Organizations: St. Jude’s Recovery Center
The evocative name creates confusion among well-meaning donors and volunteers, who incorrectly assume that St. Jude’s Recovery Center is affiliated with the famous children’s hospital.
In fact, the organization, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, functions as Atlanta’s only state-licensed and nationally accredited alcohol and drug treatment center, treating homeless and low-income men, women and families who are struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental illness. The nonprofit, located in downtown Atlanta, was founded in 1962 by municipal court judges, business leaders and two inner-city Episcopal churches to provide an alternative to jail for the chronic alcoholic court offender.
“At the time, little was known about the disease of addiction,” says Marjorie Bush, president and CEO. “A group of forward-thinking individuals founded St. Jude’s and literally have helped thousands of individuals go on to recover and lead productive lives.”
The organization recently kicked off a capital campaign to raise $4.5 million for facility upgrades and renovations for primary health care and psychiatric services for its annual roll of more than 1,200 patients. An estimated 222,000 adults and 10,500 adolescents in Metropolitan Atlanta need treatment for addiction.
With a budget of $65 million – less than nine percent of every dollar donated goes toward administrative purposes – St. Jude’s offers a gamut of services including detoxification, long-term residential treatment, day treatment, 16 halfway houses and permanent supportive housing, as well as health services, employment counseling and family and children’s services. Its Family Care Center, in a retrofitted elementary school, houses 46 formerly homeless women in recovery and their dependent children.
“This is the first time these families have lived in a safe supportive environment,” Bush says.