This GoFundMe campaign started on September 9, two weeks after Derek died from a drug overdose. Since then, we have had an outpouring of support for the development of HereNOW Help, a phone-based app that gives people 24/7/ 365 mental health support through peer counseling.
Contributions to-date have enabled us to start the development of the app. We will soon have full operating funds, thanks to a generous investor who believes in our mission. Our goal is to launch HereNOW Help in test markets in January. All money donated to Derek’s GoFundMe campaign can now be used to provide HereNOW Help peer counselor support for those who cannot afford it.
Derek’s brother Bill lives in NYC. More than a year ago, he was going through his own recovery from addiction and saw that though he was living in the biggest city in the country, it could also be the loneliest. He knew there must be a way, through technology, to connect people with mental health and addiction problems to others who could be a listening ear and provide support.
Bill began working with friends and family to develop what is now HereNOW Help.
On August 26, 2019, Bill’s beloved brother Derek died from an opioid overdose, two days before his 29th birthday. Bill’s desire to realize his dream for HereNOW Help took on added meaning and a sense of urgency. Though he could not save his brother, his mission is now to help others.
When people picture a drug addict, they may imagine a disheveled, sickly looking individual. Derek was none of that, he was a college graduate, a gifted writer, worldly, funny, and addicted to drugs. He was loving and deeply loved by those who knew him. Along with family, lifelong friends attended his funeral service and openly wept at their loss. Each one felt they were Derek’s best friend, because he made them feel that way. Many of the young men who attended had had their own struggles with drugs or alcohol. They never imagined that Derek would be the one to die.
Too many parents are burying their kids, too many siblings are losing their brothers and sisters, too many friends and families are losing people they care about as a result of addiction and mental illness.