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Peers & Allies

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Jocelyn Wallace 
CARES CPS-AD MAT
Executive Director

CARES certified,  CPS-AD, MAT

My name is Jocelyn Wallace, I am a woman in long-term recovery. What that means is that I have not used any mind altering substances or committed any crimes since March 4, 2017. I suffered the disease of  Opioid Use Disorder for over 26 years. I made it out alive – and for that I carry around this amazing sense of gratitude and living the most authentic life possible. Recovery has given me a life, I’m excited to wake up to each day. I am fully aware that I did not get to this point on my own. I recognize the sobriety I achieved is due to a Higher Power, 12-Step program, and the many people who have loved and supported me throughout my journey.

 

What recovery means to me is an entire transformation of my life. Recovery is an experience – something that can only be lived. Sobriety is a gift. And it’s a miracle that I am writing this today. I will always have the disease of Substance Use Disorder – but today I’m sober…and that is priceless. One of the greatest gift of all that I have received on this journey was the honor to obtain my CARES certification and my CPS-AD,MAT and work in the field of recovery in the state of Georgia. Daily I am able to give back to the men and women who come seeking a new way of life. I get to be a part of the miracle of transformation in recovery, and see the sparkle of hope in their eyes. I get to encourage these men and women to become empowered and find their own capabilities. Most importantly, I walk in freedom one day at a time.

 

Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

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Deena Davis
CARES
Vice President

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Douglas County Family Treatment Court Peer Specialist, CARES

Deena Davis is a Certified Addiction & Recovery Empowerment Specialist, CARES, and works for the Family Treatment Court (FTC) in Douglas County as a peer support specialist. In 2010 Deena graduated from the same program she is employed by today. Deena was among the first group of peers in Georgia to go through the CARES Academy and become certified through The Ga Council on Substance Abuse in 2011. She has served on the advisory board for the Georgia's Practice Model Implementation as a peer specialist and is part of the Maternal Substance Use workgroup for the statewide Georgia Multi-Stakeholder Opioid and Substance Use Response Plan. She is the founder of a non-profit, Families in Transition, which provides services for at risk families in Douglas and is also on the team for Quality Improvement Center for Collaborative Community Court Team’s Baby Steps Recovery Program. She recently worked with the Center for State Judges providing her personal journey with her work on the Baby Steps project. Deena has been living in long term recovery for well over 12 years and is actively involved in the 12-step community. She has shared her recovery journey locally as well as nationally.  Deena believes there are many paths to recovery and uses her lived experiences to connect with people and help them on their recovery journey. She speaks out about her recovery because she thinks everyone should have the opportunities she has had to get and stay well and wants to be a part of removing the stigma behind the disease of addiction.  

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Cyndi Burnett
CARES
Assistant Director
Art Director

CARES certified, CPS-AD

I’m Cyndi Burnett, a woman in long term recovery.  That means that I have not had an alcoholic beverage since July 10, 2018.  I had struggled with alcohol abuse for about 8 years ...I could not be an alcoholic!  I’d never had a DUI.  I hadn’t lost my home, my job, or my family ...YET!!!  I knew I was headed in that direction. I loved my husband of 40 years, my daughters more than life itself. My teaching career was everything to me. That wasn’t enough to make me stop- I couldn’t do it by myself. I’m so thankful that my doctor recommended I try Alcoholics Anonymous.


When I met the group of people in Alcoholics Anonymous and applied their suggestions from the 12 step program in my life ...oh my! I rise every morning with a grateful heart and a desire to serve others.   I thank my higher power for another sober day.  Amazingly as I began to work through anxiety & depression, collage art became an outlet for me, and as I peeled away the layers of struggle in my life my art became meaningful. In 2020, Blu Rose Art Bistro in Douglasville graciously displayed my art, and now it hangs in the RCO and is featured in my Etsy shop.  My art will always support and benefit recovery, because it and the people who loved me, and Alcoholics Anonymous saved my life.
I know two things for sure:


1. There are many more people just like me, suffering through each day, faking it, deceiving loved ones, trying to be perfect, feeling like a failure, hating life.  

 

2. For me to stay sober, I have to help the still suffering addict, and I am overjoyed for the opportunity to serve at The Never Alone Clubhouse RCO. Now my life is worth sharing, especially with others in recovery.

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Shea Pedroza
Peer Support
Marketing Assistant

 

Hi! I'm Shea, and I'm a person in long term recovery. What that means to me is that I have been able to parent my daughter without getting distracted. I found my self worth, and since, have made my family proud and not ashamed of me since April 20, 2016. I'm going to be honest. I'm one of those people that are loud and jokes around majority of the time, even when I shouldn't, but that's because I've spent so many years searching for laughter. I try to be that, so people won't have to search as hard as I did. This personality trait almost cost me my life many times. Like most people like me, that's the stuff that steered me deeper into my disease to begin with. That discomfort is what led me to recovery. I was searching to find a way out of an uncomfortable state. I landed here, at The Never Alone Clubhouse. And I loved that they supported each pathway in recovery. My recovery is faith based. I can not express the pull I had being around this community. I decided to trust in God and join their mission of spreading hope, and providing a safe place. I share the message of recovery by being a part of the Alumni Group of Family Treatment Court here in Douglas County. It's important that I share that part of me because I graduated FTC in 2011. I completed treatment, got a house, got a job and gained custody of my daughter back, after 10 long months of her being gone. But unfortunately, that wasn't enough for me. I almost immediately had a set back. I fell even harder into substance use disorder than I ever had in the past. It took me 5 years of living a lifestyle of such a sad and defeated person to finally surrender and live clean, or die. Now, I vow to share my story. And I mean all of it. The mental, physical, and emotional. If I don't, I will surely die that is my reality. God is always providing ways to display grace, and I am living proof of that and you are too! I am very honored to be a part of this organization and share my pathway with others just like me. God Bless! 

