Quinn Forss (pronouns: he/him/his) is a queer man in long-term recovery participating in his third year of service in Minnesota Recovery Corps, an AmeriCorps program, at the National Alliance of Recovery Residences. As a project coordinator at NARR for the second year in a row, he’s worked on such projects as: organizing the 2021 NARR Best Practices Summit; partnering with the Minnesota Association of Sober Homes to develop grievance policy and procedure guidelines for use by all NARR affiliates and their operators; and using his experience with implicit bias training & education campaigns to begin a database & toolkit of resources around a variety of diversity & inclusion areas, and especially supporting transgender residents, educating members about antiracist principles/practices, and facilitating more spaces for marginalized people in recovery to give input on their needs and concerns within recovery housing.
Quinn received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing & a BA in Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. He hopes to develop a career within the recovery field as either a peer support specialist, a project manager, or developing his own recovery home to specialize in providing a safe & accessible space for LGBTQ+ people and other marginalized groups in the Twin Cities area.
From his own experiences and those of his friends in recovery, he’s seen how minority stress, stigma, and bias toward LGBTQ people, BIPOC, and disabled folks can factor into increasing the likelihood or severity of substance use disorders. Quinn assisted in mutual aid efforts across the metro area during the protests following the murder of George Floyd in his town, which motivated him to get involved in the drafting of the Antiracism in Recovery North Star as a part of NARR’s renewed inclusion efforts. While the organization did not sign on, he continues to use its principles as a guiding light for racial justice within NARR.
He writes, having published research on developing nonsexist language policies for college campuses and personal essays on recovery. He hopes to start an organization which uses the game Dungeons & Dragons to help people in recovery build skills in teamwork, inclusivity, and sharing their personal narratives. He lives in Saint Paul, MN with his partner of ten years, Ivy, his best friend Marget, and their very fat cat he calls Queen Baby.