Program DirectorCalifornia“Phoenix House affords me the opportunity to serve and to introduce hope into the lives of the people who walk through our doors.”
Akilah Templeton has worked in the addiction treatment field for 20 years. Before joining Phoenix House Residential Program and Outpatient Services in Venice, California as Program Director, Akilah worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and The Ventura County Department of Behavioral Health. She brings extensive experience providing direct services to clients with co-occurring disorders to our organization. Akilah has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Before entering the substance abuse treatment field, Akilah had witnessed the negative impact alcohol and drugs had on individuals, families, and communities. For a long time, she said, there was exclusivity in addiction treatment. “There was one way of thinking and one approach to addressing a very complex problem. I wanted to be a part of the evolution of the field of addiction treatment,” she said. Even 20 years later, Akilah is excited about the innovations taking place in the field. She is committed to helping people battling addiction to achieve success using evidence-based practices and clinical approaches.
She was drawn to Phoenix House because she felt aligned with its mission and its holistic approach to treatment. She loves working with experts and people who share in a commitment to excellence. “Phoenix House has a long history of providing services to a diverse client pool in a variety of programs nationwide. I wanted to be a part of an organization with that type of footprint,” she said. She is driven by the knowledge that her efforts change lives. “Phoenix House affords me the opportunity to serve and to introduce hope into the lives of the people who walk through our doors.”
Akilah and her colleagues face challenges head on. There have been significant policy changes at the state level that impact the way their program provides care. There have been changes that affect the way they look at substance use in general. “What we know for sure is that the disease itself has not changed. We must remain committed to treating the disease regardless of the social and political landscapes. We address challenges by staying committed to the mission.”
Akilah’s program offers clients a chance to discover who they are and what they have to offer. She is proud that Phoenix House doesn’t simply offer a second chance at life, it offers another chance—she sees a real difference between the two. Addiction can be a chronic and persistent challenge. “We are there to help people stay the course even if it means multiple treatment episodes. The door is always open and we are committed as long as the client is willing,” she said.