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My Story of Recovery

Hello, My name is Katherine M.

I am a recovering alcoholic/addict and this is my story.

I thought there was no other way for me to stop using drugs and alcohol, until I went into Empire Recovery Center in Redding, Ca. I was tired of using. I was interested, desperate, and willing to stay and hear what suggestions they had to offer me, because my way brought me to zero. I lost everything; family, children, job, and I lost myself. I hated myself.

They told me they would help me get my life together. They offered me love, shelter, food, and most importantly, knowledge(facts) about myself.They had a schedule for my whole day. It was completely different from the schedule I had in my life. I had a person to talk to and listen to me without judging me or putting me down. They called her a counselor. She made me feel like I had a purpose in life, and when my 45 days were up, I didn't want to go. I was scared. I wanted to continue with living sober.

The Empire introduced me to my problem and a solution (God). I prayed a lot. I was also able to move forward in my recovery.

I wanted to come back to Los Angeles.

Remember, before entering Empire I was at zero. I had no money, but I did have a God now. I believe that God works through people. Empire donated me a ticket to Los Angeles and made phone calls to where the new recovery home I was going to would pick me up at the bus station.

My desperation grew stronger to stay sober. I was on my way to a better life with God. I was picked up by Victory Outreach. I just knew they would teach me all I needed to know about God. After being there a month I went to court to see where I stood at getting my daughter back. The courts told me I needed to go to a different program. I had known about the House of Uhuru, so after court I went to the House of Uhuru. They told me there was an opening, and to come back the next day with my clothes. I went back to Victory Outreach and told them what had happened, and they told me I was going to be all right 'cause God is with me. The next day I went to Uhuru and was admitted right away. I was on my way, me and God.

The House of Uhuru had my whole day planned. They offered me the same thing that was offered to me at the Empire Recovery Center: a new way of living. Today I have 21 months clean. I have full custody of my daughter. I am attending school for massage therapy. I will graduate in June.

....Katherine M.

More Personal Accounts

Vignettes of ERC Residents... There are hundreds of great success stories coming out of the ERC. These are are just a few of them:

What has the Empire Done for me?


I'm grateful to have been able to start my recovery within these walls and for the caring people who encouraged me to go on and believed that I was worth something. I didn't have to ask for their support. It was freely given to me.

The Empire Recovery Center has taught me how to live life on life's terms. I came with absolutely nothing but the clothes on my back. A year later I have my family, a job, and I am happy, joyous and free. I have integrity.

The Empire Recovery Center gave me new perspective on life. It taught me discipline and it has taught me how to live life.


A Native American Resident

One of the great success stories is that of Ms. X, a Native American who went on to become a certified counselor and has helped other Native Americans for the past seventeen years.

Ms. X said, ?I have always found ERC to be a program that I could use to send our native people to for culturally sensitive primary residential treatment. ERC is a very active part of this community and a strong advocate for recovery. They have always tailored treatment for our Native American clients in the way of providing and seeking out resources to accommodate our people." (i.e. medicine people, ceremonies, and elders).

The ERC "Saved Her Life"

Today, as I was leaving after our 9 a.m. meeting, I was approached by a young lady working in the ERC kitchen. She introduced herself to me. We had talked briefly before the meeting as I was getting my morning coffee.

She asked me what kind of work I did for the Empire Recovery Center. I told her that I was working to get funding for the Recovery Center. She then thanked me for helping ERC and stated, "If it wasn't for the people working at the Empire Recovery Center, I would be dead. They saved my life. I love these people. After my recovery, they sent me away but I had to come back after just one day. That is how much these people mean to me." I congratulated her on her successful recovery.

Another great ERC success story. (Bob Penkivich, ERC Grant Writer)

Two Years of Sobriety

My name is Mr. ______; I am Native American of the Creek and Caddo Nations. I am a recovering alcoholic. Recently I was fortunate to experience my second year of Sobriety. Through the guidance and influence that was demonstrated at the Empire Recovery Center I was given the tools necessary to complete a 90-day program which I continue to use today. I am fortunate, I am in recovery. There are those that are still trapped by Alcoholism or Drug Addiction and haven?t had the opportunity to be introduced to the life-saving tools the program offers.

Today I live a life filled with happiness and gratitude. As I go through my daily prayers I am thankful for each day and to all those that have contributed to the operation of the Empire Recovery Center. My kids, my family and I am truly Blessed to have been given the opportunity to follow this life-saving path.

A Recovering Drug Addict

I am a Native American from three affiliated tribes. I am a recovering drug addict that was introduced to the twelve steps at the Empire Recovery Center (ERC). I successfully completed a 60-day program and I am very grateful to the Redding Rancheria for providing the funds which enabled me to enter into the program. In February of this year, I celebrated 2 years of sobriety.

I am in the process of changing my life, as well as the lives of other women. I have made a conscious and deliberate choice to move from the path previously chosen to a path of honesty and sobriety. My personal mission is to help women exiting the prison system, offering them some small tools to provide a better start on their new path.

Rob's Experience at the ERC

My name is Rob.I was a resident at the Empire Recovery Center for fifty-six days. I received my certificate of completion from the ERC on May 17, of this year. Since leaving the Empire, I have resided in a sober living home... It would be my pleasure, at this time, to share my experience there, and the ongoing success in my life, thus far, which I attribute largely to my stay at the Empire.

I really did not want to be there at first. I didn't think it was the kind of thing for me. I didn't know if I would or could stay in a recovery center. Needless to say, I was quite nervous my first day there. My nervousness and skepticism were quickly a thing of the past. To my surprise, I quickly fit right in. The staff at the Empire made sure that I felt very comfortable right from the start. By my third day there I was already getting to know all of the staff and fellow residents alike. Soon I found that I was actually enjoying myself despite the difficult circumstances of recovery.

It wasn't all fun and games however. We residents had to adhere to what, at times, seemed to be a rather rigorous schedule and seemingly strict policies. What seemed to be difficult at the time, however, turned out to be very possibly the most meaningful circumstances of recovery.

The management, advocates (counselors) and volunteers all managed to balance a smooth blend of firmness, softness, understanding, and friendliness to accomplish the agenda at hand: treatment and recovery.

Today I consider them all to be my friends. Some of the best I've ever had.

I know that I can only speak for myself, but I was truly amazed by the whole program. They understood us, and whatever we needed to make our program of recovery a success. There was plenty of one on one time with the advocates and just the right mix of class time, study time, and personal time. The food was great. I loved every meal.

I am a changed person following my stay there. I mean that from my heart. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to stay there in residence and treatment. I'm doing the deal today, and am unbelievably grateful for it.

In closing, I would like to say that I love the Empire Recovery Center and what it has meant for my life. I always will. I realize that this is one person's personal story, but I have now come to know many that have had a similar experience there to my own. Many lives have been changed there for the better.

Sincerely, Rob.

NOTE: These testimonials are taken from previous grant applications. The names are withheld because of a confidentiality agreement between the client and ERC.