Archive for 2020

  • Program Updates

    “I can’t do this by myself. I need other people.”

    - by Brooke Russell
    “When I was early in sobriety, and all the guilt and shame I was going through, Recovery Beyond was the first good thing that I was involved in, that made me feel good about myself, and gave me hope for my future.
    All the love and support that I received from everyone who was a part of Recovery Beyond was life changing for me.
    It transformed my life, and I am forever grateful to Recovery Beyond for this.”

    Help 50 people struggling with Substance Use Disorder to live a healthier 2021

    To achieve this we need 50 people to invest $35/month.

    Help Us Help Others!

  • Program Updates

    “We do recover. That’s the greatest thing.”

    - by Brooke Russell
    Nature is healthy. It allows us to see that a lot of things are so much bigger than us.
    It puts us at ease to be able to see the different things we are surrounded with that are not screaming back at us.
    Today, I’m out of addiction and into recovery, and we do recover. That’s the greatest thing.
    Relationships are important because we were not put on this world to do life alone. Through struggle, through laughter, through crying, through daily activity… That’s what it’s about.

    Help 50 people struggling with Substance Use Disorder to live a healthier 2021

    To achieve this we need 50 people to invest $35/month.

    Help Us Help Others!

  • Program Updates

    “I don’t believe in sitting on the sidelines”

    - by Brooke Russell

    “I don’t believe in sitting on the sidelines when I see our communities being torn apart by folks because they have to live on the streets.

    People don’t suffer from substance abuse because they’re homeless. They’re homeless because they suffer from substance abuse.

    The big problem is that folks coming out of their treatment programs really fall off a cliff. They go back to their same apartment, their same job, their same associates… So what Recovery Recovery Beyond does is provide ongoing support.

    I am so passionate about this because I’ve seen really good lives get wrecked by substance abuse. Seeing the transformation was too much to let go.

    Help 50 people struggling with Substance Use Disorder to live a healthier 2021

    To achieve this we need 50 people to invest $35/month.

    Help Us Help Others!

  • Program Updates

    Opportunities Abound With New Growth At Recovery Beyond…

    - by Gina Haines

    For almost 4 years we have embarked on a monumental effort to transform the way we approach addiction-related illness in our society. The results move us every day.

    When Mark Ursino and I began talking about the Climbing Out Of Homelessness program and transform it into a viable non-profit to tackle addiction recovery, I couldn’t have imagined the journey we were about to take. All along it was a labor of love and an effort to bring the organization to a place of maturity where it could grow, thrive, and serve more people than we ever could have initially imagined. That day we envisioned has now arrived and it’s time for a full-time team to take us to the next level.

    Over the last few months, the board has embarked on interviewing and hiring a new full-time team to take our programs to the next level. I am beyond pleased to introduce you to our new CEO and Executive Director, Brooke Russell who will lead the team which now consists of Maury Robertson as Director of Investments and Partnerships and Jess Villarreal as Senior Program Manager. These dynamic individuals are beyond excited for this adventure and are already making waves and translating their ideas into meaningful program enhancements. To learn more about our new team members, please visit our Team Page on the website.

    Nate Lanting will be moving to new adventures in his life and career starting in June. For the last 3 1/2 years, he has served as our fearless Program Manager, leading all operational duties and ensuring that a nurturing and caring environment is in place through all of our programs and activities. He has made the monumental climb both literally and figuratively, over-and-over. His work and dedication to building a robust volunteer network and a pack of enthusiastic supporters have made this organization what it is today. His mentorship has meant meaningful sobriety for many individuals who have gone through the program. He will be greatly missed, but will always have a place and a home at Recovery Beyond where we know his legacy will leave a lasting impact.

    As I move into retirement, I will continue to serve on the board of Recovery Beyond. I look forward to being a source of guidance and support as this amazing team ramps up their efforts and brings us to a whole new playing field of non-profit growth.

    As we make this leap forward, I want to issue a challenge to you. A challenge to reach deep, even in this difficult and uncertain times, and make a contribution to this worthy cause. In honor of Nate, myself, or a loved one who has been impacted by the ravaging effects of addiction-related illnesses.

    Please join me in welcoming Brooke, Maury, and Jess to the team. The future is bright for this organization and with expanded programming, the future will be bright for so many seeking a pathway out of a life of addiction and towards lasting recovery.

    It has been more than a pleasure to serve as the CEO and Executive Director of Recovery Beyond these past 4 years. Thank you to Mark Ursino for placing so much trust and financial support behind our efforts and for allowing us to make the bold and innovative leaps to creating the non-profit we see today.

    May we continue to build a Community of Compassion that truly helps those with substance use disorders, find a path back to fully functioning lives.

