Nick’s Place creates a safe, positive, family environment for those in recovery. My nephew Zach was a resident for eight months and I truly believe that it saved his life. They instil a culture of open communication and commitment while educating these young men about building a future full of hope, independence and learning a solid work ethic. Prior to my nephew arriving , he had no boundaries or rules and no future.
He is clean over two years. He makes his own car payment, pays his own rent , makes his own bed…. The list goes on. Thank you for creating a safe positive environment for young men to relearn basic life skills.
My first experience at Nick’s Place was entering a home which was warm and “homey”. It was evident from the time I met Rhea, Andrew and the staff, that these wonderful people have a passion to help young adults recover. When my husband and I Left, the other young adults assured us that they would look out for our son. My son entered Nick’s place after being arrested due to circumstances surrounding his opiate addiction. He was forced to go through detox in a jail cell and one of the hardest decisions my husband and I ever had to make was the decision we made to leave him in jail until he could get into a twenty-eight day program and from there go to Nick’s Place. He entered Nick’s Place a very altered version of the son we had raised prior to his addiction as using had altered the son we once knew.
During the months he stayed at Nick’s Place he flourished and thrived. His loving, grateful and responsible attributes re-emerged. He learned the need to do things that take a person outside of their comfort zone and how to navigate frustration and day to day living by the use of sober tools.
I am forever grateful to Nick’s Place, Rhea and her husband, Andrew, “Granny” and all of the staff! I pray that many other mothers may experience the blessings of having a son returned to the person they were meant to be through the gift of Nick’s Place!
From the very first day I took my son, Brian to Nick’s Place, I was warmly welcomed into the house by both Andrew and Nick. Nick’s Place would become my son’s”home away from home”. I was given an introduction to the house and it’s structure. Over the next few weeks, I was kept informed of Brian’s adjustment and progress through emails and phone calls from the house managers. I knew my son was safe and with others who were going through exactly what he was too. The only thing I worried about was Brian not having a car to get back and forth to work; I soon learned that he was very resourceful and capable of handling this on his own. My son made tremendous progress at Nick’s Place from being responsible for paying his bills, preparing meals, managing a bank account, completing household chores, doing his laundry and attending AA or NA meeting each and every day. The love and support Brian and I received from the staff and residents at Nick’s Place was outstanding. This experience exceeded all my expectations!! Nick’s Place literally saved my son’s life and has given him the tools to be successful in the future. Thank you for everything!
Our son, Matthew was accepted to Nick’s Place 2 years ago in June. This was after years of struggling to help him find the right path. When we visited the house the first time, the staff was very welcoming to Matt and us. They made it clear that Matt needed to give up control and follow strict house rules. We were all given copies of these rules and Matt was asked to consider how seriously he took his recovery. We felt the structure would be great for him.
When Matt arrived at Nick’s Place, we were told to give him a hug and say goodbye as we would not be hearing from Matt for several weeks. This was tough but Andrew, the manager,asked us to call him any time for concerns and he would let us know how Matt was doing. This was very reassuring and I did call once. Andrew was very reassuring but also let us know Matt was struggling with the limits set there. Andrew gave great coaching on the usual course of recovery and how to avoid the patterns of manipulation that the recovering man may try. We did see some of that behavior and were happy we had the coaching ahead of time. The support really helped us prepare when it was time for Matt’s first visit home.
The contacts at Nick’s Place helped Matt find employment and a sponsor who has been tremendous support for his sobriety. Even though Matt needed to be separated from our family, it was comforting to know that family-style dinners with sober alumni and other housemates were a big part of the routine there. The feeling of connection between the housemates, staff and owners was a big part of Nick’s Place. Once when I arrived at the house to drop off some documents, Rhea asked how I was holding up. I thought I was doing great until she asked. When I became teary at the question, she sat and we shared about the challenges faced by a parent of an addict. The support was wonderful. Matt left Nick’s Place after about seven months. Initially, both we and the staff at Nick’s Place were nervous about this move. Fortunately, the skills and support that Matt received there have helped even after he left. He continues in his recovery. We are forever thankful for Nick’s Place and its role in Matt’s recovery.
Nick’s Place is a house of Love. When you first walk in you realize that it feels and looks like home. A warm and comforting place where everyone is expected to pitch in, follow rules, and become a member of a productive group. They learn how to handle the ups and downs of everyday life. They start thinking for themselves and realize that it is ok, if you at first you don’t succeed. The dedication of the staff is amazing!!! The staff really cares from their heart and the boys know this! Even after their stay, comes to an end, they know they are always welcome back. While they are there, they learn to apply for jobs, bank accounts, driving licenses, even school if they would like. They also make their own appointments and are expected to keep them. They learn to stand on their own two feet all while having a strong support system. They are made to accept the consequence if they break a rule. This is all important to face the outside world. A world that they hid behind by their addiction. They also learn the important coping skills that are needed in order to face the ups and downs that they may come along as they enter this not so peaceful world. They enter society with a new outlook on life: a stronger and more confident young men. To Rhea I like to say-” From one mother to another thank you for giving me back my son.”
