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 12, 2015

Everyone Pays

Mothers often call asking about treatment or counseling for their children.

They want the best for their child. Professional counseling. Drug and alcohol education. Comfortable living quarters.

And I assure them that we offer these as a component of our program. And they tell me that's what they want. Then they want to know what the next step is. How do they get their child into the program?

I tell them to give me their insurance information and we'll proceed from there. It's not unusual for me to hear a period of silence after that.

Then finally she'll say something like "you mean this costs money? I thought this was a non-profit?"

And that's when I get an opportunity to practice tolerance and patience. I don't explain to them that even non-profits have a lot of expenses and overhead - as does every other business.

I don't bother to tell her that the only difference between a non-profit and for profit is where the money goes. In a non-profit the money goes to support the mission. In a for profit the money goes to the owners or stockholders. It's as basic as that.

Sometimes folks have the idea that non-profits are government supported. And a few are. But, in our case, we raise all our own funds and sometimes stretch a bit to meet our obligations. The government has never given us a penny.

It would be nice to tell mothers that we'll take their addict children and help them change their lives for free - but that's not how the world works.

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