Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Friday, December 31, 2010

We approach the New Year with optimism. I'm not sure what that's based on. Maybe it's just because we have a new calendar, a new slate to write on.

The past 30 months have been the most challenging since Transitional Living Communities opened its doors. We’ve faced one financial hurdle after another. Because of the employment situation our clients have a tough time finding work. Even though we’ve set up employment centers, many are still having difficulty.

But we’ve somehow managed to pay most of our bills in a timely manner. We’ve had to hold off paying property taxes until right down to the wire.

We've tightened our belt in many areas. We sold half our vehicles to cut expenses on maintenance, insurance, and fuel costs. And, unfortunately, we've had to lay off some key personnel. We spent a lot of time shopping for inexpensive insurance. Many of our landlords agreed to cut lease and mortgage payments until times get better.

A constant source of amusement is when clients say "TLC is all about the money." Many of them have never faced responsibility or paid a fee for anything. So the $110 a week that they pay to be in our program is a challenge. Somehow they think because we’re a nonprofit they can live with us for free. They believe we get money from the government and therefore they shouldn't have to pay. The idea we get funding is a myth. Our money comes either from our business operations or service fees paid by our clients. And reality is that there are very few places one can live, unless it's home with mommy and daddy, for less than $110 a week.

What are we going to do different in 2011? Not much. We’re going to continue helping addicts and alcoholics. And hopefully we'll find creatve new ways to help them..