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David Carruth
Peer Support
Community Connections

 

Hey my name is David Carruth and I'm a person in long term recovery. And what that means for me is, I haven't put anything in my body that changes the way I feel since April 8, 2005. For me, getting to the point in my life where I was sick of being a failure. My brother told me that when I was ready to change he would help me. I surrendered and indeed my brother helped me walk into a treatment center. I left treatment at 3 months, of a 6 month program. The world said that I wouldn't make it. I found myself in the rooms and picked up my first chip. Which led me to having my first catchphrase that I was proud of.  And I know my brother would be proud of too. I had become a one chip wonder. I was beginning my journey of the man you see today. Giving what was given to me, I give to other men. I developed friendships, brotherhoods and in some cases became a sponsor for.  Eventually, I connected with Jocelyn through the rooms. She reached out to me and asked if I'd like to be a part of a Recovery Community Organization. And without a doubt I was on board. I wanted to be able to go into businesses, and spread hope in what recovery is, or could be. Shortly, it was suggested, I join Jocelyn in visiting a few Jails. It's been a blessing in disguise with me sharing my experience, strength and hope with people who had lost their way and were sitting in a hopeless situation. That it was never too late to try something new. An introduction to a stranger had turned my life full circle because I was them a few years ago. Recovery has given me a life I can live without having an escape route from. My higher power has led me to where fear has no place. And I try my best to show up for one day at a time.

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Janis Austin
Ally of Recovery
Family Support
Board Secretary

 

My name is Janis Austin.  I am a recovery Ally.  What this means is; I am a mother of a child with Opioid Use Disorder that has not felt the need to use any mind altering substance in 5 years. I also have the pleasure of serving as Secretary on the board at The Never Alone Clubhouse in Douglasville. I am married to Jake Austin who co-shares my position as Secretary.  We live in Bowdon Ga.  I am the proud mother of Jocelyn Wallace, Executive Director of The Never Alone Clubhouse.   I walked the hell of untreated Substance Use Disorder for over 26 years with Jocelyn.  This is a devastating roller coaster.  When the day came that Jocelyn surrendered and asked for help was life changing!  Watching a tortured sick woman transform into a happy healthy, honest woman is a miracle!  My driving force to be involved with The Never Alone Clubhouse is to help other parents and families with their walk in the recovery process. Supporting Jocelyn in her passion of giving back to the community and making changes is my honor and privilege .

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Jake Austin
Ally of Recovery
Family Support
Board Secretary

 

 My name is Jake Austin and my wife Janis and I have the honor of being co-secretaries of the Never Alone Clubhouse.  This RCO is located on Grady St. in Douglasville.  I attended Georgia State University where I was a history major before switching to economics. I did my student teaching before deciding that this was not my interests. 

In 1972 I was hired by UPS and for the next thirty years I spent with this company. The first four were as a driver and the subsequent 26 and change was spent in management.  Most of my time was spent in operations , although assignments took me to employee relations and labor relations at times. In the first quarter of 2003 I took my retirement and planned on spending my time playing golf and fishing.  Janis preceded me in retirement from Bosch, Inc.

Janis and I have seven children  and are so very proud of all of them but the 80s and 90s posed some very difficult obstacles to the growth and maturing of healthy young people.  Experimenting in drugs happened among our kids and we dodged the addiction bullseye until our next to youngest succumbed. 

Over twenty years of hell and heartache followed with my making most every mistake a father could make. Jocelyn bursted out of the dark tunnel despite my involvement, not because of it. It was two more years before I could view substance use disorder as an illness, not weakness. When this reality finally got through my thick skin I became at peace and waited for the opportunity to get involved. Janis was a beacon who never quit loving her daughter and we wanted to learn how to help others. In whatever capacity Jocelyn wants us to serve we will.  God has lit the path and we all will follow. My relationship with Jocelyn is unbelievably wonderful.  Visions become reality daily with this group and I am just appreciative to tag along.

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Ashley Perry
CADC-II
Ally of Recovery
Treatment Coordinator

 

Ashley Perry, CADC-II

Treatment Coordinator

Ashley Perry is a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor in the State of Georgia with over 11 years of direct practice and leadership experience providing substance use disorder treatment services in residential, outpatient, and criminal justice settings. She is certified in several evidence-based curricula, including Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), SAMHSA’s Matrix Intensive Outpatient Treatment model, and SAMHSA’s Anger Management program, and she is trained to administer the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment tool. 

Ashley believes in a holistic approach to treatment, one that treats the “whole person” by considering issues related to mind, body, spirit, and emotions. She is gifted with a natural ability to develop trust and rapport and draws upon her extensive training in Motivational Interviewing techniques to “meet people where they are,” as she believes in allowing each person to guide and direct their recovery process. Although Ashley has experienced tremendous personal loss as a result of substance use disorder and co-occurring mental illness, including the loss of both her parents and her younger brother, she has never wavered in her desire to help others. She believes recovery is both possible and real, stating “It is an honor and a privilege to be able to do this work. I am humbled that so many people have allowed me to be part of their recovery journey. It is one of the greatest blessings of my life!”

The RCO

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6732 Spring Street

Douglasville, GA 30134