    In peace,

    Gina Haines
    Executive Director, Recovery Beyond

  • Program Updates

    West Tiger 3: Journey to the Summit

    - by Anna Shaffer

    Recovery Beyond’s Climbing Out program participants continued to build up their fitness during the third conditioning hike of the season Feb. 8 in the Issaquah Alps.

    Though it was a drizzly morning, spirits were sunny as Recovery Beyond Program Manager Nate Lanting kicked things off with a demonstration of the rest step and how to walk with hiking poles. Participants and volunteers laughed as they shared their favorite midnight snacks which ranged from jalapeno poppers to popcorn and ice cream.

    Then a profound question was posed for the group to contemplate: What do we take with us or leave behind when we’re on the trail? Whether it’s emotional baggage, anxiety or something troubling that happened the past week, do we take the time to reflect on it while we’re putting one foot in front of the other surrounded by the healing power of nature? Or do we engage with those around us and leave all those worries behind? The group got the opportunity to do both as they set off from the parking lot and headed up West Tiger 3.

    This close-to-town leg-burner isn’t easy as it winds steadily uphill on old logging roads through a rejuvenating forest, but the team enjoyed the journey along with a few sun-breaks as they connected and continued to get to know each other. “Every time I come out with this group, I feel genuinely loved,” one participant said. Spending time with people who want to get to know you, listen without judgment, and support you in your quest to build a healthy lifestyle for lasting recovery is a powerful thing!

    Recovery Beyond’s outdoor recovery community gives all those deciding to get clean and sober a safe place to belong, healing relationships that last a lifetime, and healthy active hobbies. Each of these critical success factors for long-term sobriety came into play during the hike as past adventures, upcoming hikes, questions about life and personal stories were shared.

    “The time goes by quick this way, and it can keep us out of our own heads where we sometimes just don’t need to be,” said Recovery Beyond volunteer Scott Brown. “We all have our own way out here in nature, but we must remember to embrace that healing power of it however we see fit for ourselves.”

    The Climbing Out outdoor recovery program is offered free of charge to participants in Tacoma Rescue Mission’s addiction recovery programs. This year the Climbing Out team is preparing to climb Mt. Adams in June and Mt. Baker in July, and this was the third of a series of required conditioning hikes which will get progressively harder as the climb dates approach. Learn more about our Climbing Out program.

    Our participants crushed West Tiger 3 and celebrated with a leap of joy at the summit! Our next hike is Mt. Si which gains 3,100 feet in a little under 4 miles. It’s a big step up, but participants will be training hard the next two weeks and will no doubt arrive ready for the challenge.

    Our efforts are largely driven by the commitment and compassion of our volunteers and donors. Please help us change lives, support our program climbers and expand the program to more participants. Make a gift and sign up to volunteer today.

  • Program Updates

    Little Si: Let the Conditioning Begin!


    - by Katie Zeitler

    This past Saturday, program participants in our Climbing Out program and volunteers from Recovery Beyond went on the first conditioning hike of the season. It was a rainy morning – very rainy. Not a surprise for the Seattle area, but it felt wetter than usual. As a matter of fact, it ended up being the wettest hike in Recovery Beyond memory. Just about everyone was soaked toward the end. Despite the rain, spirits were impressively high. Everyone in the group chose to have a positive attitude and to enjoy the journey and experience with one another. It was incredible to be able to connect with each other while strategically sidestepping puddles on the trail…or just walking right through them.

    The group at the trailhead. Photo credit: Scott Brown

    Love of family, forgiveness, reconciliation, how we’ve ended up where we are, making changes to support a healthy lifestyle, Frozen, and favorite colors were all topics of conversation. Spending time with supportive people who listen and understand, do not pass judgment, and want to get to know you is a beautiful thing. It was uplifting to be around a group of individuals all driven by the same goal: to build healthy lifestyles for lasting recovery.

    Group 3: Hiking up. Photo credit: Katie Zeitler

    Group 2, Hiking down. Photo credit: Katie Zeitler

    Almost back to the trailhead. Photo credit: Katie Zeitler

    Recovery Beyond program participants are residents of addiction recovery programming at Tacoma Rescue Mission and Seattle Union Gospel Mission. Recovery Beyond offers our signature “Climbing Out” program, an outdoor therapeutic program, to these individuals free of charge. Conditioning hikes and other meetups are requirements to be on the climbing team or backpacking team. This year, the climbing team is training to climb Mount Baker, and Little Si was the first of many conditioning hikes.

    Little Si will be a hike to remember. Thank you to our program participants for showing up and kicking butt, our partners TRM and SUGM, and our amazing team of volunteers.

    The group at the summit. Photo credit: Scott Brown

    Next hike: Poo Poo Point.

    We love our volunteers and couldn’t do what we do without you. To volunteer, sign-up here 

    To support our programming and make a difference in someone’s life, make a gift here 

    To learn more about our climbing team and view our schedule, click here

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