Program DirectorNew York“I have an opportunity to help people and I get to see miracles take place."
Vincent Vaglica came to work for Phoenix House in 2005 because he felt “an overwhelming desire to give back something that was given to [him].” As a former Phoenix House client, Vincent understands what people struggling with addiction are going through.
He began struggling with addiction when he was 12 or 13 years old. His mother worked in the medical field and tried to prompt him to get help. He eventually ended up at Phoenix House, where, he said, “My attitude began to change.” After he went through treatment, he tried to get his friends help, too, and his mother commented, “You do this for free—why don’t you try to make a career out of it?”
Vincent became a Certified Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) and later reconnected with a Phoenix House counselor, who encouraged him to apply for a job. “I was always very passionate about helping people change their lives,” Vincent said, so he applied. After he got the job, he loved the welcoming feeling that rushed back upon returning to Phoenix House as a staff member.
Vincent has worked at Phoenix House Delaware County Center, Phoenix House Hauppauge Center, and Phoenix House Lake Ronkonkoma Campus. He started as a part-time night monitor and has experience at nearly every position at the facilities. In addition to being a monitor, he has been a house manager, counselor, and senior counselor, and is now the director of the Hauppauge Center. Ten years ago, Vincent thought it would be impossible to get his life on track, let alone run a facility. “I feel Hauppauge is where I belong,” he said.
One of Vincent’s top motivators is the number of lives that he and his team touch. He loves helping clients begin a new journey of rebuilding their lives through a breadth of services—from educational to vocational services—and seeing proud, happy parents when their children finish treatment. “I have an opportunity to help people and I get to see miracles take place,” he said.