Local nonprofit to launch app for recovery and mental health support for musicians on tour

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
The Compass is an app from Passenger Recovery to help touring musicians find sober spaces and support meetings.

Passenger Recovery is a Detroit-based nonprofit that aims to offer a sober space for recovering addicts who are visiting Detroit on the short-term, such as touring musicians. 

Wednesday, Passenger launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the Compass, a GPS-enabled app that can help travelers find a variety of meetings wherever they are, including alcohol and drug recovery and mental health support.

"In 2015 Passenger Recovery was formed in Detroit as a means to provide resources for travelers and musicians on tour," said Passenger founder and musician Chris Tait in a video for the crowdfunding. He created the app with web developer Matt Tompkins, who is also a musician. "That year we started a sober greenroom for people to hang out for a few hours before the gig when they were in town. From there, we started a 12-step meeting in a local record store and we had performances and events with some of the musicians coming through town and talking about their struggles on the road."

To raise funds to finish the Compass app (a beta version is available now on the website passengerrecovery.com), Passenger will accept tax-deductible donations via Patronicity.com Wednesday through Aug. 25. 

Passenger Recovery founder Chris Tait and Lol Tolhurst of the Cure, who donated memorabilia for the crowdfunding effort to launch the Compass app.

Passenger Recovery has also gathered rare and limited gift bundles from touring musicians and other artists that can be exchanged for a donation. For example, for a $250 pledge or more, one donor can get a Detroit Symphony Orchestra package that includes four tickets and a backstage tour of Orchestra Hall. Another package, $500, includes a Patti Smith signed book and DVD set. Other bundles feature memorabilia from Flogging Molly, Flint Institute of Art, Lol Tolhurst of the Cure, Morrissey, the Sword, Third Man Records and others. 

“I believe that there is no substitute for talking face-to-face with people who share similar struggles,” said Tait in a press release. “Coming together with strangers in other cities and having open conversation is the healthiest reminder that we’re not alone. These struggles are universal.”

Volunteers who run a sober space or support meeting who are interested in being listed on the app can contact Passengerrecovery@gmail.com. 


Twitter: @melodybaetens