Healing Transitions 20th Anniversary Publication

We believe that all people struggling with addiction (especially the homeless, uninsured and underserved) deserve services on demand – as many times as it takes – to find recovery. And we never turn away anyone who’s seeking help.

We believe that all people struggling with addiction (especially the homeless, uninsured and underserved) deserve services on demand – as many times as it takes – to find recovery. And we never turn away anyone who’s seeking help.


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2001 – 2021


Letter from Leadership 4


The Foundational Years (1997–2000)

Linda Strother, Visionary 09 | Fred Barber, The Leader 13

Maria Spaulding, The Personality 15 | Barbara Goodmon, The Powerhouse 17

In the News 19

The Start-Up Years (2001–2005)

West’s Story 24 | Raeford’s Story 29 | Milestones 32

Photo Gallery 33 | In the News 39 | Impact 40

The Expansion Years (2006–2010)

A.J.’s Story 43 | Herb’s Story 45 | Milestones 47

Photo Gallery 47 | In the News 53 | Impact 54

The Sustainability Years (2011–2015)

Jamie’s Story 58 | Paul’s Story 61 | Milestones 63

Photo Gallery 63 | In the News 71 | Impact 72

The Maturation Years (2016–2020)

Maya’s Story 77 | Courtni’s Story 80 | Milestones 82

Photo Gallery 83 | In the News 89 | Impact 90


The Future Years (2021–onward)

Recovery Can’t Wait 92 | Men’s Campus 95

Women’s Campus 97 | Milestones 99


Meet the Bilbros 101 | Our Village 106 | Our Cornerstone 110

“Thank You” 115




Healing Transitions


Looking back.

As I have been reflecting on

the last 20 years of Healing

Transitions’ service to the

community, a question of great

interest to me has been “What

does Healing Transitions mean to

you?” The utility of this question

is that it can be answered by the

individual engaged in services

as well as friends, families,

employers, first responders,

teachers, community partners,

public officials, municipalities,

jails, prisons, probation

officers, colleges/universities,

faith communities, fitness

communities, and hospitals.

Only through asking this question

broadly enough are we able to

begin to better understand the

depth and breadth of the impact

of Healing Transitions as:


low-barriers, services ondemand,

at no cost to

the individual



growth of addiction recovery

mutual aid meetings and

Oxford Houses


alumni who have gone on

to work professionally in

recovery and treatment

settings, interns whose

experience with Healing

Transitions has influenced

the direction of their

careers, a service ethic for

helping others that has been

embodied by many alumni


all of our Healing Transitions

interns, all of the law

enforcement officers who

have toured and attended

educational classes as part of

the CIT program, all of the new

EMS paramedics who spend

time at Healing Transitions

as part of their academy, all

of the Advanced Practice

Paramedics who have spent

time at Healing Transitions and

invited Healing Transitions to

contribute to their educational

training as part of the Mobile

Integrated Health Program,

domestic and international

guests we have hosted (Ghana

and Japan) and elements

of Healing Transitions that

they have incorporated into

their services



the Healing Transitions

participants, alumni, staff,

and volunteers



“ Each individual answer

will be uniquely

painted by our personal


If you are reading this

publication, then there is a strong

chance that you are a past or

current supporter of Healing

Transitions. And whether you

have been with us for a long

time or joined our recovery

village recently, I invite you to

ask yourself that very question:

“What does Healing Transitions

mean to you?” Each individual

answer will be uniquely painted

by our personal experiences.

And by each of us reflecting

on and sharing how we have

been impacted, we collectively

create the tapestry of Healing

Transitions’ impact over the past

two decades.

Looking forward.

As we stride forward into the

coming decades of service to the

community, Healing Transitions

will continue to be guided by our

founding principles of providing

low barriers and services ondemand

as well as being both

peer-driven and recoveryoriented...as

many times as

it takes.

The future of Healing Transitions

will be guided by a desire to

see more people initiate and

sustain recovery. And it will

include the addition of new

principles as we gain more

institutional knowledge of

effective practices, are better

informed by research, and adapt

to the changing needs of the

community (i.e. shifting drug

trends) as well as changes within

behavioral healthcare policies.

Our experience over the past

20 years has already helped

us improve how we support

individuals. Three main examples

of this are:

1. Greater connection to the

community, particularly the

recovery, faith, and fitness


2. Recognition and support of

multiple pathways of recovery

initiation and maintenance.

3. Broadening our core strength,

peer support, to include

outreach to:

a. Those who have not

engaged in Healing

Transitions services

(Rapid Responder program)

b. Those who did not

complete the recovery


c. All individuals over a

longer period of time

As we approach the final stages

of our $16.75 million Recovery

Can’t Wait capital campaign for

our much-needed expansion,

we enter this new season with a

tremendous amount of gratitude

and excitement. Gratitude for

those who have supported us

over two decades and for those

who have allowed us to serve

them when they needed it most.

And excitement for those who

will support us in the future, and

for those whom it is our mission

to continue serving for years

to come.

With gratitude,

Chris Budnick

Executive Director










During the mid-1990’s, Wake County was struggling to address the increasing

number of homeless individuals, two-thirds of whom were identified as also

having an alcohol or other drug problem. Because no shelters would serve

individuals under the influence, street homelessness became a larger problem

resulting in the overuse of jails and emergency departments.

The County formed several committees to explore possible solutions. Their final

recommendation – a non-medical detox, an emergency “wet” shelter, and a longterm

peer-run recovery program (based on a model in Louisville, KY that was

achieving significant results). At the time, official records estimated the number

of homeless individuals to be 1251. Interestingly, quite some time later, the City

assigned 1251 Goode Street as The Healing Place’s official street address. Many

saw this as a sign, with some even calling the campus "God’s four acres."

In 2001, Healing Transitions opened its men’s campus with 165 beds. Then in

2006, the women’s campus was opened with 88 beds. Since its inception, Healing

Transitions has provided a better quality and more economical alternative to

emergency departments, jails, first responders, and the streets.

Wake County

Facts * (1997-2000)

Population 14.8% increase

Homelessness 15.4% decrease

Year Wake Co. Population Homeless Count

1997 551,790 1,856


570,353 1,975


586,940 1,900


633,517 1,571

*Source: United States Census Bureau



Linda Strother


In a world that feels constantly

connected, it’s hard to imagine

a time when “just Google it”

didn’t bring you the answers you

were looking for. But for Linda

Strother, a retired public health

nurse in Wake County, it wasn’t

that easy.

Linda Strother

“For several years, we’d been

working hard to address the

rising homelessness and

addiction problems in the

community, but it wasn’t

enough,” she recalled. “In 1993,

we started to see the rapid rise

of these issues in our community

and the devastation it caused for

so many.”

Back then, Wake County had

just eight detox beds and 26

substance use rehabilitation

beds in the entire county.

The County organized a task

force with several community

partners to find a program

that could address this urgent

need. Linda was volunteered

to serve as the chair of the

committee, but she could’ve

never imagined what that

request would turn into.


“ Bringing The Healing

Place program to

Wake County was like

a dream to me.”

“It scared the liver out of me, to

tell you the truth. Are you kidding

me? I was so frustrated. I was

looking for all kinds of solutions

but nothing suited me. Nothing fit

what I was looking for.”

“Bringing The Healing Place

program to Wake County was

like a dream to me,” Linda shared

fondly. “It was like building the

steps of recovery from nothing

to something. That’s exactly how

I felt about it. It took so many

people. I still don’t know how I

found the program in the first

place. I think it was a Higher

Power. I really do.”

And then it happened. On

January 14, 1997, long after her

teammates had turned off the

lights in the office and left to go

home, Linda was still at her desk,

typing and searching and looking

desperately for something that

would help.

“I stayed in my office until

seven o’clock that night. It was

dark outside. And I wasn’t very

computer literate at all. I put my

finger on the keys, counted to

five, and guess what? The Healing

Place of Louisville, Kentucky

came up on the screen (a site

which, at the time, had only been

viewed 701 times ever). It just

appeared. I got cold chills from

my toes to my head. I had been so

agonized, so tired, so frustrated.

And then there it was.”

Linda presented the program

to her boss, Maria Spaulding,

who was the Director of Wake

County Human Services at the

time. Maria quickly realized

its potential and made it a top

priority for the department. Soon

after, Maria led an 18-person

delegation of community

partners to visit the program

in Kentucky. Three members of

that group – Maria Spaulding,

Barbara Goodmon (Wake County

Human Services board member),

and Fred Barber (Senior Vice

President for Broadcasting at

Capitol Broadcasting Company)

– were so inspired by what they

saw on that trip that they agreed

to do whatever it took to bring

the program to Wake County. The

group, known as The Dynamic

Trio, was born!

When construction began in

2000, Linda and her husband

visited the construction site.

“I kissed the bricks!” Linda said

with a laugh.

Linda shares her reflections

as she looks back on Healing

Transitions’ 20-year history.

“Chris Budnick is the true hero

of this program,” she shared. “He

is the only person who has been

there from the writing of the first

program policies to seeing the

construction of the men’s and

women’s campuses to the dayto-day

joys and challenges of

running Healing Transitions for

all of the 20 years of existence.

He is incredible.”

She also reminisced about

her role in the organization’s

success. “I just felt so good being

a part of Healing Transitions,”

she acknowledged. “Sometimes,

it can be so frustrating to be a

nurse, seeing what we see every

day. But deep down, human

beings can be really good, you

know? We can all make things




“ Maria Spaulding, the Wake County

Human Services Director; Barbara

Goodmon, a member of the Wake

County Human Services Board, and

Fred Barber, Senior Vice President

at Capital Broadcasting Company –

the three people who have worked

tirelessly to bring a local program

of the celebrated Healing Place (a

nonprofit organization based in

Louisville, Kentucky) to Wake County.”

The News & Observer, March 17, 1999






Fred Barber, Maria Spaulding,

and Barbara Goodmon.


Fred Barber (1938-2014)


You can almost hear the smile

spreading on Evelyn Barber’s

face when we start talking about

her late husband, Fred, and one

of the biggest joys of his life – his

work at Healing Transitions.

Healing Transitions became

the greatest passion of Fred’s

life,” she said. “And I felt the

same way. We lost our older

son, Mark, to alcoholism, and

Fred was a recovering alcoholic.

We couldn’t save our son, but

we both felt that our work with

Healing Transitions was a tribute

to him. And if we could help

other parents help their children

save themselves…well it became

very personal to us.”

Fred Barber, along with former

Wake County Human Services

director, Maria Spaulding, and

Barbara Goodmon, former Board

Member at Wake County Human

Services, became known in the

community as the “Dynamic

Trio.” Many who spoke to us for

this series acknowledged that

opening the doors at Healing

Darryl with Evelyn



“ I think to see people go from living on the streets

to living normal life again, it’s very rewarding.”

Transitions 20 years ago would

never have happened without

the trio’s unique combination of

charm, perseverance, and grit.

While the three of them faced

some early challenges trying

to convince local leaders and

donors that this program was a

worthwhile investment for the

community, Evelyn still remembers

those early days fondly.