How can you thank someone for giving back to you something so precious as a grandchild, but that’s exactly what Nick’s Place did. Their patience and dedication to help these boys is something you have to experience. To appreciate with loving him the way I do, everyday was a living hell. Waiting for the phone to ring telling me he was gone. Nick’s Place took him in and he did not make it easy for them. But they worked with him and us, never giving up! They believed in him and then the miracle happened. He started to believe in himself. The story of Nick’s Place is sad. But Rhea and Barry turned their sadness into a positive venture for other young men. Never giving up. I do know my grandson is 22 months clean. Although you never stop worrying, I have a little more peace of mind. Nick’s Place will always have a special place in my heart. I could not ask for anything more in life. Nick’s Place has given me everything that I need——the knowledge that my grandson is now a productive member of society. With a brighter future, this came about only through Nick’s Place.
Jeffrey spent four months at Caron Rehab in Pennsylvania. Towards the end of his stay we met with his counselor with some anxiety of what to do next, what would be best for Jeffrey, and what we could afford. The counselor told us about several options and I looked into a sobriety house in Richmond VA that worked with men 20 -27 years old and was highly recommended. None of these options really grabbed our attention. We made it clear to the counselor at Caron that we were looking for a sober house with a strong network of support and a lot of self discipline where Jeffrey could live with young men around his age and transition into working to help pay for his room and board. The Caron counselor finally called us with some good news. He said he thought he found a place that would be a good fit for Jeffrey and he proceeded to tell us about Nick’s Place. We looked it up on the computer and immediately called the counselor back and told him that this was the place Jeffrey needed to be. Our perseverance and careful looking paid off, after a year of Jeffrey being at Nick’s Place we could not have asked for a better outcome. Jeffrey is planning on moving out of Nick’s Place in several months and has a good job where he can live nearby a remain active in the Nicks Place network and community. Most importantly Jeffrey’s attitude is optimistic and I know he will succeed at whatever he does if he can maintain this attitude.
After learning more about AA and addicts, Gratitude is a topic that comes up a lot. I think Nick’s Place has instilled gratitude in Jeffrey. Jeffrey’s great grandfather died about ten years ago and he had a plaque in his house which said, ” I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet.” We happened to hang it in Jeffrey’s room ten years ago after his great grandfather death. I did not really pay attention to what it said or meant and I know Jeffrey did not either, it was just something to put on the wall that his great grandfather had in his house. I think the sign would now take on a new meaning for Jeffrey. I know it has a new meaning for me, this whole process has taught me something too.
Thank You Nick’s Place,
The Guerrant Family
My son, Eric, lived at Nick’s Place in Beltsville, MD, for a year in 2014-2015. Gratefully, Nick’s Place is just as it advertises, “almost home” for your sons who need the structure of home and family, need someone telling them what to do, but don’t necessarily want or appreciate it from parents. They don’t have to feel like they are being treated like children as Nick’s Place teaches residents to be adults; how to get and keep jobs, how to budget and pay bills, how to eat properly, how to socialize and have fun without drugs and alcohol, how to do all of the things that they have shut out of their life as they immersed themselves in the horrors of drug addiction. Because the house is only for young men, 20-26 years old, it is easy for the guys to bond and find common ground with their peers.
They do become a family and receive all of the support of parents without all of the resentments. No more Mom and Dad telling them what to do when they are “grown-a** men.” It can literally save or repair family relationships to have the battles of staying clean put on the staff of Nick’s Place.
It has been 2 years now since Eric “graduated” and moved from Nick’s Place. When he is faced with tough times, the staff and friends he made at Nick’s Place are still the people he goes to for advice and help. There have been times when those friends and connections he made through Nick’s have literally saved his life. I can never express the gratitude I have for Nick’s Place, Rhea and Barry, Andrew, Perez, Jo, all of the staff, and for the friendship and support you have shown for my son.
If you have a son between 20–26 years old, early in his recovery, please consider Nick’s Place as his home after leaving rehab. My son even now calls it a halfway house on steroids (addict humor) When he was there, he didn’t necessarily appreciate all the rules but he stuck it out for the year even though he swore he would leave as soon as his 6 month commitment was up. What kept him there? The rules. The structure. Knowing that even if he didn’t like it, being told what to do was what he needed at that stage of his recovery. Tough times are always going to come in the life of an addict. Nick’s Place gives your young man the confidence and the ability to get over the hurdles of addiction, to conquer those tough times.
“Thank you” is never enough,
I wanted to write this letter to express what a gift Nick’s place has been to my son and me. You, Rhea, Barry, Perez, Jo and all the other staff members played a powerful part in giving my son back his life. You gave him exactly what he needed. A safe environment, healthy choices, tools to deal with his cravings, structure, guidance, counseling, and so much more. He was able to restart his life again with a strong sense of self-respect and empowerment. It was so nice to call the house and always have someone pick up the phone and give me me reassurance and hope. You always knew where he was and I knew he was in good hands with you. I believe my son’s success is because of your competent and compassionate treatment. Words can not describe how incredibly thankful I am for Nick’s Place. Your dedication gave my son the courage to face and overcome his heroin addiction.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,