By John Lynds
Charlestown resident and former staffer for the late Mayor Thomas Menino, Jack Kelly, will join South Boston Councilor Bill Linehan’s staff to help work on ways to fund and expand drug treatment opportunities in the city.
Kelly, who also ran for At-Large City Councilor in 2013 and is the founder of the iRecovery mobile app for iPhones, has been instrumental in developing partnerships and programs to address the impacts of addiction on those who lived and worked in Charlestown . Kelly serves on a variety of boards and task force panels, including Governor Baker’s Health Care Transition Team.
“Jack will be a great addition to our staff. He will help lead the initiative to develop a strategy to raise revenue to combat the devastating effects of addiction,” said Linehan. “Given his experience in this field, he will help garner support and develop proper policy to help current efforts across the city and state.”
Linehan said the effects of substance abuse in Boston are crippling local neighborhoods and placing economic burdens on several resources, including public safety systems, police, fire, EMS services, and hospital emergency rooms.
“Boston needs a comprehensive coordinated effort develop solutions to address the situation,” he said.
A mobile app that helps people in recovery connect with one another through their IPhones. The app has garnered much attention and praise from the tech world as well as the business world. The app was selected for the startup incubator Mass Challenge competition last December.
“In 2013 when I ran for Boston City Council, I warned people that this issue if unaddressed would continue to destabilize communities and cause the unnecessary death of thousands of people throughout the commonwealth,” said Kelly. “After my race, I founded and created a mobile app for iPhone’s and Androids called IRecover that connects people to resources and other people nearby in recovery. I believe technology must continue to be incorporated into any solution that is implemented to help combat this epidemic.”
The app, which can be found at www.irecoverapp.com, connect people, based on their location to others in recovery, meetings and services to help them combat their addiction.
Kelly got the idea five years ago. Kelly was in New Orleans for a weekend football trip with some buddies to watch the Patriots play the Saints. During the trip, Kelly wanted to take a break from watching his friends party and looked for a meeting or support group he could attend while in the Big Easy.
It was then he realized it was not easy for people in recovery to easily find a support group or meeting while away from home. It was at that moment Kelly began working to create the app that will help people in recovery connect with other people in recovery no matter where they are in the world.
The app has been featured in the Boston Business Journal as well as several online websites dedicated to health, wellness, and sobriety.
“I’m joining this initiative because I believe that it is important to raise revenue,” said Kelly. “Without revenue, many of the good faith efforts by the Governor, the Mayor, and the Legislature may prove challenging to successfully achieve our mutually shared goals. Additionally, as Founder and CEO of a mobile app to help combat addiction, it’s imperative that this issue is incorporated into digital health initiatives that both the Governor and the Mayor are pioneering.I see this revenue generating proposal as a positive health care solution to a negative and destabilizing health crisis.”
A native of Charlestown, Kelly is a graduate of Matignon High School. He received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts in 2013.