Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

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

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


An upset mother, who describes herself as Mexican, sends me an email accusing our organization of being "racist."

It seems that she went to one of our facilities in Phoenix to leave her daughter some sodas and snacks. The manager at the facility, however, wouldn't allow her to leave everything she brought. The problem was that there wasn't enough storage space for all the things she wanted to leave.

She was told that she could bring the rest of the items the following week, once her daughter went through the things that she had left her.  But the mother claimed she wasn't allowed to leave the items because we were "racist" toward Mexicans.

I answered her email, telling her she could call me and we'd discuss the specifics of what happened with her and her daughter and our manager. I've had no response at this writing.

It probably would've been an interesting conversation. Because the truth is, our organization is one of the least prejudice that I know. For years we've had minority managers of every belief and description.

Plus, we have LBGT houses that have around 40 to 50 residents - some of them also people of color.

And more interesting is that one of our key executives – for many years – was married to a Latina. And our CEO, not only has Latino children but is also married to a black woman.

Our organization may be many things, but being racist is not one of them.