Our story goes back to the troubling times of the Vietnam War when a young soldier named Fred Brown returned from the from the battlefield. As with far too many of his compatriots, Fred slipped into his addiction and a downward spiral of darkness and despair. Before long, he found himself estranged from his family and homeless on the streets of San Pedro, California, with nothing but a paper containing his few possessions.
While granted a moment of clarity, he admitted himself to the Veterans Administration rehabilitation program in Loma Linda, California. There he vowed if he could be reunited with his young daughter, Alena, he would devote his life to helping others suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
Fred successfully completed treatment and was reunited with his daughter. In 1983, after completing extensive training and education as a drug and alcohol counselor, he started one of the first sober living programs for drug addicts, who back then were all but forgotten by the alcoholics’ recovery community. True to his word, Fred went on to help thousands of others and their families affected by addiction.
Several years later, Fred was joined by Al Ahl, who had served as a drug and alcohol counselor at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Long Beach, where like many others he treated former First Lady Betty Ford. A former Marine gunnery sergeant, he shared Fred’s experience as a person in recovery with a passion for helping others overcoming their destructive addictions.
Together Fred and Al forged a new, effective approach for treating drug and alcohol addiction, based on compassion, care an understanding that recovery begins from within. Today, their legacy lives on, under the stewardship of Roxanna Natale-Brown, Executive Director, bringing hope, strength and healing to those affected by addiction.