I am writing because I understand we have a common goal.
As the founder of Recovery Boot Camp and Healing Properties Sober Living, I would like to tell you about what inspired me to work in addiction treatment, and what makes Recovery Boot Camp so unique.
In March 2002, with a year and a half of sobriety, I fulfilled a dream that I had tried to achieve multiple times before sobriety but, as a result of my alcoholism and drug addiction, I failed to realize. At 19 years old, I started my career as a real estate salesman, and my dream was to own investment properties.
As I planned my purchase I came to realize Delray Beach was becoming the sober living capital of the world. Given the fact that I had spent significant time in many different halfway houses and sober living communities throughout my addiction, I felt opening a halfway house would be a wonderful way for me to meld my two passions: real estate and sobriety.
Soon after making this decision, I opened the doors of my new halfway house determined to beat all the competition in the quality of the facility and sobriety. The first six months after opening our doors were the most difficult. I quickly realized I had no idea of what I was getting into! As a young businessman, my goal was to make it work financially with five beds, but also to supply a home where recovering people could get sober. How naive I was to think that everyone in a Delray Beach halfway house wanted to get sober and would be working a Twelve-Step program. At my first house meetings, I would pull out my copy of the “Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous” and, to my horror, my tenants would look at the book as if they had never heard or seen it before. I was amazed, and saddened that these men had never been exposed to “the Solution” to their problem.
It was at that time that I had to make a decision. From that moment forward, the whole focus of Healing Properties Sober Living shifted away from the business aspect and towards introducing my halfway house tenants to the power and the miracle of Alcoholics Anonymous. I felt that my own sobriety would be threatened if I did not help these suffering alcoholics the way that I was so freely helped. The success of Healing Properties is the most powerful testament in my life to the power of sobriety through the Twelve Steps, and it’s because of this success that I founded Recovery Boot Camp, in 2015.
I believed (and still believe now) that if as long as my focus remains the sincere desire to help those who come through Healing Properties and Recovery Boot Camp’s doors, God will take care of each entity financially. Every decision that we make in regards to the status of our clients is in their best interest (drawn from my own experience with sobriety and newcomers) and is never guided by financial considerations. We are committed to ensure that all of our clients will have heard the Solution of Alcoholics Anonymous at least one time in their lives! At a minimum it will be during their time with us here in Delray Beach.
As I built Healing Properties, I was simultaneously developing my own sobriety and sense of peace. At this time, my brother was struggling with the grip of addiction and trying to get sober again after several relapses. It was very difficult to watch my parents go through the painful experience of “trying to get him sober.” I didn’t understand their powerlessness, and I watched their hopes crushed and their tears fall right before my eyes. One of the worst experiences of my life was when I was called by my father to come to my brother’s apartment. When I arrived my brother was locked in his apartment, smoking crack. My father was in the front yard, tears streaming down his cheeks. Defeated, he whispered, “What do I do?” This was the second time in my life that I had seen my father cry. The first time was after one of my brother’s many surgeries for the cancer that he struggled with his whole life. The only thing that I could say was, “Let him find his bottom, and when it’s time he will ask for help.”
I hear the same cry of helplessness and plea for help far too often from the parents of the sons that are entrusted to me. I know firsthand that this is a family disease and the family heals in tandem as the alcoholic gets sober. My hope is that I can give parents solace and peace of mind while their sons stay at Recovery Boot Camp and Healing Properties. This is a responsibility that I am 100% committed to fulfilling for the long run.
Over the past several years, I have witnessed how the power of God, Alcoholics Anonymous and our program’s philosophy works in so many lives. Miracles happen everyday around me. At Recovery Boot Camp and Healing Properties, we strive to create an environment for success. In addition to formulating an effective philosophy and set of rules, I have organized the financial requirements for admission into our programs in the fairest way possible.
At Recovery Boot Camp and Healing Properties, we admit clients that are dedicated to our philosophy and the goal of long-lasting sobriety. We have an amazing group of men working through the Twelve-Step program. I firmly refuse to endanger any of our clients’ sobrieties by introducing someone who may bring chaos into their lives just so we can fill a bed. Maintaining the integrity of our recovery community in both of our programs is our top priority.
What I needed most in my life when I became sober was structure, accountability and responsibility. As it says in our book, “…alcoholics are undisciplined, so we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined [i.e. Step Work]…” (page 88). By working through the Twelve Steps, I developed the discipline needed to live life beyond my wildest dreams. This is why the programs at Recovery Boot Camp and Healing Properties are structured as they are. The rules that we have established are no different than if one was living the principles of the Twelve Step program independently in their lives.
Together, Recovery Boot Camp and Healing Properties work together to create the most effective recovery journey for men. After working through our treatment program at Recovery Boot Camp, men can move to a sober living environment at Healing Properties, a place where men can try out life on life’s terms with new “sober shoes”. Both of our programs are focused on creating a sense of community and camaraderie among our clients, creating a supportive, safe place where men can share in each other’s struggles and encourage each other in sobriety.
I believe wholeheartedly in the final product of our programs. In fact, I believe so much that my entire staff consists of program alumni. Today, I am surrounded by my staff who have a deeply rooted allegiance to Recovery Boot Camp and Healing Properties, and how each of these programs transforms lives. This results in an undying dedication to the success and quality of our programs, more than I could have ever dreamed. We love our programs, we love our sobrieties and we love every new client that we admit into our program.
I invite you to come see what we do, anytime. Our doors are always open.
Founder and CEO, Recovery Boot Camp/Healing Properties