18th Annual Celebration of Recovery

Thursday, September 24th, 2015
Gerald Anderson, Alumni of the Year

Gerald Anderson, Alumni of the Year

On September 16th, Phoenix House Mid-Atlantic had the privilege to host the 18th Annual Celebration of Recovery for current clients and alumni! The celebration is held every year in September to celebrate clients’ hard work and success in overcoming their substance use disorders and to coincide with National Recovery Month. Gerald Anderson, a graduate of the Phoenix Program, was awarded Alumni of the Year for his inspirational story and leadership in the recovery community. In his acceptance speech, he shared his recovery experience. Unique to his story, Anderson’s journey includes publishing a book. When author and award-winning journalist, Susan Orlins, met Anderson, he was selling Street Sense, Washington, DC’s newspaper that is written and sold by homeless vendors. For 18 months they met weekly to talk. Anderson’s memoir, Still Standing: How an Ex-Con Found Salvation in the Floodwaters of Katrina is the result. It tells the inspiring story of Anderson’s resilience and determination to turn his life around after prison, homelessness, and drug addiction.

Board member Mark Hawkins with Senior Vice President and Executive Director Debby Taylor

Board member Mark Hawkins with Senior Vice President and Executive Director Debby Taylor

George Knoerlein, Director of Clinical Operations, hosted the event as close to 200 individuals in their recovery listened to the history and mission of Phoenix House. As a creative activity, clients from each Phoenix House Mid-Atlantic program delivered spirited performances of their choosing that included poems, music, and dramatic readings illustrating their experiences in a positive way. Board Member Mark Hawkins was in attendance and shared, “Each year this event gets better and better as the lives we touch grow in number, our clients become more diverse, and the stories we hear become more inspirational.”

Since 1962, Phoenix House Mid‐Atlantic has served more than 35,000 individuals. Every day, our programs help hundreds of people struggling with substance use disorders. Phoenix House Mid-Atlantic operates 21 programs in the Metro D.C. area to meet the varied treatment needs of adults, adolescents, and mothers with children.

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