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.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gay Friendly

Since opening January 9, 1992 TLC has welcomed members of the gay and transgender community. But something we've done differently this year is to offer separate housing near our Roosevelt facility for gay male clients. The house has approximately a dozen beds. And they were filled within a few weeks.

Management doesn’t assign clients to this house. Clients who want to live there make a request. And it is normally granted if space is available.

The same rules apply there as at any other house. No sex on the property. No violence or threats of violence. Break no laws. No chronic bad attitudes. Submit to drug testing. The same rules that apply to any other part of the program.

So why did we open a special house for gay clients? For one reason, we wanted to respond to their needs. We had heard scuttlebutt from time to time that TLC was not "gay friendly." And while that isn't true – and never has been – we wanted to change that perception if it did exist.

We were aware that some clients might be critical of these clients' sexual orientation. And for that reason we wanted to offer a safe and welcoming environment.

TLC does not discriminate against any group, regardless of age, race or sexual orientation. In fact, the only people we don't accept are arsonists and those arrested or convicted of sex crimes.

Our belief is that anyone has a right to recover in a safe, positive environment and we’re making every effort to offer that.

In fact, this coming year - because of the demand - we are looking for additional housing for gay clients.

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