You hear a lot about recovery houses in Frankford but I had never visited one so I asked Jeanna Goodwin, president of New Desires Inc., if I could stop by and talk to her. Tuesday morning we sat down in the twelve foot high ceilinged front room of New Desires on Leiper Street and I asked some questions.
New Desires was founded by Jeanna’s father, the late Fred Courduff, about 12 years ago. He didn’t set out to start a recovery house. It evolved from his desire to help others find the path to recovery that he, himself, was on. New Desires now has two houses, both on Leiper Street, serving about 30 residents.
What does New Desires do? They provide a place and structure for people who are trying to get their lives back together and move away from addiction. They come voluntarily and stay as long as necessary. They are not committed by the judicial system or anything like that.
New Desires, Inc.’s Residential Recovery Houses are community based, peer-group oriented, residential facilities that provides food, shelter, and recovery services in a supportive, non-drinking, drug-free environment for alcoholics and other drug addicts. Services provided by our recovery house include individual and group recovery planning, alcohol and other drug recovery education, group support, recreational activities, and information about and assistance in obtaining health, vocational, and other community services.
Some residents stay on more or less permanently as they might in one of the other boarding houses you find here and there in Frankford. Of course they are free to leave at any time and some do. A supervisor is always on duty to ensure that the program is being followed and the rules are enforced.
Jeanna co-founded the Frankford Recovery House coalition a few years ago to attempt to unite the legitimate recovery houses in the face of unfavorable publicity. There are five organizations within the coalition at present. Jeanna is well aware of the problem caused by recovery houses that merely take a check and provide no services to their residents.
This is not an endorsement of New Desires but rather an attempt to understand what we are talking about in regard to recovery houses.