S.H., a Former Resident

I was the very first resident of LaVare’s House in December, 2014. “Patient Zero!”

 

I will never forget the day Director Daniel Wilson picked me up at the hospital to bring me to the house. I was terrified and in rough shape from a lengthy binge/relapse but with Daniel I instantly knew I was safe and in very capable, caring hands. I got a sponsor, started working the steps, attended an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) and truly began my recovery journey. I learned how to ask for help, take care of myself and also learned how to live with and accept others

 

The House quickly became my home and the friendships and experiences I had there have forever changed me for the better. I stayed for 2 years and was reluctant to leave in the end. LaVare’s House is a refuge for anyone seeking a welcoming, non-judgmental sanctuary of recovery; a unique place where we LGBTQ people can come together and learn to live happy, joyous, free and sober lives. If you truly want to recover from alcoholism and/or addiction, LaVare’s House is a magnificent place to do so!

C.C., a Former Resident

I came into this process broken in mind, body and soul. I had to start over; start from scratch. If it were not for the advice of two people I would not be here today. One of those people was Daniel Wilson, the founder of LaVare’s House and The LaVare Leith Foundation in Durham, NC. The day I met Daniel was the last day in active addiction.

 

LaVare’s House had been open only a month when I met Daniel. We met at his office at the newly open facility and he spoke from a place I could understand. He said, “If you follow my suggestions, you can enter our program.” He referred me to detox first and then to R.J. Blackley (ADAC) in Butner, NC. I took his suggestions.

 

After completing the recommended treatment, I moved into LaVare’s House on January 30th, 2015. That one action changed my life forever. LaVare’s House has made an indelible mark on my life that words can never describe. I became a different person--a whole person. It had been twenty years since I had felt this together. I became honest, trustworthy, teachable and willing to do anything necessary to stay sober. Eventually, I became the house manager and stayed in that position until after completing training. I became gainfully employed as a peer support specialist in addiction. I left LaVare’s House on April 19th, 2017.

 

As a peer support specialist, I now have the opportunity to help others in their journey just as LaVare’s House helped me. I am beyond grateful everyday for the friendships and love I found at LaVare’s House and hope many others find the help they need as well.

G.R., a Former Resident

Ever feel like you pushed something or someone as far as you possibly could without causing a negative outcome? That's where I was a few years ago. Because of my 25-year relationship with drugs and specifically 15-year addiction to meth, I was completely and utterly broken as a human being.


My family was making plans to permanently cut me out of their lives because they could no longer sit and watch me slowly kill myself. I was about to be fired from my career of seven years. I was experiencing so many health issues, it was a miracle I was still standing. I could no longer afford to pay the most basic of utility bills since my money was all going towards fueling my addiction. I could literally feel myself getting dumber by the day with the damage I was causing my brain. The very few friends I had left, had had about as much as they could possibly take. I was so depressed, and in despair, that I was seriously considering ending my life to just make the pain stop.


Then it happened. My mom came across something called Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) and shortly after that I moved into the place that would change my life forever.

 

I spent the next two years RETHINKING EVERYTHING. I lived with people who experienced the same things I had and whose lives were just as screwed up as mine. It was the greatest decision I had ever made.


Through Lavare's house, Daniel Wilson, CMA, my numerous sponsors, and my new recovery family, I re-wired my brain to live life on life's terms, and not on my own. I met new people that I will be proud to call my friends until the day I die.


Now that I have moved out and started my life over, everything has gotten better--and I mean everything. I never would have been able to get my life back on track without Lavare's House holding me accountable. I am honored to have been a "graduate" of this place, and will keep it in my prayers until the day I take my last breath.

 

Mother of former resident

Twelve to fifteen years ago my son began the journey of crystal methamphetamine.  I watched the erratic behavior, lies, deterioration, and hopelessness as he continued his downward spiral. I asked, "Why him? How could he? What as a parent did I do wrong?" As a mental health professional, I wondered why couldn't I fix it? It both angered and broke my heart. As I finally reached the point as both a parent and an individual crying for help--any help--I knew for my own sanity it was time to let go. What an antagonizing choice!

 

Very shortly thereafter while searching the internet I found a site for Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA). What's that? I wondered. I gave the telephone number to my son as we parted ways and I told him I would help him if he ever chose to help himself. Though I loved him deeply I could no longer face the destruction and aching in my heart. He called the CMA number and he found Daniel Wilson, who somehow became an immediate guiding angel/cut-the-crap kind of guy. My son went to Lavare's House in Durham, NC. I can not say what happened there but in his own darkest moments began the journey and hard work of sobriety, consistent and clean actions, honesty and forgiveness of self.

 

It all began with Daniel, his own poignant story, other struggling and hardworking participants, clean living and rules. I can in no way ever express my gratitude to the other members of Lavare's House and Daniel Wilson. He helped my son to begin the tumultuous road of recovery with hard work and hope. As a parent I know now that my son has the ongoing formula and continuing support to live a full life. I thank you, Daniel Wilson, for your own astuteness of need, your quality of character and follow up of your superior program at Lavare's House, Durham, NC.

 

And, lastly, I love you my Son.

Check out this great article on LaVare's House in Indy Week:

LaVare’s House Is a Much-Needed Durham Haven for LGBTQIA People in Addiction Recovery

NPR Radio interview with Daniel Wilson on LaVares House and the foundation he started.

Durham LGBT Addiction Recovery Center A First Of Its Kind In The ...

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