“I called Fred’s work with

Healing Transitions his ’healthy

obsession.’ And I’m so glad he

found it,” she recalled. “Saturday

nights were our date nights,

and we’d always start them with

his weekly meeting at Healing

Transitions. I’d go with him, and

then we’d go out to get a pancake

or something to eat together

downtown. That was always fun.”

Fast forward twenty years, and

she still sees the rewards of her

husband’s hard work almost daily.

“One of the most exciting and

rewarding things to me has

been encountering people in

jobs around town. People who

completed the program and

are now functioning in the ’real

world.’ That’s just so exciting.

And a lot of them are now giving

back to others. I love to see

people go from living on the

streets to living a normal life

again, it’s very rewarding. My

face lights up every time I think

of it. It’s so heartwarming.”

Evelyn smiled as she added, “I

consider myself a pretty riskaverse

person. But here we were,

Fred and me, Maria and Barbara,

starting something that some

people might say was risky. But

how could you go wrong with

helping others? I never thought

of it as risky at all.”

Evelyn Barber, Kat Thomas,

John T., and Fred Barber



Maria Spaulding


When Maria Spaulding

started her career, she

wasn’t sure what she wanted

to do, but she knew she did not

want to have anything to do with

“disadvantaged people or people

who had a lot of problems.”

You can hear her laugh as she

tells this part of her life story.

“I wanted to work with people

who were healthy, I wanted to

work in economic development

with a lot of money. That’s what

my goal was when I was younger.

Working in human services was a

total accident.”

Call it a “happy accident” then,

because Maria Spaulding’s

work over the span of her 30-

year career in human services

included co-founding Healing

Transitions with Fred Barber

and Barbara Goodmon. She

remembered the day they

decided to make it happen.

“We were on the plane coming

back from that first visit to The

Healing Place in Kentucky, and

we could not get back here

fast enough to start calling

people. We just put our heads

together and said ’Come hell

or high water, we’re bringing

this program to Raleigh, and

nothing is going to stop us’,”

she shared. “And nothing did. It

was wonderful. One of the best

days of my life was when we

opened and probably the most

outstanding thing I feel like

I’ve done in my whole career.

I would never exchange it for

anything. Never.”

Maria recalled the enormous task

her team faced when she was

selected to head up Wake County

Human Services and reorganize

the social services departments

across the county.

“We were working to integrate

our services because we

realized that people never

came to us with one issue, they

came with several issues. If you

weren’t able to address all of

the issues, they would never

become a whole person and

be able to be self-sufficient,

keep their families together,

and stay out of trouble. It just

never worked,” she shared.

“We conducted a survey and

found that the things that kept

people from being successful

were poverty and substance

use problems. And that’s when

we knew we had to find a new

solution to this problem for

our community.”

Even though Healing Transitions

has been open for nearly two

decades now, Maria says she still

hears from people whose lives

have been changed as a result

of the program.

“I remember going to the grocery

store a few years ago and the

cashier said, ’You don’t know me,



but I graduated from Healing

Transitions, and I’ve been sober

for several years now. And you

sent a bedroom furniture set

from your house to help me get

started. I still have that furniture

in my bedroom,’ he told me.”

Maria continued to reflect on

the legacy of her life’s work and

of Healing Transitions’ impact in

the community.

“It’s very gratifying to know you

had a hand in someone’s success

in their life. To see them working,

happy, and back with their family.

It’s tremendous. Believe it or not, I

found my mission. Human services

was the very thing I had run away

from for almost 20 years of my

career. This was the kind of work

that wasn’t work, and it really

became my life’s mission. And I

still love it today!”

“ It’s very gratifying to

know you had a hand

in someone’s success

in their life.”

Maria Spaulding



Barbara Goodmon


When you sit down to hear

the stories of Healing

Transitions’ early days, one story

comes up over and over again.

Each founder interviewed for

this year’s anniversary stories

said, “You have to ask Barbara

about the time we met with

WakeMed.” And then they would

laugh. Naturally this was the

first question we asked Barbara

Goodmon, one of Healing

Transitions co-founders.

“We had decided that WakeMed

had to give us $2 million,”

said Barbara, her voice thick

with pride as she recalled the

meeting that would become the

catalyst for the organization’s

biggest donation at the time.

“They just had to. We had no way

to raise that money alone. The

three of us didn’t know much

about fundraising at the time.

And no one else was going to

give us that kind of money to

invest in a program they had

never seen or heard of.”

Barbara Goodmon



She continued. “The WakeMed

board offered us $1 million, and

I said, ’Thank you, but that’s not

enough.’ They told us to leave and

go wait for them in the hallway.

They talked for a while and then

came out and agreed to give us

the full $2 million. Just like that.”

Barbara, Maria Spaulding (the

former executive director at

Wake County Human Services),

and Evelyn Barber (Capitol

Broadcasting Company’s

former Senior Vice President

for Broadcasting), agreed that

without that donation from

WakeMed, Healing Transitions

may not be around today to

celebrate its 20th anniversary.

“Downtown at that time wasn’t

a nice place. We literally had

no services to help people back

then,” Barbara noted. “The

police would drive homeless

individuals five miles out of town

and drop them off in the middle

of nowhere. Hospitals would

even give money to people to

make them go away. Those were

the options. There were so many

people with nowhere to go and

no help for them.”

At the time, Barbara was serving

on the board of Wake County’s

Human Services department

alongside Maria Spaulding.

They realized the community

desperately needed a better

solution to the problems of

homelessness and substance use,

but no one knew where to turn.

“Linda Strother, a staffer on

Maria’s team at the time, quite

accidentally found this program,”

recalled Barbara. “We went to

Louisville, Kentucky to see The

Healing Place program. We were

blown away. We kept looking for

the problems. It couldn’t really be

this good.”

“When we came back, we got off

the airplane, and Fred, Maria, and

I made a pact that we would see

to it that Healing Transitions was

built. And that’s how it started.”

Barbara, Maria, and Fred were

known around town as the

“Dynamic Trio.” But it wasn’t

always smooth sailing to get

these three to agree as they

worked toward their goal of

opening Healing Transitions.

“Fred was our leader. He was

a great person, and I’m sorry

he isn’t here to celebrate this

with us,” said Barbara. “Fred

and Maria would fuss at each

other all the time. They were

both strong-headed. I mean,

I have a strong personality,

but nothing to beat theirs. But

then, we’d always get done

what we were supposed to get

done. And we got it done right.

It was a mountain of a task,

and we needed to have strong

personalities to get it done.”

Today, Barbara says it’s

incredible to hear the stories

of the thousands of men and

women whose lives have been

changed for the better because

of Healing Transitions’ work in

the community.

“We had more disbelievers

than believers when we first

started,” added Barbara. “But

look at it today. When I pass

by Healing Transitions, it’s

remarkable. They’re known far

and wide. Healing Transitions

has helped to make Raleigh

what it is today.”

Healing Transitions has helped to make Raleigh

what it is today."







The News & Observer, March 17, 1999

The News & Observer, November 27, 1998

The News & Observer, June 28, 2000


Centennial Campus, July 9, 1999

The News & Observer, July 7, 1999

The News & Observer, November 27, 1998

The News & Observer,

July 23, 1999



Jay Davidson,President/CEO of The Healing

Place of Louisville and Maria Spaulding at

the Dedication Ceremony held May 2, 2001.






On January 15, 2001, after years of research, collaboration, planning,

investment from the community, building, and tons of hard work, Healing

Transitions – known then as The Healing Place of Wake County – opened its

doors to the community. The mission was simple: provide on-demand recovery

services at no cost for homeless, uninsured, and underserved men. Four days

later, the first nine men entered the first stage of the recovery program.

The impact was immediate. In its first year of operation, Healing Transitions

served 1,105 men in need of its services, and 42 completed the long-term

recovery program. Within the first five years of existence, the Wake County

homeless population decreased by almost 25%, even as the general population

saw an increase of more than 14%.

*Source: United States Census Bureau

Wake County

Facts (2001-2005)

Population 14.4% increase

Homelessness 24.9% decrease

Year Wake Co. Population Homeless Count

2001 659,127 1,472


680,443 1,571


701,437 1,472


723,095 1,235


753,828 1,106

THE START-UP YEARS [ 2001–2005 ]


(continued from previous page)

At the helm of this ship was

Dennis Parnell, who served as

the organization’s founding

director from January

1999-March 2016. Dennis was

instrumental in the successful

replication of the Louisville

model, and he was actively

involved in the design phase of

the men’s campus.

Karen Parnell, wife of founding

Executive Director, Dennis, during

construction of Men’s Campus on

July 25, 2001.

While the success and impact

of The Healing Place was

being felt by the community,

there remained a need to

serve homeless, uninsured,

and underserved women and

children. Calls from women in

need and letters from women

who were in jail needing a place

to recover had steadily streamed

in since the first day.

First Silver Chip class.

“ The mission was simple: provide on-demand

recovery services at no cost for homeless,

uninsured, and underserved men.”

In 2003, a $10 million capital

campaign kicked off for a

90-bed facility for women.

Initial investments were made

by some familiar supporters

of the first capital campaign

– The Wake County Board of

Alcoholic Beverage Control,

Wake County, Progress Energy,

Capital Broadcasting, and the

A.J. Fletcher Foundation. By

late 2005, the fundraising goal

had been completed and a new

building providing recovery

services to women in need was

in its final stages of preparation.

Healing Transitions’ women’s

campus was a go.




Silver Chipper #3

“ The sense of community that was

built in the program became a lifelong

bond that can never be broken. I’m still

touched when I hear from someone

who I went through the program with.”

Darryl “West”

THE START-UP YEARS [ 2001–2005 ]


“ That was January 24,

2001, the day that I was

introduced to Healing

Transitions. Since

that day, my life has

dramatically changed.”

Before I came to Healing Transitions, I was living

in a rooming house and was behind on the

rent, facing eviction. The place was really a crack

house because of all the drugs being used there.

My last day using was January 23. I used that

entire night and wound up going to Shepherd’s

Table Soup Kitchen for lunch the next day.

Unbeknownst to me, the 20 guys who were in the program

at the recently-opened Healing Transitions (known then

as The Healing Place of Wake County) would eat lunch at


Past and present of Darryl (the photo

of him in the blue suit is from the first

Silver Chip ceremony in 2001).

the soup kitchen. I ran into a guy

while I was there that day who I

knew on the streets. There was

something different about him.

He looked different. I asked him

what he’d been up to, and he

told me that he was at this new

treatment place on the Dorothea

Dix campus. He talked about how

great it was and how they were

fed each day and went to classes.

So, I asked him how I could get

into this program. He told me

that there was a big bus that

comes in the evening to pick a

certain number of people up and

take them over to The Healing

Place. And at that point, I had a

decision to make. Do I take the

risk of going back to the rooming

house and possibly using, or go

wait for that bus to come?

