Since Healing House was founded in 2003, we have helped more than 4,000 men and women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Read their success stories and learn more about how nearly 80% of our clients achieve life-long recovery.
Jenna’s Recovery Story
When you meet Jenna today you immediately notice her warm smile, engaging personality, and bright eyes so full of life. But that was not always the case. Jenna struggled with an opioid addiction for more than three years before recovering at Healing House.
At the age of 20 Jenna suffered a wrist injury and received a prescription for Percocet. Percocet is one of several powerful opioids often prescribed after an injury or surgical procedure. For Jenna, one pill relieved the wrist pain, but two pills seemed to make other pains disappear. Then a “friend” recommended methamphetamine as a more powerful (and addictive) alternative. Her addiction began at that point.
Jenna managed to work as a waitress for a time during her addiction but that did not last long. Raised by a single mom, she decided to escape to Washington State to become acquainted with her father’s side of the family and to try to get clean. Unfortunately the addiction followed her to the west coast.
After a stint in a treatment facility, Jenna got high one last time. Immediately she realized something had to change and she prayed desperately for help. Jenna told God she was willing to try anything to stay clean. Her case worker recommended Healing House. Jenna called Healing House on a Monday. Mama Judi told her to show up the next day and left Jenna no time to change her mind.
Jenna recovered at Healing House for 18 months. During that time she became a trusted client and served as a house leader in every women’s home. She learned how to deal with life’s challenges rather than avoid them. She learned how to have fun responsibly. She learned self respect, and that she deserves respect from others, particularly men. Most importantly, Jenna learned that her key to successful recovery is giving back and helping others.
Today Jenna is happily married and lives a meaningful life as a Certified Peer Supporter at Comprehensive Mental Health Services. She also serves as a sponsor for Narcotics Anonymous clients. On June 16 she celebrated four years of clean living. Thank you Healing House for rescuing Jenna.
Julie is the house manager for Madeline’s Swaddle House, current home to 3 moms and 3 newborn babies. 2 more moms with newborns will be joining her soon when they deliver their babies later this year. This safe and sacred space is the latest addition to our growing collection of recovery homes. Julie helps these moms live addiction free lives and raise healthy children.
Raised in rural central Missouri, Julie led a seemingly normal small town life. A 1998 auto accident changed everything. Julie discovered that prescription pain pills not only eased the pain of her injuries, but helped her feel better than she ever felt before. The feeling became an addiction which led to financial distress and the eventual loss of her marriage. Julie readily admits that the addiction caused her to lie and steal to obtain more pills. She had “no joy, no peace…and hated everything.” Her life became part of a nationwide opioid crisis.
After three attempts at rehabilitation Julie decided to try something new. A friend recommended Healing House so Julie called. When Mama Judi answered, Julie knew she made the right call. In tears, she asked for healing and Mama Judi promised to help. Julie originally planned to stay for 3 months and found a home at the Pink House. Eventually she transitioned to the Purple House and then to the Ruth House. Then she managed the Healing House day care home for 3 years. Healing House became home.
Julie is happy to report that she has now been addiction free for more than 5 years. In addition to managing the Swaddle House, driving residents to appointments or work, and often babysitting the infants, Julie works as a waitress for the HyVee market in north Kansas City. She also volunteers at Rez Downtown where she serves communion, prays with the prayer team, helps in Kids COR, and is a member of the cardiac response team. Most importantly she has re-united with her 9 year old son and sees him every week.
Julie was called by God to help others and found her purpose in life. Her goal is to keep making good decisions every day and to help others do the same. We thank God for Julie and pray for His continued healing in her life.
To say that Tammy is a real life “Wonder Woman is not an exaggeration. As the Healing House Maintenance Supervisor she directs the renovation, maintenance, and repair of our homes. Over the last few years she has become a talented remodeler and a very patient supervisor of our many volunteers. In her “spare time” she is the resident manager of the Pink House where she is responsible for 13-16 women in recovery at any given time.
Born and raised in California, Tammy spent 14 years driving a commercial fuel truck delivering gasoline to Shell stations on the west coast. She lost her commercial driver’s license when she was charged with a DUI while driving her personal vehicle. In 2009 Tammy moved to Oak Grove, MO to live with her brother and start a new life. She spent time working in an assisted living facility where she cared for her grandmother among others, but her drinking continued. Her change began with an 8 day stay in Research Hospital. That led to 6 months of outpatient treatment at Rediscover. Eventually she realized that she needed more help.
Tammy tried to steer clear of faith based recovery programs, but God closed every door. Eventually she landed at Healing House where she learned to love and be loved, to trust and be trusted, and to heal by helping others heal. She also found faith in God and a loving family. Now Tammy feels a sense of purpose and pride in her work. Work is “no longer a chore” but rather a joy, and she readily shares her experience with others. Tammy celebrated 5 years of sobriety on December 3, 2017 and will celebrate 5 years at Healing House this May. We are blessed by her presence as she continues to bless us all.
