Greene is the project director with the 65B District Court in Gratiot County. She oversees operations of the Mid-Michigan Regional Sobriety Court, Mid-Michigan Regional Mental Health Court, and Gratiot Felony Drug Court. The holder of a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University, Kalin was more than willing to aid in the process of starting a FAN chapter and launching Hope Not Handcuffs in Gratiot County. Given her current role with Gratiot County, Katlin knows there is an evident need for resources in our rural county for individuals and families struggling with addiction.


Coming soon

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