I decided to go over to where

the bus stop was and sat in the

woods for four or five hours

while I waited for the bus. It

was 28-degrees outside with a

slight mist in the air. There I was

– weighing about 127 pounds,

wearing a thin jacket, some

sweatpants, and girls’ sneakers

– waiting in the woods. That

was January 24, 2001, the day

THE START-UP YEARS [ 2001–2005 ]


that I was introduced to Healing

Transitions. Since that day, my life

has dramatically changed.

When I first got to Healing

Transitions, it was just nine days

after it had opened. At the time,

there was no detox center. Just

the overnight shelter and about

20 guys in the first stage of the

program. The courtyard was

nothing but mud with the giant

archway and wall sticking out

of it. 90% of the staff were from

Louisville, and they were actually

living on campus in what would

later be the CTR halls.

I vividly remember the moment

after I was dropped off, I was

making my way down the

walkway toward the overnight

shelter and peered into one of

the windows where the detox

center would later be. They didn’t

have any clients or staff in there

yet, the only items they had in

the room were the brown, steel

bed frames. Having worked in the

funeral business in the past,

I thought it was their morgue.

In those early days of Healing

Transitions, when you got into the

program, you didn’t really have a

place to lay down and detox to get

primed for the program. Plus, you

really didn’t have anybody ahead

of you in the program to believe

in. I didn’t even really believe the

staff from Louisville who kept

telling me that this will work if I

followed the process. The only

evidence I had was knowing that

what I was doing wasn’t working.

So it was really a leap of faith to

follow their process and listen to

what I was told.

One of the biggest aspects that

made the program work for

those first cohorts was how safe

the facilities were. I had stayed

in other shelters in the past,

and I never felt safe at all. So

having everyone feel safe and

secure really helped us focus

on what we needed to do in the

program. On top of that, there

weren’t any expectations that

were unrealistic to achieve. All

you had to do was go to class,

remain substance free, refrain

“ Congratulations to Healing Transitions for two

decades of service to our community.”

from saying offensive things,

and never use violence. Those

simple guidelines helped create

a feeling of love and kindness

for one other. The sense of

community that was built in the

program became a lifelong bond

that can never be broken. I’m

still touched when I hear from

someone who I went through the

program with.

I was part of the first group of 10

men who completed the recovery

program – Silver Chipper #3. That

was in August of 2001. It was that

very first group that made the

decision to dress up and celebrate

our completion of the program.

Nobody ever told us that we

needed to wear suits or make it

an occasion, but we wanted to do

it because some of us had never

completed anything but a jail

sentence or a bottle of wine.

After completing the program,

my fellow peer, Jerome, and I

were the first two alumni who

were hired as staff members at

Healing Transitions. We worked

in the detox center and overnight

shelter, which I did for more than

three years. Even after leaving

that job, I’ve continued to stay

closely connected with Healing

Transitions, doing whatever I can

to help out.

In 2011, I was elected onto the

Board of Directors for Healing

Transitions. So, I went from

walking past what I thought

was the morgue, to sitting

in the boardroom. I still get

chills when I think about that.

Being on the board was a little

intimidating, at first. There were

lawyers, businesspeople, and

other accomplished folks on the

committee. I remember in the

very first meeting, they needed to

raise $8,000 to reach a fundraising

goal they were working on, and

one of the board members just

reached in her pocket and wrote

a check for $7,500. I didn’t even

have $75 in the bank! I later talked

to my mentor about it, and he

told me that they’re just a bunch

of human beings with briefcases.


They have struggles just like I did,

and they were no different. And

they weren’t.

As a past participant, I knew

it could be intimidating to see

the board members on campus.

There was a bit of a disconnect

between the folks who were in

the program and the folks who

were trying to grow the program.

So, during my time on the board,

I came up with the idea that

we would eat dinner before the

board meetings in the cafeteria

with the participants. That way

we could actually get to know

one another, which would help

the participants appreciate the

board members more, and it

would help the board understand

the people and program better.

It was a win-win.

That connection between the

program participants and board

members was something I felt

I brought to the board while

serving on it. Whether it was

eating with the participants,

serving meals to them, or

volunteering to help out in other

ways, we worked on bridging that

gap between the two groups.

That way the board members

weren’t viewed as objects to the

participants, and vice versa.

When I reflect on how Healing

Transitions has grown over the

past 20 years, I have really seen

the growth of three different

areas. First, it has helped grow

the community. Sometimes there

are things happening all around

us that you can’t see – but you

can feel something is different.

When I first got into the program

20 years ago, nobody knew what

Healing Transitions was. It was

just this new entity that nobody

understood. But now, Healing

Transitions is one of the most

respected institutions in

the community.

When Healing Transitions was

founded, and when I got there, we

were in the middle of the crack

epidemic. Nobody knew that in

10 years, the opioid epidemic was

going to hit the community even

harder. But Healing Transitions

primed the community by helping

it survive the crack epidemic.

And because of that, all of the

stakeholders in the community,

whether they’re homeowners, law

enforcement, healthcare workers,

etc. now know that this is a place

where someone in need of help

can be sent to so they can live

a better life. And so many folks

in our community have come

through the doors at Healing

Transitions, like me. You might not

see us, but we’re there.

Second, Healing Transitions has

helped me grow, personally. I

have six grandsons – from ages

4 to 20 – and none of them

have seen or heard of me using

drugs and alcohol. So, I’ve been

reunited with my family. Healing

Transitions also helped me

achieve a professional career. And

even in my career, I try to exude

and promote a lot of the same

principles the program taught me.

Finally, Healing Transitions has

helped the recovery community

grow. This place gives those who

have come through the program

somewhere to go so we can

recharge. For so many of us, that

constant connection with the

recovery community is vital. So,

we’re able to go up to campus

and talk, laugh, reminisce, and

bond with those going through

the exact same thing we went

through. The growth of Healing

Transitions over the last 20 years

has been unlike anything I’ve

ever experienced. And as long

as the doors remain open, I hope

to continually be of service to

them. Congratulations to Healing

Transitions for two decades of

service to our community.

THE START-UP YEARS [ 2001–2005 ]




Silver Chipper #85

“ And on September 3, 2002,

I became the 85th person

to complete the program.”


Before I came to Healing Transitions, my

life was screwed up because of drugs

and alcohol. My using caused me to go to

prison for a little while. Then, even after I

got out, I kept using. I just didn’t know how

to stop.

The night I went to Healing Transitions is one I’ll

always remember. It was a cold, December night

back in 2001, and I had made up my mind that I

was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I called

the Raleigh Police Department and told them that

I couldn’t stop using and needed help. Thankfully,

they came and picked me up, and took me to an

alcohol treatment center near WakeMed. One of

the on-duty staff members said they didn’t have an

available bed that night. However, they told me that

I could go to Healing Transitions, known then as

The Healing Place, and that they’d take me in.

Now, I’m a Raleigh-native, and I had no idea that this

place existed.

So, the RPD officer brought me to Healing

Transitions and dropped me off at the detox center.

That was on December 18th. Since it was so close

to Christmas, I didn’t want to stay. I told the person

working in detox that I wanted to be with my family

Raeford came to Healing Transitions

in December 2001. He began

working December 16, 2002.


“ One of the biggest impacts Healing Transitions

has had is how it has helped keep people out

of jails and hospitals. I’ve also noticed how the

community has felt safer because of the work

Healing Transitions and its partners have done.”

and friends for the holidays. He

replied that the best thing I could

give my family for Christmas is

the gift of being clean and sober.

So I decided to stay for another

night, but I told myself that the

next day would be my last.

My plan for the next day was to

get up in the morning, trudge

with the guys to attend a class,

then leave after the class was

over. But while I was sitting in

that class, I had a realization. It

felt like someone tapped me on

the shoulder and said, “Where

are you going? You’ve burnt every

bridge that you have. Nobody

wants you around because you

cause problems every time

you get to drinking. You have

nowhere to go.” After the class

was over, instead of leaving to be

with my family, I decided to stay a

little while longer.

classes to the new participants.

I was near the end of my second

term as a peer mentor when

Chris Budnick, now the Executive

Director, asked if I would like to

work at Healing Transitions. I

said I would love to, and started

working part-time before being

hired on full-time.

Ever since I made that decision

during class to stay in the

program, life in recovery has been

incredible. I would never want to

live my life any other way. What I

learned while going through the

program are lessons that I’ll take

with me for the rest of my life. I’m

so grateful for the classes where

I learned that because of this

disease, if I go back out and use

again even once, I’ll wind up right

back where I was 19 years ago.

The recovery program also taught

me how to help other people.

Because before I came here,

I wasn’t interested in helping

another person unless I was

getting something out of it. But

now I know how to truly care for

another person.

What I didn’t realize as I stepped

onto the men’s campus on

After about three months of

being in the recovery program,

I made my mind up that this

was something I was going to

do. I’ve never finished anything

in my life, but I decided that I

would complete this recovery

program. And on September 3,

2002, I became the 85th person

to complete the program. After

finishing, I signed up to be a

peer mentor and helped teach

Raeford during check-in.


December 18, 2001 is that I

would be a part of this place for

decades to come. For the last

13 years, I have been working

full-time in the overnight shelter.

The guys in the shelter know

that they can come up and ask

me about recovery. We can talk

about recovery all night long if

they want to. I love giving back

and helping the next person the

same way I was helped when I

was here.

My favorite part of working

in the shelter is getting to see

people transform right in front

of my eyes. I love watching

how people grow as they go

through the program and learn

about this disease. Many times,

when a person first gets here,

they aren’t intending to stay

here. They see the shelter as a

place that will keep them warm

through the night. But then

something happens. They might

see someone they used to run

on the streets with, and see the

change that person has made

through the program. Or they

might talk to an alumni about

their experience in recovery, and

it makes them want to give this

program a try.

I’ve been at Healing Transitions

from its early days, and the

impact that I’ve seen this place

make in the community over the

last 20 years has been huge. One

of the biggest impacts Healing

Transitions has had is how it has

helped keep people out of jails

and hospitals. I’ve also noticed

how the community has felt safer

because of the work Healing

Transitions and its partners

have done.

When people go through this

recovery program, their lives

are completely turned around.

Healing Transitions has saved my

life, and in my 20 years of service

here, I’ve seen the program save

so many more lives. When I’m at a

Transition Ceremony and a Silver

Chipper mentions how I helped

them through the program, it’s

a wonderful feeling. I hope I

can touch more lives and help

everyone who comes here.

2001 - 2005 MILESTONES

2001 Jan. 15 Men’s Campus opens

2001 July 24 Official DOT adoption of Lake Wheeler Road

2002 Nov. 26 Silver Chipper #100 completes men’s program

2003 Feb. 6 Provided 100,000th bed of shelter

2003 May 17 1,000th client admitted to SUC (now known as Detox Center)

2003 July $10M capital campaign kicks off for women’s facility

2004 Nov. 25 Surpassed 200,000 beds of shelter provided

2004 Dec. 16 Silver Chipper #200 completes men’s program

2005 Oct. 21 Surpassed 250,000 beds of shelter provided

2005 Dec. Women’s Campus capital campaign finishes

THE START-UP YEARS [ 2001–2005 ]






Thomas Sayre’s canvas for the future Men’s Courtyard.

