FOCUS on Recovery: Helping women face the challenges of recovery from substance abuse

Article by David Wooldridge:

David Wooldridge is a Sirote and Permutt attorney and a FOCUS on Recovery Board member.focus logo2

FOCUS on Recovery, a substance abuse recovery residence for women, was recently honored in the Birmingham Business Journal (BBJ) 2014 Nonprofit Awards, which recognize Birmingham’s leading nonprofit organizations and charities as well as the corporate citizens that support them. At the BBJ Nonprofit Award Luncheon on June 19, Phyllis F. Wyne, Executive Director for FOCUS on Recovery, proudly accepted the award in the under $500,000 revenue category.

This award is a huge milestone for the organization, which began in 2001 with a dream, two donated apartments and a few women in need of help. Now, 13 years later, this vital organization houses 27-30 women at a time in its facility.  FOCUS provides resident supervision, counseling and guidance during a 3-12 month period of early recovery from substance abuse and dependency.

I have served for 3 years on the Board of FOCUS, along with a diverse group of dedicated men and women.  I am proud to have a small part in the life-changing services that this organization provides. The Board works diligently for the continued growth and support of FOCUS, and we are extremely proud to be honored by the BBJ as one of Birmingham’s leading nonprofits.

FOCUS provides a safe haven and critical life-skills training for women transitioning between primary substance-abuse treatment and their return to sober life.  Residents are expected to get a job (or resume their education).  They learn to balance work, recovery and other residence responsibilities, and are provided individualized guidance and mentoring with skills needed to re-establish themselves in their families and communities.

In addition to housing and life-skills training for its residents, FOCUS provides the women with job readiness training, financial literacy, relapse prevention groups, family workshop groups, relationship workshops, twelve step recovery groups, self-esteem classes, art therapy, along with a recovery network to sustain their sobriety. The combination of recovery services and the safe, structured, sober environment that FOCUS provides has helped over 600 women successfully transition to life as responsible parents, family members and citizens.

Recovery works.  But it doesn’t just happen.  Organizations like FOCUS provide support and guidance needed to establish a firm foundation for sober lives.

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