how it started
Our organization’s founder, Stephen, first encountered problems with drugs and alcohol at age 15, and they quickly began consuming his whole life. By the time he finished high school, he had already been to rehab twice – and this would only be the start of a years-long tour of over 25 treatment centers.
Occasionally, there would be some short-term results, but more often recovery would last only as long as his stay in treatment. Eventually, he lost everything to the disease. Bled dry from the cost of all of these treatment centers, his parents had all but given up hope for him. His addiction had destroyed his business, and estranged him from his wife and children. With no job, no money, and nowhere to go he had hit rock bottom.
It was in this dark place that Stephen was reintroduced to something he thought he already knew and understood: the 12-step program and Alcoholics Anonymous. However, this time he had someone who taught him how to properly implement the program in his life, and it changed everything.
It was more than going to meetings and talking about your problems, and there was more to the steps than what they hung on the walls. It took real study and real work – every day – to put the program into action. The work paid off, and he was able to rebuild his life.
Then in 2001, he created our organization to prevent other families from enduring the emotional and financial hardship he had experienced by offering an alternative to the kinds of treatment centers that had failed him.
working with others
Employing primarily people who had overcome alcoholism and addiction themselves gave our program the ability to reach and relate to people in a way that traditional treatment centers couldn’t. In addition, vocational rehabilitation and transitional living ensured that people completing the program were fully prepared to become a fully functioning member of society again.
Although running The Owl’s Nest for 15 years was an incredibly rewarding experience, we decided to move in a new direction after the loss of Phil Sr. Then, in the midst of this transition, we also lost Stephen in a tragic car accident. With both of these integral figures no longer with us, we needed a new vision and direction.
Stephen, remembering his own experiences at rock bottom, was most passionate about serving those who had nothing at all. He never turned away someone who wanted help just because they didn’t have the financial means if there was anything he could do about it. To honor this and all of the work that he and Phil Sr. did, we’ve created Rock Bottom Recovery Foundation.