David and Henry with new trees.

Dennis Parnell finding empty beer bottles at site of future

Men’s Campus.

Georg’Ellen Betts, Dr. Wilmer Betts, and Jay Davidson at

2001 Dedication Ceremony.


Gloria Johnson at 2001 Dedication Ceremony.

Wake County Medical Society check presentation.

Evelyn Barber serving food.

Courtyard wall Steps 1 through 6.

Courtyard trees.

Celebrate recovery.

THE START-UP YEARS [ 2001–2005 ]


Men’s Courtyard construction.

Men’s Campus construction.

Thomas Sayre archway earthcast.

Raising of archway earthcast.

Wake Tech’s Tom Nugent with Men’s Campus Life

Skills students.

Transition Ceremony.


Transition Ceremony.

Jim getting a trim during a Durham Bulls game.

Typical monthly Lake Wheeler Rd. clean up.

Durham Bulls game in the Capitol Broadcasting suite.

Counter Culture collaboration for "Healing Blend" coffee

at Whole Foods.

Cinder (2005-2020).

THE START-UP YEARS [ 2001–2005 ]


Robert, Silver Chip #165, getting car in recovery.

Kat Thomas in the new Healthcare Self-Care Clinic.

August 21, 2002 - Silver Chip Ceremony.

Durham Bulls baseball game outing.

William Dickens and Chris Budnick painting a neighbor’s

home in 2003.


2004 Detox staff with Dr. Wilmer Betts.

Help people find their way back.

Recovery Month walk on September 17, 2004.

"Phase" the cat (2002-2020).

Preparing women’s campus.

THE START-UP YEARS [ 2001–2005 ]






The News & Observer, September 11, 2003








The News & Observer, September, 2000





The News & Observer, July 17, 2003









Herald Sun, July 9, 2003

THE START-UP YEARS [ 2001–2005 ]


Artspace Community Outreach Program.

Under the guidance of Artspace sculptor

Paris Alexander, the men carved 30

limestone relief sculptures for the new

Women’s Campus.






On January 16, 2006, Healing Transitions’ women’s campus opened, taking

in 14 women on the very first night. The next day, 10 women entered the first

stage of the long-term recovery program. Within the first year of operation, the

women’s campus provided services to 956 women, three of whom completed

the full recovery program.

With both campuses fully-operational, Wake County now had a place that

could serve homeless and underserved men and women struggling with

addiction that was free to the participant, open 24 hours a day, and would

serve them as many times as it took to find lasting recovery. The peer-to-peer

model and connection to local organizations in Wake County allowed each

person to build a network of support to help them even after they left, no

matter if it was before or after they completed the recovery program.

Wake County

Facts (2006-2010)

Population 16% increase

Homelessness 14.6% increase

Year Wake Co. Population Homeless Count

2006 792,940 981


831,746 1,043


866,068 1,144


897,214 1,152


919,938 1,124





Silver Chipper #10

My name is A.J. and I

am Silver Chipper #10

at Healing Transitions. I

completed the program

in 2007, and if it wasn’t

for Healing Transitions, I

wouldn’t be where I am

today. I was in a very dark

spot, and the program gave

me a way to find healing

and recovery.

I am the oldest of seven children.

When I was a child, my mother

was an alcoholic. So that was

never one of my demons. I knew

what would happen if I started

drinking. Early on, I wanted to

move out, get my own place, and

make my own way. Both of my

grandmothers were nurses, so I

graduated from high school, got

my own apartment, and went

into nursing too.

My addiction began after my

marriage started to fall apart.

Everything I thought I knew

about my husband was a lie, and

I began to self-medicate. I had

always had a place of my own

since I was 18 years old, but for

the first time in my life, I didn’t

have a home. I was too proud

to say that I was homeless, but

I was living at my sister’s house

or my parents’ house. But I was

really homeless.

Things were really difficult

back then. I couldn’t figure out

why Social Services was always

showing up at my door, but I was

struggling. My husband couldn’t

keep a regular job. I always had

a job. And by then, I had four

children to raise.

I grew up in New York, so I

decided to go back to my family.

I knew they’d always take care

of me, but sometimes, though I


didn’t realize it at the time, they

were enabling my addiction

too. My oldest daughter stayed

in North Carolina to finish her

last year of high school. My next

daughter was already living in

New York, so I took my youngest

two children, packed the car,

and drove back home to my

parents’ house.

That summer, I thought my son

would enjoy sleepaway camp,

so while he was there for two

weeks, I drove back to North

Carolina with my baby to help

my daughter find a dress for

prom. One day, a man rode past

me on a bicycle, and I realized

it was my bike. I went to my

storage unit and discovered that

someone had broken in and

stolen everything except the

clothes on the floor of the unit.

I was devastated. My marriage

had fallen apart. My children

were struggling. That night,

I went and got high. I hadn’t

been high for a long time. The

next morning, Social Services

called me.

My in-laws had contacted

them and told them I was using

drugs and living in my car with

my baby. They took away my

daughter that day and told me I

needed to choose an addiction

treatment program immediately.

They showed me a pamphlet,

and I saw the words “The

Healing Place of Wake County.”

I had a sister in Raleigh, so I

decided to go there.

I wish you could’ve seen me

the day I walked into Healing

Transitions. I was smug, entitled

and selfish, and I rolled in there

with my Louis Vuitton purse like

the Queen of Sheba. There were

about 20 other women in the

program when I was there, and

I remember crying at one of

my first meetings. I missed my

children. I wanted to be healthy

for them. And Miss Ann, the

family reunification specialist,

told me that she was willing

to help me if I was willing to

help myself. I did everything

exactly like they told me,

and I completed the program

in 2007.

At Healing Transitions, I

learned how to respond to

things differently. That’s been

the greatest thing for me. I

make better decisions. I take

responsibility for my actions.

Healing Transitions allowed me

to focus on me so I could take

the time to identify my behaviors

(and why I behaved that way) so I

never have to repeat it. Because

I was given this opportunity to

learn about my diseases, I am in

recovery today. I love Healing

Transitions. It has been my

stepping stone to a new life.

Today, my life is completely

different. I’m proud of myself.

I’m a leader and a manager at

my job. I raised four wonderful

children and have two precious

grandchildren. I mentor and

encourage other people who

are pursuing their own recovery.

I still talk to many of my sisters

who came through the program

with me.

Last Christmas, I was visiting my

daughter at her job, and a young

lady walked up to me. I couldn’t

see her face very well because

she was wearing a facemask,

but she looked at me and said,

“Oh my gosh! It’s Miss A.J.! You

helped me get my children

back!” It was such a beautiful

moment. I had been working at

Healing Transitions shortly after

I completed the program, and I’d

helped her pursue her recovery

and reunite with her children.

That’s what it’s all about.





Silver Chipper #268

grew up in Cary, NC, in a close-knit family

I and had the most splendid childhood

imaginable. But when I was 12, one of the

guys in our neighborhood who I looked up

to accidentally shot himself in the head

while playing a game of Russian Roulette

with his friends. I was playing outside at

the time, and when I ran in to see what

happened, I saw his dead body on the floor.

After that, I was never quite the same and I

started drinking to help cope.


High school was just one big party for me, and

college was an even bigger one. I was 24 credit

hours shy of graduating when I decided to join the

Navy. The Navy was amazing until I was honorably

discharged after getting caught with marijuana. By

far, one of my biggest regrets in life.

“ I’m so grateful for Healing

Transitions and I never want

to go back to being the guy

I was before going through

the recovery program.”

For the next nearly 25 years, I was using heavily. It

started with freebasing, then moved to crack. The

last three of those years, I was homeless and living

on the streets of Cary. I remember the last time I

used. I was smoking crack for a good 10 hours and

just couldn’t get high. I started crying after breaking

into my parents’ house to steal a beer out of the

refrigerator, and realized I couldn’t do it anymore. I

knew something needed to change.

The very next day, I was at the unemployment office

trying to find a job, when the employee who I was

working with told me about Healing Transitions and

that’s when my life started to turn around. I very

quickly became my old self again, and as I went

through the program, I started to experience tough

love for the first time by my community of fellow


2001 Silver Chip class with

Fred Barber in 2010.

peers. I never knew something

like that existed and I needed it

so badly. You see, when you’re

out on the streets using, it’s a

cold, hard world. So, going from

that to having someone actually

care about me enough to tell me

the things I needed to work on

was amazing!

Toward the end of my time

at Healing Transitions, I was

hired to help build the women’s

campus. They had us come over

to strip and wax the floors and do

security detail, and that’s what

I did until I saved up enough

money to move out on my own.

The women’s campus will always

hold a special place in my heart

as it helped me move on from

Healing Transitions, which is

pretty awesome.

One of my biggest struggles

after completing the program

was that my mom passed away

before I ever got clean. For as

long as I can remember, all she

wanted was for me to graduate

from college. So, after Healing

Transitions, I went back to school

and got my associate degree in

substance abuse from Wake Tech.

I dedicated my degree to my mom

and today, I have a relationship

with my 88-year-old dad that I

never had growing up. I live with

him and take care of him, which is

such a blessing and honor.

I’m so grateful for Healing

Transitions and I never want

to go back to being the guy

I was before going through

the recovery program. Drugs

and alcohol no longer serve a

purpose in my life. I’m so stoked

to have 15 years clean and

sober and I want to keep it

going forever.



2006 - 2010 MILESTONES

2006 Jan. 10 2,000th client admitted to Detox Center

2006 Jan. 16 Women’s Campus opens with 14 women

2007 Jan. 11 The Healing Place Alumni Association bylaws officially approved

2007 Sept. 26 Men’s Campus surpasses 350,000 beds of shelter provided

2008 Aug. 15 Job's Journey opens

2008 Sept. 9 Men’s campus surpasses 400,000 beds of shelter provided

2009 Aug. 2 Silver Chipper #400 completes men’s program

2009 Nov. 2

First Silver Chipper becomes Certified Substance Abuse Counselor

(Darryl West)

2010 June 7 Men’s campus surpasses 500,000 beds of shelter provided

2010 June 28 Women’s campus surpasses 100,000 beds of shelter provided

Fred Barber with Barbara Goodmon in December 2006.

Jo Lawson and Kat Thomas volunteering at the

NC State Fair.






Housing partnership with Passage Home.

Shelter at Men’s Campus.

Phase I room at Men’s Campus. Building Meditation Trail at the Women’s Campus in 2007.



Volunteer group at the Women’s Campus.

Jo Lawson (left) receiving a check.

Volunteering at State Capitol in 2006.

Volunteers moving rostrum back into Capitol.

Men’s choir.

Durham Bulls baseball game outing.


Board Chair, Michael Painter, in 2009.

Drumming Circle at Women’s Campus in 2009.

Summer event at Women’s Campus.

Women’s spa day in 2009.

2009 dedication of courtyard with Thomas Sayre .



Softball game.

Community Room event at Women’s Campus.

