On a quiet corner in a nondescript part of West Los Angeles stands a two-story Victorian house that blends in with the other homes in this working class neighborhood. A white picket fence surrounds a yard filled with birds of paradise, elephant palm and geraniums, adding to the cozy anonymity. For the residents of this particular residence, however, it is unlike any home they have experienced. This is Felicity House, a place where women recover from lives torn apart by alcohol and drug abuse.
Felicity House was established in 1974 by a group of concerned citizens at a time when there were only a handful of alcohol recovery facilities in the entire nation, and almost none offering help exclusively to women. It remains one of the few affordable women's recovery homes in West Los Angeles.
As a non-profit organization, Felicity House currently offers up to 8 women at a time, a safe, long-term, structured environment away from the stresses and triggers that make staying sober so difficult in early recovery.
Under the leadership of House Manager Aida Richey and a volunteer board of directors, Felicity House uses peer group support, one-on-one guidance and a 12-step philosophy to help residents gain a firm foundation in recovery. Curfews, required 12-step meetings, chores and goal-setting are tools that help the women cope with the chaos their chemically dependent lifestyles have wrought. Without these tools and this safe haven, the difficulty of job re-entry, personal, financial and legal problems, and the hardship of mental, physical and emotional abuse, both self-inflicted and otherwise, might overwhelm them, leading them back to alcohol and drugs.
With a 46-year track record of success, Felicity House has seen plenty of miracles. Every Wednesday evening, Felicity alumnae and members of the recovery community gather at a weekly 12-step meeting and share their stories of hope with the new women in the house. Hundreds of women have experienced the miracle of this very unique place, this anonymous haven: Felicity House.