If you have been to the Hall recently you have probably met Karen, or at least you may have noticed her mentoring new residents. As the Hall Supervisor, she teaches life skills through community service. New residents learn food prep, organize clothing donations, and help keep the Hall neat and clean. A mother of three daughters, Karen knows the value of hard work. Her constant encouragement is an inspiration for those who are just beginning their sobriety journey.
Nearly every member of Karen’s biological family suffers from addiction. Because of the dysfunction in her family when she was young, Karen and her siblings were separated at an early age. She became a ward of the state at the age of 9. A series of foster homes became reality until she aged out of the system. In 2003 she lost her younger brother to a heroin overdose.
Temptation was always near and drinking became a way of life. One of her foster parents smoked weed regularly. Karen took her first drink at age 12. She attempted to take her own life at 15. Fortunately she was not successful. At 16 she took a job as a server in a bar. Karen drank her alcohol straight from the bottle which accelerated the addiction and caused lingering health problems. She lost her apartment and was homeless for a time.
After the birth of her first daughter, Karen decided to further her education and earned an Associate’s Degree in criminal justice. She considered becoming a police officer and even passed a law enforcement exam. And while she was able to care for her daughters, the drinking did not stop.
Finally Karen broke the chain of addiction, abuse and neglect in her family. Her recovery journey began during detoxification. In her words she was “stuck on stupid” and prayed that God would deliver her. She credits God with helping her win battles every day. And she credits Bobbi Jo Mama Judi for their incredible faith and inspiration as role models. Her journey continues and in April Karen will celebrate 3 years of sobriety.
Everybody knows Bob. He is a veritable icon at Healing House and an incredible inspiration to residents and volunteers alike. Bob is currently the House Manager of Agape III among his many other responsibilities. A beautiful rescue dog named “Baby Girl” is his constant companion. Bob has become a great man of faith and will celebrate 6 years of sobriety in January 2018.
But life has not been easy for Bob. Born and raised in Kansas City, KS his father died when Bob was 3 years old. His mother sought refuge in alcohol and struggled to show love for her children. Bob tried to fill the voids in his life with alcohol, drugs, women, and occasional violence and petty theft. He took his first drink at age 9. He was stabbed and nearly died at 17. An arrest led to a stint at Job Corps in Utah where Bob learned trade skills, but could not escape drugs.
Married at 19, Bob and his first wife raised 4 boys. Family life included multiple stretches of sobriety interrupted by periodic relapses. Marijuana was a constant temptation. Pot led to alcohol and alcohol led to cocaine and other drugs. When the 25 year marriage ended the family became estranged.
Bob continued to battle addiction. A second marriage ended after only 2 years. In his search for sobriety he spent time at the Salvation Army Shelter and Welcome House. He even spent a few weeks sleeping on a couch at a business office where he worked in maintenance. Eventually a friend convinced Bob to move to Hawaii and work for him. The addiction continued in paradise.
The addiction ended in January of 2012. Bob traveled back to the mainland to attend the funeral of his first wife. On New Year’s Day he was attacked, beaten and robbed. Bob woke up in the hospital, unaware of how he got there. A friend recommended Healing House and the rest is history. God used Healing House to fill the voids Bob was seeking his entire life. Now he has a resolve and sense of purpose that serves as an inspiration to others to live addiction free lives.
Liz is living proof that addiction knows no boundaries. Addiction does not care about age, gender, race, culture, religion, geography or social status. Liz is also living proof that addiction is a lifelong battle that can only be defeated one day at a time.
Liz was adopd at 2 months and raised with 2 adopted sisters by a single mom. Her grandfather was an Episcopal priest. She attended both private and public schools during childhood in suburbia. Life was relatively “normal” until she took her first drink at age 19.
In the beginning Liz was a social drinker like so many her age. Eventually she began doing shots before parties. That led to daily drinking and ultimately to a point where she was consuming an entire liter of alcohol every day. As a result, Liz lost her job, lost her apartment, and even lost custody of her beloved dog, Dexter. She experienced severe health problems including seizures. She even lost the use of her legs for a time and once went five days without sleep.
Hospitals and recovery shelters were a way of life for a while. One of those shelters steered Liz to Healing House where the healing began. Recovery was difficult, but as she progressed, Liz transitioned from the Pink House to the Sunshine House and eventually to a Healing House apartment. And she got Dexter back!
Liz left Healing House in May 2017 and has now been clean and sober for more than two years. She works full time at a prestigious Kansas City hotel, but Healing House is never far from her heart and mind. She frequently attends morning meditation, weekly meetings and Friday night Alpha class. Recovery is a daily battle that Liz is winning with the continued help of Healing House.