2010 Hoopsfest with NCSU Men’s Basketball team.

2010 Christmas.

Alumni Association car wash fundraiser in 2010.


Alumni Association collecting stories for book project. Amanda Blue in 2010.

AARP volunteer day.

Food truck at the NC State Fair in 2010.

Larry Gatlin and Kat in 2007.

Courtyard flowers and arch.







Raleigh South Connection, September 20, 2007












The News & Observer, September 25, 2006









(Men: 149.1 / Women: 61.5)

Micromass HP advertisement, January 31, 2010








In 2013, the country experienced a shift in the opioid epidemic that had been

perpetuating since the late-1990s and early-2000s, with opioid overdose deaths

increasing sharply over the next five years. In Wake County alone, there was a

197% increase in overdose deaths between 2013-2017.

This escalation of the opioid epidemic led to an increase in the number of

people who needed Healing Transitions’ recovery services. Between 2011-

2015, the average daily census and total number of beds Healing Transitions

provided grew by 21% compared to the previous five years. One positive

outcome of this growth was that the number of people who completed the

long-term recovery program also increased by 36% – meaning recovery was

thriving at Healing Transitions.

Wake County

Facts (2011-2015)

Population 6.3% increase

Homelessness 21.4% decrease

Year Wake Co. Population Homeless Count

2011 947,459 1,150


952,151 1,132


974,289 1,113


1,000,000 1,170


1,007,551 904



(continued from previous page)

Men helping move The Women’s

Center of Wake County.

With numbers on the rise

indicating that they would

only increase further, and

with both campuses already

nearing capacity, Healing

Transitions leadership identified

a need to expand to help with

program sustainability. In 2012,

Founding Executive Director,

Dennis Parnell and the Board

of Directors began discussion

about a capital campaign for

expansion. The aim would be

to provide the infrastructure

needed to accommodate the

growing number of folks Healing

Transitions was serving. And with

the opioid epidemic accelerating

in 2013, the expansion discussion

would soon turn into action.

Volunteers at the

2nd Women's Center

“ This escalation of the opioid epidemic led to an

increase in the number of people who needed

Healing Transitions’ recovery services.”

Another challenge leadership

faced was financial sustainability.

At the time, 50-60% of funding

for The Healing Place of Wake

County came primarily from

government entities such as

the Alcohol Beverage Control

Commission. In order to diversify

funding sources and expand

recovery services, Healing

Transitions leadership made the

difficult decision to break away

from its original model. And in

2015, The Healing Place of Wake

County rebranded, changing its

name to Healing Transitions.




Silver Chipper #154

“ I learned how to take responsibility for

my own recovery at Healing Transitions.”





grew up in New York before moving to

North Carolina when I was in my early

teens. Not too long after moving here, I

had my first experience with drugs and

alcohol. I was probably about 14 or 15

years old at the time. It wasn’t really

something that I had the desire to keep

doing, but with the crowd that I hung out

with, it became our lifestyle.

When I turned 17 or 18, I began

working in bars and clubs where

drinking and doing drugs just kind

of came with the job. For the next

few years I drank heavily and

did drugs. When I was 21, I was

introduced to meth for the first

time. The experience was awful,

and I said that I would never do

it again. Five years later, I was at

a party when a guy came up to

me with some meth. So, I tried it

again, and it was a completely

different experience.

Everything changed. When I

started using, I stopped drinking

completely and just depended on

the meth. I began to isolate myself

from my family. My family tried

to get me some help early on, but

I didn’t want that at the time, so

they just stepped back and let life

happen for me. At the time, I was

in a good relationship with a man

who treated me very well. But

once I started using meth, I pulled

away until we were no longer

together. I found myself getting

into a relationship with someone

that was the complete opposite.

It was an abusive, horrible

relationship, but I was okay with it.

I had completely changed.

A few years later, I found out

that I was pregnant with my

daughter. I thought having a

child was going to change

everything, and I would be able

to walk away from that selfish

lifestyle, but that wasn’t the

case. After my daughter was

born, I was right back at it.

I kept getting in trouble over

and over again. Every time I

would go to jail, I would tell

myself that I wouldn’t do it

again, but it kept happening.

One time, I had gotten out of

jail after being locked up for 45

days. My mom was watching my

daughter, who was a year old at

this point, and kept her awake so

she could see me when I came

home. I had been in jail for so

long that by the time I got home,

she barely even knew who I was.

I was heartbroken.


program. I wasn’t ready for it at

the time, so she kept that piece of

paper and waited until I was.

was small, but doing that every

single day showed me that it

was possible.


I woke up the next morning and

had so much pain inside of me

because I didn’t know what to

do. I had been using and drinking

for so many years; I didn’t have

any other way to deal with it. It

was so uncomfortable sitting on

my mom’s couch and watching

my daughter run around. I

remember crying on my way to

go get more drugs.

On my birthday, my sister told me

that she had a present for me, but

she wasn’t going to give it to me

until I was ready for it. She wound

up showing me that it was the

number to Healing Transitions

she had gotten it from a young

lady who came through the

After getting pulled over for

the third time in a span of a few

months, I was put on probation.

I had asked my court-appointed

attorney if I could pay money to

be taken off of probation, but the

day before I was to meet with the

probation officer to pay that fee,

I got pulled over. I had no tags on

my car, no license, and drugs on

me. I was sent to jail.

While I was there, I came to the

conclusion that it was going to

go one of two ways. If I continued

the lifestyle that I was living,

I was going to end up in prison.

But if God saw fit for me to live

a different life, He would get me

into a recovery program.

I can honestly say that I was over

my lifestyle. It just wasn’t me.

I had forgotten all my morals, all

my values. I was isolating and

leaving my daughter with my

mom all the time. So I spoke with

my lawyer, and was released to

come to Healing Transitions.

Before I came to Healing

Transitions, I didn’t think I was

ever going to get up in the

morning and function without

some sort of substance. I didn’t

have any motivation to do

anything, but I just jumped in

and started doing what they told

me to do. I would wake up and

get breakfast, then come back

to my room and make my bed. It

As I made my way through the

program, I began to regain

important aspects of my life.

I started working and found a

job, something that I hadn’t had

in a long time. I also began to

reconnect with my daughter. She

would visit me on the weekends

where I was able to spend time

with her. Not long after I left

Healing Transitions, I was able to

have her live with me again.

Recovery for me today is so much

more than I ever thought. I never

thought I would be paying my

own bills. I never thought that

I would be living successfully

as a mother. I get to watch my

daughter go to school every

single day. She’s doing things that

I wish I would have done when I

was a child. I can be there for my

family today.

I was driven by drugs for so long

that I had lost the ability to live,

or to even know how to live. It

was by watching and listening to

the people in the program that I

learned how to live the life that I

live today. I learned how to take

responsibility for my own recovery

at Healing Transitions. I built a

network of peers who hold me

accountable and steer me back on

course when I need to be. I have

my daughter and my family back.

And I’ve found a new family and a

whole new way of living.





Silver Chipper #716


lot of my drinking

A was based on my

childhood. My parents

were divorced when I

was an infant. My mom

remarried and I was

abused physically and

mentally. When I turned

six, my mom was just going

to give me up for foster

care and get rid of me, so

my aunt and uncle picked

me up. From then on, they

were my parents and I

lived with them.

Life was pretty normal after that.

I went to school, had brothers

and sisters, and played sports.

My favorite sport was hockey,

which became a big part of my

life. I had my first drink when I

was eight, but didn’t really start

drinking until I was about 13.

Everyone drank back then, so it

wasn’t that big of a deal.

We moved to North Carolina a

little while later, which is where

I began to get serious about

playing hockey. Hockey gave me

some incredible opportunities.

I ended up playing in the minor

leagues, but unfortunately that’s

also when I started to drink

heavily. I would eventually drink

all those opportunities away. By

this time, my parents had moved

back to New York, but I stayed in

NC because I had met my wife.

My wife and I had our first

daughter, and at the time I wasn’t

drinking as much. Two years later,

we had triplets and I couldn’t

handle the stress of it all, so I

started drinking a lot heavier. I

wound up losing my mind and


was sent to a psychiatric hospital.

When I came back, my wife said

she wanted a divorce.

I lived on my bartender’s couch

for the next three to four years. I

drank everything away and went

through everything I had. I gave

up the sport I loved, and even

gave up my vehicle so I could buy

more alcohol. I didn’t see my kids

for over four years because I was

too caught up in trying to drink

myself to death.

One night I was in my apartment,

drinking as usual, and I just yelled

out, “If there’s a God, show me

something! Anything!” Then,

out of nowhere, a commercial

for Healing Transitions came on

TV and started playing. It was

nonstop, every 15-20 minutes, all

day long. That’s when I decided to

give this place a shot. So I went.

The hardest part of being here

was actually looking at myself

and seeing all the damage I’d

done to everyone around me,

including myself. For the first

eight months, I didn’t contact my

kids. When I finally did call them,

my wife and her parents didn’t

buy it. They had seen this song

and dance before. So they started

with allowing me to call my kids

and talk to them on the phone.

Eventually, I earned their trust

back and was able to see them for

a couple of hours here and there.

This turned into me getting to

see them on the weekends until

finally having them over at my

house for weekend sleepovers!

When I left Healing Transitions,

I knew that I still needed the

structure in my life, so I moved

into a recovery house for two

and a half years. I maintained

the relationships with my family

during this time, and eventually

they graciously asked me to

come back home.

Today, I’m back with my wife and

kids. I get to coach my sons in

hockey, and my daughter figure

skates. I’m a part of my kids’ lives

from morning to night, which is

something I would have never

imagined six years ago. Because

“ Each year that I get a

new sobriety chip, I give

it to my wife. She’s the

one who deserves the


of my recovery, hockey has come

back into my life and I’ve again

been given so many opportunities

through that – employment,

meeting professional players and

the chance to be happy and proud

of myself again. The church I was

active with during my time at

Healing Transitions was St. Mark’s

United Methodist Church. They do

so much for the guys at Healing

Transitions. Believe it or not, they

actually offered me a job and

I have the privilege of working

there full-time today.

Each year that I get a new

sobriety chip, I give it to my wife.

She’s the one who deserves the

recognition. She’s the woman

who raised four kids on her own

while her deadbeat husband

was getting drunk and living

on a guy’s couch. All I’m doing

is living the life that I was

supposed to live. Healing

Transitions is a place that never

gives up on you. My goal was to

drink myself to death, but this

place saved my life.


2011 - 2015 MILESTONES

2011 Jan. 15 Men’s Campus 10th anniversary

2011 Jan. 16 Women’s Campus 5th anniversary

2012 Oct. 14 Family Support Group begins at Women’s Campus

2012 Oct. 30 Silver Chipper #500 completes men’s program

2012 Dec. 16 Silver Chipper #100 completes women’s program

2013 Aug. 9 Men’s Campus surpasses 700,000 beds of shelter

2014 May 1 Women’s Campus surpasses 200,000 beds of shelter

2014 May 25 Founding Board Member Fred Barber passes away at the age of 76

2014 Nov. 8 Healing Transitions surpasses 1,000,000 beds of shelter provided

2015 Sept. 24

The Healing Place of Wake County officially becomes Healing


Senator Richard Burr and Andy in 2011.

