Monday, May 21 , 2018, 12:37 am | Fair 59º


Santa Barbara Rescue Mission Puts Graduates on Path of Recovery

Nine men and women are honored for their completion of a 12-month treatment program

On Saturday, the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission celebrated the graduation of nine men and women from the mission’s 12-month residential drug and alcohol treatment program.

The ceremony was held at Montecito Covenant Church, with more than 250 people in attendance. 

The recovery program is certified by the state of California to enroll 79 residents with an average of 37 graduates per year. Some estimate the national success rate for recovery programs to be 10 percent, the mission counts 57 percent of their alumni still in recovery one year after graduation.

Stan C., of the graduating class, shared his story of recovery.

“Prior to coming to the Rescue Mission, my lifestyle was an unbalanced death sentence. Willing to pay the cost for my actions, I wasn’t sent to prison again, but I was given the opportunity to go to the Rescue Mission and change my life,” Stan said. “Over the past year, miracles have been a big part of my daily life, and on Sept. 30, I was granted sole custody of my three oldest children. A year ago, I was not allowed to see my kids. People like me don’t stay clean and sober for over a year. People like me don’t get custody of their kids. People like me don’t check in with parole or probation. People like me die in their alcoholism, die in their addiction, die in prison. I was welcomed at the Rescue Mission when I wasn’t welcome anywhere. One last great idea to try and get sober, and here I am today.”

The mission continues to maintain a 96 percent employment rate among their graduates.

“Labeled ‘failures’ by almost everyone they know, the men and women who come to the mission learned to think of themselves that way,” said Rolf Geyling, president of the Rescue Mission. “That’s the before picture — before entering, committing to, working through and now graduating from the demanding year-long recovery program. The after picture is nothing short of amazing.”

The graduating class was honored with diplomas, certificates of recognition from Assemblyman Pedro Nava, and Bibles from Montecito Covenant Church.

— Rebecca Wilson is the director of communications and constituent relations for the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >