Our History and Impact
RecoveryPeople was originally founded as SoberHood on August 16, 2009, as a Texas nonprofit corporation (articles of incorporation). At the time, its primary program was operating the only recovery home in Texas that was specifically for gay/bisexual men. Learn more by reading our 2009 Impact Report.
In January 2010, SoberHood received its 501c3 charitable nonprofit designation from the IRS (designation letter and updated letter). This bolstered our ability to solicit donations, and later that year we received a donation in memory of Scott Daniel. We subsequently started the Scott Daniel Fund to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT) individuals in recovery. (Learn more about Scott Daniel and the Scott Daniel Fund). During 2010, we began participating in a national dialog around recovery housing and the need for a common language, standards, and a national organization. This dialog eventually lead to the formation of the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR). Learn more by reading the 2010 Impact Report.
This was a turning point year. Through the support of the Scott Daniel Fund, the Gay/Bi Men’s home was able to move to a larger, remodeled home, expand its capacity, and become self sustainable. The recovery home continues to thrive to this day. At the same time the emerging National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) was looking for a nonprofit in Texas to become the state NARR affiliate. So, in April 2011, SoberHood sold the Gay/Bi Men’s Recovery Home in order to remove any conflict of interest and launched the Texas Recovery Oriented Housing Network (TROHN). In September 2011, TROHN was inducted as a founding member of the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR). With that, SoberHood shifted away from being a direct recovery support service provider towards a statewide training, certification, technical assistance, and advocacy organization. Learn more by reading the 2011 Impact Report.
As the NARR Affiliate, the Texas Recovery Oriented Housing Network (TROHN) was responsible for certifying recovery housing that met the national standard. Because Texas is geographically the size of California and Nevada combined, we developed local TROHN coalitions in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Houston. (see annual report). 2012 was also the year we launched a podcast called RecoveryPeople. At the time, we had no idea that a name and concept would outgrow its parent, SoberHood. To learn more, read our 2012 Impact Report.
Despite lack of funding, the Texas Recovery Oriented Housing Network (TROHN) had certified 56 recovery residences operated by 26 providers representing 597 beds from Houston to El Paso, and from South Padre Island to Lubbock by 2013. This is also when the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) voted SoberHood/TROHN’s Executive Director, Jason Howell, as the NARR Board President. Hesitant to shift limited resources from the state to the national level, a longview strategic decision was made to address national barriers that would have continued to undermine statewide expansion of the TROHN certification program. By providing leadership at the national level, RecoveryPeople (then known as SoberHood) was able to access national information channels, networks, and platforms. This quickly opened doors to leadership opportunities such as participating on an advisory board defining national Practices Standards for Peer Delivered Services.
At the state level, we launched our Workforce Development Program, becoming a Peer Recovery Support (PRS) / Peer Recovery Coach Trainer. We also became more adept at advocacy, participating in the state Analysis of Impediments process, and testifying at public hearings around fair housing rights. To learn more, read the 2013 Impact Report.
We hit a funding milestone in 2014, winning a 6-month SAMSHA Million Hearts grant in January, and winning a 3-year SAMHSA RCSP Statewide Network grant and a 1-year SAMHSA Recovery and Resiliency grant in October. For the first time we were able to hire full-time staff and contractors. Prior, staff volunteered for the nonprofit in their spare time and worked day jobs to make ends meet. In 2014, we moved into our first office space, which was donated by Infinite Recovery. To learn more, read the 2014 Impact Report.
Time flew by in 2015 as we launched numerous programs funded by the Statewide Network and the Recovery and Resiliency grants. In addition, we won a BRSS TACS contract to develop a Peer Healthcare Advocate (PHA) curriculum nicknamed #HellYes4Recovery. We also expanded our advocacy efforts, joining the Substance Use Disorder Coalition of Texas (SUD-C) and tracking bills during the 84th Texas Legislature. To learn more, read the 2015 Impact Report.
We more than doubled our funding support in 2016, winning a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Enhancement Training (BHWET) grant, along with our existing SAMHSA Statewide Network and Recovery and Resiliency grants. At this point, we had become seasoned at delivering federal grants and developed a reputation for being entrepreneurial, quickly adapting to challenges and embracing continuous quality improvement. Our culture and identity matured as a statewide social impact network, and we developed an 18-month advocacy program aimed at the 85th Texas legislature. To learn more, read the 2016 Impact Report.
Our 18-month advocacy program was very successful, and we immediately started working with partners to replicate it going forward. Peers were more engaged in the legislative process than ever before, contributing to the Peer Support Bill passing unopposed. The HRSA grant allowed us to expand our workforce development program to include a Recovery Residence Manager training, which attracted students from 12 different states in 2017. Across the HRSA and SAMHSA grant, we held 3 recovery retreats, which were very well received, and gave us a successful event format that we will build upon in the future.
Officially rebranded to RecoveryPeople. Given 3 years of phenomenal growth driven by consecutive federal grants, it was time for a facilitated strategic planning process that solicited input from individuals who had participated in our programming: stakeholders, staff and Board Members. The process was transformative and brought new clarity for our future. The input we received overwhelmingly pointed us towards rebranding SoberHood into RecoveryPeople, because it better translates our mission and scope. To learn more, read our 2017 Impact Report.