Bill and Chanda.






Open class at Men’s Campus.

Betsy Johnson.

Shelter at Men’s Campus.

Volunteering during Greenlee Dental Clinic.



NCSU Homeless Night.

Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.

Healing Place.

Gina, Jarvis and Anna.

Red Hat volunteers at Men’s Campus.


Tower Co. group upon completion of Women's gazebo.

First Capital Area Rally for Recovery Women’s Campus.

Dennis Parnell Waste Industries donation.

At Ghanaian Embassy for Recovery Africa.

Phoenix Motorcycle Club Big Book donation.



Chris with retired RPD Police Chief, Cassandra Deck-Brown.

Bill Borchert, Al Mooney and Chris at book signing in 2013.

2011 tornado clean up community service.

Staff lunch.

Second Capital Area Rally for Recovery.

A.J. Fletcher Foundation volunteers painting

community room.


Staff, interns, and Edwin from Ghana (center front row).

Second Capital Area Rally for Recovery in 2013.

Will Roach, Chris Corchiani, and Chris Poole from


Corporal Sharpe and William Dickens.



2014 Ice Bucket Challenge.

First F3 "The Arena" workout in September 2014.

Certificate of Appreciation from UNC School of Social Work.

Women’s Silver Chip #8, Julie.

Garden volunteers.


Volunteers painting kids' overnight visitation room.

Alumnus getting car from Wheels for Hope.

Garden volunteers.

Chi Rho Omega Chapter with Terri Edwards in 2016.

The Healing Place model presentation in Yokohama, Japan.







Addiction Professional, March/April 2014








Mock Interview sessions, November 30, 2011













(Men: 176.9 / Women: 77)

The News & Observer, December 4, 2012








Between 2016 and 2020, Healing Transitions saw another 32% increase in

the number of individuals served. In fact, between 2017 and 2019, Healing

Transitions had consecutive record-breaking years with the highest number

of individuals served and average daily census – each year eclipsing the next.

With the growing population in Wake County and the opioid crisis in full-swing,

these historic program numbers increased the demands on the alreadyovercrowded


At the same time, Healing Transitions experienced record totals in private

donations. In 2018, the number of individual donors doubled from the previous

year. And in 2019, Healing Transitions eclipsed the $1M mark in donations for

the first time in its 20-year history. This was tangible proof that the community

believed in Healing Transitions’ mission.

Wake County

Facts (2016-2020)

Population 5.8% increase

Homelessness 19.1% increase

Year Wake Co. Population Homeless Count

2016 1,070,000 818


1,072,203 884


1,092,305 983


1,111,761 970


1,132,271 974




(continued from previous page)

Local government was also passionate about being a helping hand

in the mission. And thanks to a partnership with Wake County Public

Health and Wake County EMS, the Rapid Response initiative was

launched. This project sends Rapid Responders – Healing Transitions

staff who are in recovery – out to connect with folks who have

experienced an overdose in the past 24 hours.

In 2018, after years of planning and consulting, Healing Transitions

launched its Recovery Can’t Wait capital campaign to expand both

campuses, with the goal of raising $16.75M. The wave of support for this

campaign was tremendous. Within three years, Healing Transitions had

raised nearly 100% of the target amount thanks to the nonstop efforts

of campaign leadership, committees, and Healing Transitions staff and

board members. Massive support came from the City of Raleigh, Wake

County, A.J. Fletcher Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, The

SECU Foundation and so many more.

In March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world. For the

first time in its 19-year history, Healing Transitions, with guidance

from Wake County Public Health, decided to temporarily suspend

new program admissions. However, within weeks, thanks to the help

of Alliance Health, Wake County, NCDHHS, WakeMed, RelyMD and

Southeastern Healthcare of NC, Healing Transitions opened an offsite

detox center to serve those in immediate need. And in June, new

admissions were accepted on-site at a limited capacity.

The COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the community’s strong support

for its mission and capital campaign, though. And on March 24, 2021,

Healing Transitions celebrated the groundbreaking of the expansion

(virtually). Nine years after the first discussions of a capital campaign

took place, Healing Transitions could finally expand to accommodate

the growing demand for recovery services.

Women’s Transition Ceremony.





Silver Chipper #175

started drinking at 18, which is kind of a “late bloomer”

I for a drinker. I had been smoking pot and dropping acid

before that, but when I started drinking I drank heavily.

I’d drink as much as I could until I would black out because

that was the cool thing to do. That’s how you knew you

were really a part of the party.

When I was in school, I was a firm

member of the D.A.R.E. program.

I truly believed that drugs and

alcohol were bad, and was

brought up to be honest, caring,

and loving toward other people.

But when I started partying,

drinking and doing drugs, all of

those values and morals that I

learned went out the window.

I always drank in excess and

couldn’t conduct myself like

a lady. No matter how many

clothes I wore, they always came

off and I would wake up next to a

stranger feeling really ashamed

in the morning.

When I was 21, I got into a bad

car accident that broke my neck

in five places and gave me a

traumatic brain injury that wound

up paralyzing my right side.

When I woke up in the hospital,

they had me sedated and I vividly

remember the feeling of being

on the pain medication. It made

everything okay. I would be lying

in the hospital asking myself all

these questions – Who am I going

to be? What is going to happen

to me? Will I ever feel normal

again? Am I ever going to be

able to walk again? Am I going

to be a freak? – But the second

the doctors gave me the pain

medication, it would all go away.

Life would be okay again. So that

became my solution, and as soon

as I got out of the hospital – the

search was on.

Although I was prescribed two

months of pain meds, it just

wasn’t enough and I started

seeking drugs. One day, I couldn’t

find pills anymore and heroin

was available and cheaper, so I

graduated to heroin. Everything

just kind of spiraled out of control

from there. I would take any drug

that I could get my hands on

whether it was smoking crack,

shooting coke or heroin, popping

Xanax, or drinking until I couldn’t

stand anymore.

I sacrificed a lot for drugs and

alcohol. I chose them over my

friends, family, education, health,

even my children. I couldn’t stay

sober during my first pregnancy

and had to watch my first child

in the NICU go through opioid

withdrawals. I would watch her

as she was hooked up to all of

these tubes and monitors, and it

just hit me. I realized that I am

affecting somebody other than

myself. I vowed I was going to do

better, but when I was pregnant

with my second child, I still

couldn’t stay clean. Somehow by

the grace and mercy of God, he

was born healthy.

I continued living an unhealthy

life with really unhealthy people

and toxic relationships. When

my daughter was two, her father

died of a heroin overdose. A little

while later, I got into an accident

with my son in the back seat

when I completely nodded out

while driving and totaled the car.

“ Who am I going to be? What is going to happen to me? Will I ever feel normal

again? Am I ever going to be able to walk again? Am I going to be a freak?”





Luckily, everyone was okay, but

I was given my first DUI and was

sent to jail. A few weeks after

getting out, it happened again.

My dad had given me his vehicle

so my children could get around;

I was leaving my dope lady’s

house, nodded off, and slammed

into the back of another car.

This time, as I was waiting while

my son was being checked out at

the hospital, a couple of people

asked me to come with them and

took me down to a cop car. They

let me know that they were from

CPS and that I was a danger to

my children and that they were

taking them away from me. They

Healing Transitions

has given me a second

chance in life.”

let me go upstairs to give my son

a quick hug and kiss goodbye,

and they took me to jail again.

When I got to get out and go

home again, the house was just

so quiet and empty. All of my

kids’ toys were scattered about,

but no one was playing with

them. That’s when reality hit me. I

needed to do something.

I knew about Healing Transitions

because my sister went there a

few years back, so I called them.

A woman named Audra answered

the phone – we are still close

to this very day. Even though

detoxing was rough, it was

probably the easiest detox I have

ever been through. I had a history

of having seizures when detoxing

off of opiates and benzos. At one

point I had to be on epilepsy

medication because of all the

seizures I was having. But when

I was coming off of them coldturkey

at Healing Transitions, I

didn’t have any. I could actually

sleep at night. I know that God

exists in those walls.

At first, I didn’t want anything

to do with the actual recovery

program. I was a very prideful,

stubborn person at the time and

did what I wanted to do. I had all

of these unhealthy feelings and

the only way I knew how to deal

with them was through drugs and

alcohol, so that’s what I did and

I wound up having to restart the

program several times.

Eventually, I started working with

a mentor who suggested that I

get honest with myself and the

recovery program. That was the

point where I began to realize

that I could no longer live a life

of lies. My spiritual condition

wouldn’t allow me to do that.

So I started being honest, and

dealt with the consequences of

my actions. And honestly, they

weren’t as bad as I thought they

were going to be.

In the 16 months it took me

to finish the program, Healing

Transitions taught me a lot of

life lessons. Most importantly,

they taught me how to be a good

mother. I had never parented

sober before Healing Transitions.

Parenting is the hardest thing

I’ve ever done in my life,

especially sober. Today, all of my

relationships with my family have

been restored and the family

dynamics are better than they

have ever been.

Healing Transitions has given me

a second chance in life. It’s given

me the opportunity to live one

day at a time and be of service to

other people. I get to help other

women the same way another

woman did for me. She saved

my life. She brought me out of

the depths of hell and despair.

I don’t know where I would be

without her. And for me, to be

able to do that for someone else

is a real honor.

I remember the first month I

was at Healing Transitions, I

was in tears all the time. But

one day, someone looked at me

and said, “You’re going to help

a lot of people one day”. I told

her that I don’t have anything to

give anybody. I don’t know what

exactly that person saw in me, or

why they decided to say that to

me, but I’ll never forget it.

Recovery isn’t easy, but it’s

doable. I worked really, really

hard to stay drunk and stay

high and the result was that I

was constantly miserable. I only

have to work half as hard to stay

sober, and I have more peace and

happiness in my life than

I ever had before. So the work –

it’s worth it!




Silver Chipper #163





here I came from, drinking and using drugs was a

very normal thing for people to do. Everybody did it,

which is why I started drinking and smoking weed at age 14.

I would smoke every day and then drink on the weekends.

I was always a good kid and an honor roll student with As

and Bs in my classes. But, there came a point where I was

just tired of being the ‘good’ child.

at Healing Transitions, I could

finally sweep and mop a floor

without getting high first. I was

so grateful for that feeling

because for years, I wouldn’t do

anything without being under

the influence.

When I was 19, I tried pills for the

first time, and that’s where things

started taking a turn. My life was

unmanageable long before I

started taking pills, but that was

when I started to see the change

in myself. I had a three-year-old

son at the time and could see the

change in him as well. He went

from a very happy, outgoing little

boy to very quiet and reserved.

When I crossed that line and

turned into a different person, I

saw him cross that line and turn

into a different child.

