AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Hale Foundation help people recover from alcohol and drug abuse, and also get their lives back on the right track. They provide structure to their residents and offer a safe recovery residence setting until they are ready to assume responsibility by readjusting to society and resume independent living.

Brad Means: Rosanne Grubbs is the Executive Director of the Hale House, the Hale Foundation here in Augusta. A lot of you may have heard of the Hale House and I wanna first of all welcome you to “The Means Report”, Rosanne. I know you’re busy and I appreciate you being here.

Rosanne Grubbs: Thank you.

Brad Means: So, help me through the process. People say, “The Hale House. Oh, the Hale House, that’s where you go to get treatment or help with addiction.” It’s not just a house. Tell me how much you all have grown since your inception.

Rosanne Grubbs: I’d be glad to. There are five houses now.

Brad Means: Five of ’em.

Rosanne Grubbs: Three of them are very old and crumbling. One has been built from the floor up. The administration building is the Hale House, which people refer to as the whole thing sometimes. The next is Sibley Hall, which was built from the ground up and that’s our dining hall. And then the last three houses are actually where the residents live.

Brad Means: All right, so let me ask you the same question I asked the guest before you. How do I access The Hale Foundation’s services? Do I walk up to one of those buildings you just mentioned and say, “My life is out of control, help me.” How’s it work?

Rosanne Grubbs: You know, you can certainly do that, and we’ll see if you meet the requirements. Also, you can call, there’s our website, email. We get referrals from every way possible.

Brad Means: What kind of addiction are we talking about here?

Rosanne Grubbs: We’re talking about substance abuse with all the drugs now, with the fentanyl, with the opiates, with pain pills, with Adderall, with amphetamines, as well as alcohol. Alcoholism.

Brad Means: Y’all see a lot of fentanyl? We have a story about it, you know, I’m sad to tell you almost every single night. And before that, it was nonstop stories about opioid addiction. Do you see that here in Augusta?

Rosanne Grubbs: We are seeing so much here. It is very frightening. I don’t know what the answer is but we all need to be proactive in doing something about this. Our young people are dying.

Brad Means: Who comes to see y’all? Is it rich people, poor people, Black, white, everybody?

Rosanne Grubbs: It’s everybody.

Brad Means: Yeah?

Rosanne Grubbs: You know, drug addiction and alcoholism has no boundaries. It hits everyone.

Brad Means: What’s inside once you do welcome someone in, or they walk up, they’re referred, what have you? What awaits them?

Rosanne Grubbs: Well, to start with, first of all, when we get a referral, it’s usually somebody calls us, whether it’s the court system, or whether it’s a mom or a grand mom, or if it’s the person themselves. But we like to check and see if, first of all, if they’re desperate. Nobody is gonna ever change if they’re not desperate. If there are other options left out there for them, they’re not gonna come to The Hale Foundation.

Brad Means: Let me stop you right there. So, are you expecting an individual to reach their rock bottom and then they’re helpable?

Rosanne Grubbs: Absolutely. I don’t think if they don’t reach their rock bottom, they’re not gonna change.

Brad Means: How can you tell? Just questions?

Rosanne Grubbs: Questions and we can hear the desperation in their voice usually. We used to wanna talk to, especially like if someone was calling from jail, if they were being mandated there from the court system, that we would still want to talk to the individual. It’s gotten very hard to do that now with getting someone to the phone in the jails. But, we like to talk to the person themselves.

Brad Means: Okay, so they go in and you determine that they are desperate and then what happens? You just sign ’em up and say, “You’re not going anywhere for a year.”?

Rosanne Grubbs: No, that would be easy. First of all, they have to have two forms of identification. And that’s either a driver’s license or a state-issued ID, and it also has to be like a birth certificate, a certified birth certificate and/or a social security card. And that is not for us, we don’t need that. But we do find them, after they’ve been there for two weeks, we find them a permanent job in the community with one of the companies that we have a relationship with. And they do a formal interview with these guys. So they have to have the two forms of identification at that time. So they have to have that to come in there.

Brad Means: Got it.

Rosanne Grubbs: There is an admission fee to get in. We are not a medical facility, so we don’t take insurance and we don’t deal with medication. So they can’t be on medication unless it’s blood pressure medicine, heart medicine, cholesterol medicine, or something like that. No antidepressants, no antipsychotics, none of that.

Brad Means: Who wants to hire these people? Who wants to take a chance on somebody who may be still in the throes? Who are still in the throes of alcohol or drug addiction? That doesn’t sound like it would make for a good worker.

Rosanne Grubbs: Well, I’ll tell you what, we have the most wonderful relationship with six or seven, eight different companies in town that love to hire our guys. ‘Cause one, they know they’re gonna come to work because we’re gonna bring ’em. Two, they’re gonna not be high or drunk when they get there ’cause they’re coming from us. And three is they know that, you know, what we are teaching there, through the 12 steps is how to grow up and make your bed and how to be on time and how to be responsible. And so our guys make wonderful employees. These companies like to hire us.

