Tragically, on April 14, 2015, Brooke Erin Simmers died of a heroin overdose, at the age of 19.
Brooke was an incredibly beautiful and talented young woman who had great love for her family, a strong spirit and an incredible zest for life.
Unfortunately, Brooke's spirit was not strong enough to battle the demons she struggled with in her fight against addiction. Brooke's drug use began with marijuana, and then prescription pills before transitioning to shooting heroin. Sadly, on that April night, Brooke died alone in her car in a church parking lot.
While Brooke's family was devastated, they refused to allow Brooke's life to be in vain. Brooke's parents, Kevin and Dana Simmers, of Clear Spring, Maryland, decided to create Brooke's House, a 501(c)3 non-profit, as a legacy to their daughter's struggle, and as a community resource to help save the lives of other women struggling with drug abuse.
Kevin Simmers, a retired police officer of nearly 30 years, had spent his life arresting dealers and addicts before addiction became a reality under his own roof.
"Well, I've been in law enforcement for nearly 30 years", Kevin Simmers said. "I know where [using heroin] leads. That needle had a hook in her and it was a demon she just could not simply fight off."
“Brooke didn't want to be an addict,” Dana Simmers shared. Her family believes the demons she battled while fighting addiction were part of an illness that requires treatment. "Brooke wanted to beat her addiction, but there was nothing around here for her.” Kevin Simmers said.
Although Brooke was not able to realize her dream to beat her addiction, it was because of the lack of community resources that could have helped save their daughter, that Kevin and Dana Simmers decided to continue Brooke's dream for others.
When built, Brooke's House will be a community-based, safe, stable and emotionally supportive living environment for adult women in the early stages of substance abuse recovery.
A tranquil, home-like, 16-person facility, Brooke's House will ensure state-of-the-art treatment and recovery resources to help residents move forward to achieve their dreams to live drug-free and productive lives.
Heroin addiction has reached epidemic proportions throughout the State of Maryland and the U.S. It knows no age, gender, or socioeconomic boundaries and wears at the very fabric of our community. While law enforcement continues its fight against drug dealers and drug trafficking, Kevin Simmers believes winning the war against drug abuse must involve the efforts of everyone.
"People ask all the time why we're working so hard to ensure the success of Brooke's House, and especially so soon after Brooke's death", Kevin Simmers said. His response to that question is "If not us, who, and if not now, when?"
There has been a great deal of local community interest and support for Brooke's House, but the Simmers' know that bringing such a needed resource as Brooke's House to fruition will take the support of many.
Your support to helping reach our goal to help build and open Brooke's House is greatly appreciated. For more information on the Brooke's House, please visit our website at www.brookeshouse.org.
NOTE: As the volunteer administrator for Brooke's House, please be assured that all donations made to the GoFundMe site will go directly to the Brooke's House, and that all investments are protected through Brooke's House 501(c)3 non-profit status.
please help....the pain sometimes is unbearable
I have so many unanswered questions. I, too, lost my son in January 2015 from overdose. He was also a good boy. Loved by so many with a tender heart and beautiful smile. He lettered in high school football, college student, and founding member of fraternity only to lose everything due to this addiction. I just want to know why the losers who provided him this are still free after admitting what they did and still getting in trouble with the law? What am I missing here? What can be done? What can I do?
I first hand know about the struggles of addiction... I'm so sorry for your lose, but want to let you guys know I wish there was more people out there lime you.. To know that help is there with no arguing Or fighting, is always a sigh of relief, even if we aren't ready for help, we know where to go when we are