A year before I came to Healing

Transitions, I lost everything in

one week. On the day my mother

passed away, I was evicted from

my house. That same week, I had

a case opened up on me with my

kids by Social Services. Two more

cases would come later on that

same year. In just one week, I lost

my mom, my house, and was in

the process of losing my kids.

I started to lose my mind. I

found myself not wanting to

live anymore but was too afraid

to die. That’s when I knew

that I needed to do something

different. I didn’t realize it at the

time, but the caseworker I was

working with turned out to be

an angel. She told me the steps

that I needed to take before she

would allow me to be around

my children again by myself. She

set me up to go to a treatment

place in Charlotte, but I had to

wait three weeks before they’d

let me in. I knew I was going to

die waiting. People were dying

around me and it was too much

for me to handle.

I had a friend who used to talk

about this homeless shelter he

went to. He was an alcoholic

who said he had lived at the

shelter for a while and got

better. That shelter was Healing

Transitions. He called Healing

Transitions for me and they took

me in immediately.

When I first arrived, I wouldn’t

admit that I was homeless. I

denied it. But the folks at Healing

Transitions explained to me that

since I didn’t have a lease in my

name, I was essentially homeless.

As I processed my situation, I

started seeing people who were

happy all of the time. At first, I

thought it was fake, but the more

I observed them, I realized their

happiness was genuine. And

that was something I wanted

desperately. After my first week

When I began the recovery

program, I wasn’t planning

on quitting everything that I

was using. I didn’t think I had a

“problem” and I truly believed I

could go out and drink or smoke

here or there and still be okay.

But as I watched people who

had accrued years of sobriety

wind up right back in detox

after trying to have one drink,

I realized I was no different

from them. I would get mad

when people would go out

and get high then come back

to detox. I didn’t understand

why I’d get mad, but one of my

mentors asked me if I was mad

at the person, or mad because I

couldn’t go out and get high like

them. That’s when I realized that

I was mad because I couldn’t do

it – because if I got high, I knew I

wouldn’t come back.

I was at Healing Transitions for

16 months before I completed

the program and moved into

an Oxford House. That was

the best thing I ever did in my

recovery because right after I

left the program, I wasn’t going

to meetings or practicing any of

the principals Healing Transitions

taught me. I was working thirdshift

at a chain restaurant, so I


an into a lot of drug users and

dealers. I was still fantasizing

about that lifestyle, but I

continued to stay sober.

Six months after moving into

the Oxford House, my daughter

came to live with me. That was

a huge change in my life. From

the beginning, all I wanted was

to get my kids back, go to school,

get a job, and have a new life.

But when my daughter came to

live with me, it was much more

difficult than expected. I was

depressed for nearly a year. But

thankfully my roommates, Jamie

and Jasmine, were there to help.

We all lived together, and they

showed me how to be a mother.

A few months later, Healing

Transitions connected me with

Passage Home who helped

me finally get a house with

my name on the lease. My son

came to live with me after that,

which was another adjustment

period as I tried to balance life,

work, my kids, and my sobriety.

Plus, during this time, I met my

fiancé. All of these things kept

happening, but I continued

to practice what Healing

Transitions taught me and I

kept my sobriety.

Life today is great! There are

still hard days, but throughout

this recovery journey, I haven’t

wanted to take my life. Every day,

I want to live. Every day, there

is a new obstacle in front of me

that I try to face with grace. When

I get challenged by life, I try to

remember that God has already

worked it all out.

We just moved into our new

home, and I get to pay rent. I have

my kids, who are beautiful human

beings and amazing children.

I’m engaged, in school, and am

working again. The whole time

I was in the recovery program,

I didn’t take it with grace. I had

a lot of resentment toward

everything and everyone. But

in the end, Healing Transitions

helped save my life and turn me

into the woman I am today.

“ Every day, there is a new obstacle in front of me that I try to face with

grace. When I get challenged by life, I try to remember that God has

already worked it all out.”

2016 - 2020 MILESTONES

2016 July 1 Healing Transitions becomes a living wage employer

2017 July 7 Women’s Campus increases capacity from 99 to 119 beds

2018 Apr. 5 Rapid Responder Post-Opioid Overdose Team launches with EMS

2018 June 14 First opioid overdose drill at Men’s Campus

2019 May 8 Recovery Can’t Wait capital campaign quiet phase launches

2019 Nov. 19

2020 Apr. 6

2020 June 15

Wake County Board of Commissioners approves $1M grant for

Women’s Campus expansion

Temporary off-site detox facility opens for men and women due to

COVID-19 pandemic

On-site detox services resume after temporarily closing in March

due to COVID-19







2016 Staff Holiday Luncheon.

Volunteers in the Brightspaces room at the

Women’s Campus.

Overcrowding at the Men’s Campus.


Women’s Silver Chip #100, Kristin.

Ann with Santa.

Raleigh Independent 5k.

F3 9/11 Stair Climb

Kirk tending to the bee hives at the Men’s Campus.



2017 Fred Barber Legacy of Service award winners.

2018 Fred Barber Legacy of Service award winners.

2019 Fred Barber Legacy of Service award winners.


Healing Transitions. Recovery Month. You are not alone.

Men’s CTR I Community.

At Dr. Bob’s House.

Justin, Gina, Secretary Cohen and Rusty.



Sign from 2020 Reverse Parade.

Volunteers from Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC.

Bob and Carol Bilbro, Chris Budnick, Congressman David Price, Amanda Blue and Tracy Freeman-Hines.

FiA: Females in Action.

Rebuilding Burgaw after hurricane.


Men’s "COVID-19 Lock Down" group photo.

March 24, 2020: when COVID got real.

Silver Chip #360 giving back.

COVID-19 Reverse Parade.

Sheree’ Klepchick during COVID-19 lockdown.







WNCN, July 1, 2018






NC Health News, May 20, 2020









Walter Magazine, February 1, 2017




The Business Journal, April 4, 2020



(Men: 177.3 / Women: 98.9)

348 - January 2020

average (all-time high)










The need has never been greater for Healing Transitions to expand. In the throes

of a national opioid crisis – and with Wake County’s population increasing 72%

since we opened 20 years ago – the demand for Healing Transitions’ life-saving

recovery services has far outweighed the supply for years. And because we

don’t turn people away, knowing their only other options are jails, emergency

departments, or the streets, the overcrowding has become unsustainable, and

the risks to individuals, families, and our community are increasing.

Men’s Campus courtyard garden



(continued from previous page)

Currently, Healing Transitions

participants are sleeping

on shelter and classroom

floors, impacting our ability

to provide safe services to

those who need it. In addition,

our recovery spaces are

inadequate. Community areas

are overflowing, with peermentoring

meetings held in

hallways – straining privacy

and compromising dignity. And

finally, our on-demand service

model is in jeopardy. If we can’t

take someone in, they could die

waiting for help.

For these reasons, Healing

Transitions is undergoing

a historic $16.75M capital

campaign to add more beds

and expand recovery services

at both our men’s and women’s

campuses. We’re grateful for

the many ways our community

has responded to the urgency.

Because of key funding

champions from our city, county,

and corporate community who

have joined a lead group of

generous donors, we plan to

exceed our $16.75M capital

campaign goal and break ground

by fall 2021! We thank these

champions who have given so

generously to ensure that more

people can find and sustain

recovery in our community.

Because recovery can’t wait –

and we can’t wait to see more

people experience the power

of recovery.

“ We’re grateful for the many ways our community

has responded to the urgency.”







1 3


Men’s Campus

$10.08 MILLION

We are expanding and renovating one of our three buildings to

add additional detox and shelter capacity, enlarge kitchen and

dining space, and add classrooms. A new free-standing workshop

expands opportunities for skills training. All spaces will be more

suitable for peer mentoring, recovery programs, and outreach to

community partners and families.



1 Residential Expansion and


2 Kitchen Renovation and

Dining Expansion

3 Classroom

4 Vocational Skills and Training

5 Parking (not shown)

6 Future Buildings

Capacity for 290 beds

23,000 new square feet

5,800 renovated square feet








Women’s Campus


We are adding a new career and community center, and

renovating the existing building to reconfigure sleeping, bathing,

laundry, kitchen, dining, classroom, and storage spaces. We’ll

also remediate foundation issues that have caused maintenance

problems. The expanded campus will give more women

opportunities to gain skills and support while in recovery.




1 Shelter Expansion and


2 Kitchen Expansion and


3 Dining Expansion

4 Interior Renovations

5 Community Building

Capacity for 210 beds

14,000 new square feet

3,600 renovated square feet





Mar. 25

May 20

July 19

Oct. 16


Recovery Can’t Wait Virtual Public Groundbreaking

A.J. Fletcher Foundation match secured 3 months ahead of schedule

(with 100 new donors and $437,095 raised)

Official groundbreaking at Women’s Campus

Inaugural Art of Recovery event

Official groundbreaking at Men’s Campus





MEET THE Bilbros


Carol and Bob



“ The work Dr. Bilbro and

his colleagues did on

the task force led to

the creation of a

new department,

Wake County

Human Services...”

We had the privilege of sitting down with Dr. Bob Bilbro

and his wife, Carol, to dig deeper into the why behind

their twenty years of giving. And even though it was more

than 20 years ago, the two shared stories of the early days of

building Healing Transitions like it was yesterday.

“At the time, I was the president of the Wake County Medical Society,

and they asked me to go downtown to speak with the Wake County

Commissioners about their healthcare strategies,” recalled Dr. Bilbro.

“After a few meetings with them, the Commissioners decided to

form a task force to restructure human services in the county. I was

asked to be the chair, and I was as busy as could be with my medical

practice. I couldn’t see myself doing it, but it turned out to be one of

the best things I did.”

The work Dr. Bilbro and his colleagues did on the task force led to

the creation of a new department, Wake County Human Services,

that would oversee all human services in the county. That’s when Dr.

Bilbro met Maria Spaulding, the then Executive Director of the new

department and one of the women who would make up the so-called

“Dynamic Trio” of individuals who founded Healing Transitions.



“I was too busy practicing

medicine and couldn’t go on that

first trip, but I was interested in

everything they told me when

they came back. That’s when we

agreed – we’ve got to bring that

program to Wake County,” added

Dr. Bilbro.

Soon after, Maria appointed a

taskforce to research solutions

to the growing problem of

homelessness in Raleigh. The

team knew a majority of homeless

individuals also struggled

with addiction, and they were

determined to find a program that

addressed both of those issues.

Linda Strother, a member of the

task force, found The Healing

Dr. Bob Bilbro

“ You can’t learn the history of Healing Transitions

without hearing the names ’Bob and Carol Bilbro’

come up over and over again.”

Place in Louisville, Kentucky,

a program known for working

directly – and successfully – with

people who are homeless and

struggling with addiction.

A delegation of community

leaders from Raleigh visited The

Healing Place and came back

determined to replicate the

program in Wake County.

He stopped reflecting for a

moment and popped back to

today, adding, “Since Healing

Transitions opened, the

population of Raleigh has grown

tremendously, but the homeless

population has decreased

significantly. I think that’s in part

because of the work of Healing

Transitions in our community.