Brad Means: You mentioned make your bed. I mean, there have been books written on how that very act can be life changing. Is it? And why?

Rosanne Grubbs: We’ve had, because it’s discipline, you know, you’re having to discipline yourself to do it. And we go through and look at those beds, and if they’re not right, we tear ’em up.

Brad Means: So listen, if we look at, and the typical program is about 12 months for y’all, right?

Rosanne Grubbs: It is a commitment for a year, 12 months.

Brad Means: We were talking on the phone last night, Rosanne, and you said something that was fascinating to me. “Half of that is getting sober and the other half of the time is staying sober.” Kinda walk me through that. How do you make someone realize, and I know you could probably spend three hours talking about this, that they don’t need those substances?

Rosanne Grubbs: When they come in there, it, you know, no one comes in there knowing what to expect, really, unless they’re a repeat offender.

Brad Means: Sure.

Rosanne Grubbs: So we have a unusual, fantastic situation at The Hale Foundation that is, there have been so many men who have graduated from our program that are in Augusta, Georgia right now, that are from Augusta or from, they can be from anywhere in the southeast that come to us. When they come to us, when we get a new person in, all the men that are there, and right now we have 51 men staying there, all the men there will welcome that person, make them feel welcome, make them feel a part of, or show ’em the works, keep ’em out of trouble for a while. And that happens throughout. They form these networks while they’re in there, that they depend on each other. And then they start going to outside 12-step meetings and they see these men in the community that have graduated from there and they’re still going to these meetings outside in the community. So that when this person graduates from there, and then all during the week as well, these men from the community come down and mingle with our guys, the men that are sober and clean. They come, we have a spirituality meeting on Sunday mornings and there’s a ton of men that come in, have this hour long meeting with our guys, and then they cook a big breakfast afterwards. So when our guys graduate from there, they already have a network in the community. So they’re not just going, like going back home to Alabama where they don’t know anybody, you know, at a meeting outside.

Brad Means: Right.

Rosanne Grubbs: And so their accountability system and network is set up for them when they get out.

Brad Means: Does insurance ever help? And is that an easy process to navigate?

Rosanne Grubbs: We don’t take insurance.

Brad Means: You don’t?

Rosanne Grubbs: We’re not medical, so we don’t take insurance. All of our, I mean, there’s an admission fee to come in. And like I said, after they’ve been there for two weeks, we find them a permanent job that they go to every day, five days a week.

Brad Means: How much is it to get in?

Rosanne Grubbs: It’s $800.

Brad Means: Yeah? And can you spread that out or can you help me pay it if I don’t have 800 right now?

Rosanne Grubbs: We can make that work, yes.

Brad Means: Okay, you know, I’m just wondering.

Rosanne Grubbs: We have a fund that we created–

Brad Means: Rosanne, stop scratching your microphone.

Rosanne Grubbs: I’m sorry.

Brad Means: No, that’s okay. But you have a program to help if people need it.

Rosanne Grubbs: We do.

Brad Means: But we’d love to have the 800 up front.

Rosanne Grubbs: Yes.

Brad Means: Which leads me to my next question: How can we support you? How can we help make sure that you have what you need to do the amazing work that you’re doing?

Rosanne Grubbs: Well, we love donations. We love donations of money, particularly.

Brad Means: Definitely.

Rosanne Grubbs: Clothes. You know, these men come in there sometimes that are homeless and don’t have any clothes other than what’s on their back. But particularly for our operating expenses. Our budget every year, 50% of that comes from the program fees and the other part comes from donations or fundraising.

Brad Means: What’s it feel like to see someone go from their darkest hour to being a productive member of society once again? It cannot ever get old to you.

Rosanne Grubbs: I have been given the best gift on the planet, to be able to watch someone come in broken, and tired, and run over, and desperate, and see them, watch the change. I say one miracle happens in the first six months they’re there. And that’s where you learn how to change your life, you know, change and follow this program and follow the 12 steps and depend on other people. And then a lot of people wanna leave after six months and you know, it’s not time because another miracle happens in the last six months. And that’s where you learn how to live in this world in a different way, sober and clean and with a huge support system. So I get to watch the light come on in all these guys’ eyes and see them leave there proud, and happy, and connected, and willing to do the next right thing.

Brad Means: Well, the bulb comes on because of you, Rosanne, and Cliff Richards and your whole team over there at The Hale Foundation. Thanks for what you do.

Rosanne Grubbs: Thank you.

Brad Means: Absolutely. Y’all, please support them. They could use it. Make more miracles happen, more light bulbs come on.