It’s been a great benefit to the

community and exciting for us to

be a part of it.”

You can’t learn the history of

Healing Transitions without

hearing the names “Bob and

Carol Bilbro” come up over and

over again. From health clinic

volunteers to campus gardeners,

board members and now capital

campaign co-chairs, there’s little

in the organization that hasn’t

seen their fingerprints or

tender care.

In the early days, Bob joined the

Dynamic Trio of Maria Spaulding,

Barbara Goodmon, and Fred


Barber to hold donor meetings,

call local and state officials, and

dream of the day when they would

open this incredible program to

the public. Every last detail of

the program was discussed and

reviewed with great thought.

Carol laughed as she remembered

the time they debated which

type of trees to plant in the men’s

campus courtyard.

“We had raised the money to

bring the program to life, but we

wanted to be intentional about

this decision,” she shared. “We

were trying to figure out what

kind of trees would be the best

trees in the courtyard. They

couldn’t grow to be 60-feet tall.

They couldn’t have too many

leaves or burrs or pinecones.

I remember going to various

nurseries and asking them what

they thought. And we brought in

some local master gardeners to

help us too.”

campus borders Dix Park and

the women’s campus backs up

to Umstead Park,” said Carol.

“It’s a fabulous haven, and I think

all along, with the approach to

addiction and recovery, we’ve

realized it needs to include an

environment that is reflective,

meditative, and close to nature.”

“When you come into the shelter

space, and you’re sleeping with

more than 100 people around

you, sometimes sleeping on the

floor, you have very little time

to reflect on what’s happened

to you or how you want to make

“ I’ve always been inspired

to see these people

come from totally down

and out to becoming

new people with a

wonderful attitude.”

changes in your life. Being near

nature is very helpful,” she said.

Like so many gracious leaders,

the Bilbros are quick to deflect

when it comes to honoring their

legacy with the organization,

but they both acknowledged the

impact Healing Transitions has

had in their own lives.

“For me, it’s been wonderfully

“Just don’t ask me what tree

we ended up planting; I can’t

remember!” she laughed.

The memory of the trees sparked

another poignant thought from

both of them, and they continued.

“Both campuses ended up near

beautiful parks. The men’s

Mrs. Carol Bilbro



The Bilbro’s virtual


photo submission

for capital campaign

public launch on

March 25, 2021.

gratifying,” said Dr. Bilbro.

“Gratifying and inspiring. This

past year, I’ve really missed being

able to walk down the hallways,

give the men a hug, and follow

their progress through the

program. I look forward to that

day returning. I’ve always been

inspired to see these people

come from totally down and out

to becoming new people with a

wonderful attitude. Just watching

it unfold is so meaningful.”

Carol agreed. “Inspiring is a great

word. The other word that comes

to my mind is enlightening. I

really didn’t know much about

addiction and recovery before

we started getting involved, and

as I learned more about it, I just

became awed by the people who

can completely change their lives

and turn around. I don’t think the

public realizes how difficult that

really is.”

With more than 20 years of

memories between the two

of them, it’s hard to narrow

down their Healing Transitions

experiences to a few favorite

memories, but when they started

thinking about their hopes for the

organization’s next twenty years,

they were both quick to chime in.

“I anticipate that healthcare

providers will develop new

techniques and tools to help with

the battle of addiction,” said Dr.

Bilbro. “The beauty of Healing

Transitions’ program is that it’s not

only about stopping substance

abuse. It also focuses on a

change in attitude and behavior,

combined with a different way of

living. It’s just miraculous to see

that happen over and over again.”

Carol added, “It’s very difficult to

do something alone, but if you

have a supportive community

around you, holding you,

embracing you, keeping you

close, lifting you up in your

distress, Healing Transitions

proves you can transition yourself

to a new way of thinking and

a whole new life.”

And what could be better

than that?

Healing Transitions proves you can transition

yourself to a new way of thinking and a whole

new life.”





Together, our donors, employers, individual volunteers,

mentors, alumni, participants, staff, and village partners

listed above serve as individual puzzle pieces that,

when combined, move our mission forward. We rely on

each one of you to keep us and our community strong.



2018 Gratitude

Month recognition

of Counter Culture


2018 “We Are Your Village”

Recovery Month photoshoot.

Nonprofit Partners

So many of our nonprofit partners play an

intimate role in the lives of our participants.

Whether they’re providing food or clothing

to keep them nourished and safe while in

our recovery program, or allowing them to

volunteer and give back to the community,

or even giving them employment again,

our nonprofit partners are always there

to continue giving back to those who we

serve before, during, and after they come

through our doors.


In many ways, our volunteers are at the very

core of our mission. Whether they’re volunteer

clinicians, serving on the board, handing out

meals in our kitchens, or providing a boost

in a multitude of other capacities, volunteers

are there serving as crucial helpers and role

models for our participants.

Healthcare Providers

Healing Transitions is grateful for the many

healthcare providers who generously give

their time to help the men and women we

serve. They provide critical, life-saving care

to help our men and women get back into

good physical and mental health.

First Responders and

Criminal Justice Partners

First responders, in many cases, are the

initial point of contact between Healing

Transitions and a person who is in need of

our services. They are critical to our impact

in the community. Once they bring someone

through our doors, our wonderful criminal

justice partners play an important role in

assisting with any legal issues a participant

may have so they can leave our program in

recovery prepared to be a productive member

of society once more.

Faith Community


Healing Transitions is thankful for the

multitude of faith organizations whose

members give so much to our men and

women. Not only are they donating time and

resources every day, but they provide the

folks who we serve an inviting and welcoming

community that will stick by their side for a

lifetime after they finish our recovery program.


2018 Gratitude Month recognition of the Food

Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

2018 Gratitude

Month recognition

of the Wake

County ABC


Recovery Community

Our mission is not possible without the vast

recovery community of North Carolina.

This incredible collection of people and

organizations provides resources, tools,

and lifelong support to help the folks who

we serve thrive in recovery long after they

complete our program.

Educational Programs

Healing Transitions is fortunate to partner

with multiple educational programs to

provide valuable, long-lasting tools for our

participants. Whether it’s educating them on

finances, teaching them how to read in an

engaging way to their children, or helping

them build a resume to gain meaningful

employment, these organizations help

rebuild the men and women who we serve

from the inside-out.

Fitness Community

The fitness community in Raleigh is strong,

inclusive, and passionately gives back to their

community. They help build healthy habits

for our participants, and give relentless

support in their recovery.

Housing Organizations

When someone walks through our doors, they

do so homeless, uninsured, and struggling

with substance use. But when they are ready

to leave to be a part of the larger community

as a person in recovery, they are greeted by

numerous housing organizations ready to

give them a place to call “home” again. Our

mission would not be possible without these

entities willing to give our alumni a place to

thrive in recovery.

Other Community


There are so many incredible leaders

and organizations in our community who

generously give back in so many meaningful

ways. They are how we can serve the unique

needs of well over 300 men and women

every single day. Without all of these entities

with whom we partner, we would not have

the success that we do. And for that, we are

eternally grateful.






2018 Staff Holiday Luncheon at

Prestonwood Country Club.



OUR Cornerstone

A cornerstone is defined as an important quality or feature on which a particular

thing depends or is based. Simply put, Healing Transitions would not be here

today if not for our foundational stakeholders, key players, and early committee

members who believed in the overwhelming need for our services in Wake County

at the turn of the millennium and for the 17 donors who have given every year

since we opened our doors in 2001 for a combined total of $1,553,463.

Foundational Stakeholders

These are the people and organizations who paved the way to make our mission possible by being

the initial investors in either our men’s campus in 2001, women’s campus in 2006, or both.


ABC Commission of North Carolina

Wake County

Duke Energy Progress

Capital Broadcasting Company

A.J. Fletcher Foundation

City of Raleigh

WakeMed Staff Foundation

Ray Goodmon

NC Housing Finance Agency


Triangle Community Foundation


Kate B. Reynolds Foundation

Szulik Family Foundation

White Memorial Presbyterian Church

Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina

Mary Ann Poole

The John Rex Endowment



Key Players *

These leaders were the sparkplug of the movement to bring The Healing Place to Wake County.

They were the strongest advocates who understood the importance of having our program and

community and took action to bring it to life.

Fred Barber

Capitol Broadcasting Company

Dr. Wilmer Betts

Wake County Mental Health Clinic

Dr. Bob H. Bilbro

Wake County Medical Society

Ray Champ


Barbara Goodmon

Wake County Human Services, Board Member

Benson Kirkman

Raleigh City Council

Dennis Parnell

Healing Transitions, Founding Executive Director


Maria Spaulding

Wake County Human Services

Linda Strother

Wake County Human Services

Key Player Special Mentions

Jay Davidson

The Healing Place Louisville, Executive Director

Chris Fajardo

The Healing Place Louisville, Program Director

Joe McQuany

Developer of the Recovery Dynamics curriculum

Lacy Reaves

Smith Anderson Law Firm

The Recovery Community of Wake

County, North Carolina and abroad

Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen

The Healing Place Delegation

Those who traveled to The Healing Place in Louisville on 6/21/1998 - 6/23/1998

to learn more about the program model.

Fred Barber

Gerald Brown

Wake County EMS

Lonnie Bunn

WakeMed Emergency Department Operations

Rev. Richard Fitzgerald

Raleigh Rescue Mission

Rev. Sam Foster

Raleigh Rescue Mission

Dr. Sally Fuller

WakeMed Emergency Department

Barbara Goodmon

Franklin Ingram


Benson Kirkman

Janet Laing

East Raleigh Community Action Council

Mayor Fred Musgrave

Salvation Army

Captain Dan Nagle

Wake County Sheriff Department

Roy Nickell

Wake County Human Services

Dennis Parnell

Mary Jean Seyda

Wake County Human Services

Maria Spaulding

Linda Strother

Charlotte Terwilliger


*The above individuals made up one or more of the following committees between the years of 1993-1999: Community Forum

Planning Committee; Community Forum Substance Abuse Treatment Committee; Substance Abuse Non-Hospital Medical Detox

Committee (SANHMD); The Healing Place Delegation Committee; Wake County Housing and Homeless Working Group (HHWG).


Community Forum Substance Abuse

Treatment Committee

Those who came together in August of 1998 to implement The Healing Place

program model and develop the business plan.

Fred Barber

Dr. Wilmer Betts

Carolyn Crowder

Triangle Family Services

Shiela Frye

Wake County Human Services

Franklin Ingram

Roy Nickell

Jamie Norton

Keys to Recovery

Dennis Parnell

Tammy Strickland

Wake County Human Services

David Turpin


Bob Sorrels

Wake County Human Services

Linda Strother

For your unwavering support over the past two

decades, we salute you and are forever grateful!

Dennis Parnell (R) receiving a donation.

Chris Budnick receiving a check from CBS-17.

Dennis Parnell receiving donation.

Allstate Foundation $20k donation.




Thank you!


Thank you!





(919) 838-9800





1251 Goode St.

Raleigh, NC 27603


3304 Glen Royal Rd.

Raleigh, NC 27617

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