This is the way it is supposed to work … Sort of.

On October 30 I got a phone call from a woman in Rockwood, Tn. She was looking for a place for another woman that was in a Domestic Violence shelter and struggling with addiction. The woman struggling with addiction was now down to suboxone, and hadn’t used any illicit drugs for a couple of weeks. The shelter she was in also had drugs flowing in and out and she was at risk of using them.

Because we are a long term treatment facility and do not do detox (we don’t take anyone on drug replacement therapies either), we provided the number of a partner rehab facility and told her that we could take the woman after she completes the program.

After some serious mis-communication the helpful woman drove two hours to Cleveland, TN on 10/31 and called to let us know that the Rehab had no available beds and she had the struggling woman with her and asked if she could she bring her to us.

We were on our way to Cleveland for Halloween with the residents of our program and we decided we would pick the woman up and keep her until she had a bed at the rehab. This isn’t something we normally do, but we felt led to.

This young mother, over the next couple of days, proved that she was determined to detox off the suboxone and convinced us she was able to try it with us.

The woman that brought her to us was a member of a church in Rockwood, TN and this young woman had walked in on a Wednesday evening church service with her 4 year old daughter asking for help. They took her in and began looking for resources. Initially the Pastor of that church and his wife kept the 4 year old daughter and was able to get the woman into the women’s shelter, where she stayed until she called out for help again because of the drugs in the shelter.

If only you could have seen her then. Ashen and gaunt, trembling from fear, anxiety, and all of the other troubles of addiction. She was ill and understandably so.

Six weeks and three days later, that helpful woman, the pastor, and his wife drove from Rockwood, TN to our facility to bring the 4 year old daughter home to Mom. Today Mom is healthy, happy, has her daughter back, working a full time job making good money, and full of faith and hope for a bright future. Of course she has a long way to go, being only 7 weeks now into her recovery, but, she is on track and showing all the signs she will continue.

This is how it is supposed to work. The church didn’t judge but grabbed her up, helped with the child, and helped us cover her financial needs.

Just over a year ago Pirate Springs opened Ocoee Mist Manor, a long term recovery facility for women and women with children.

It has been a bitter sweet year as we have seen heartwarming successes and heart breaking endings.

We have welcomed 37 women over the year and had as many as 5 children living on the property at one time and a total of 9 as residents and another dozen as weekend visitors. We have had many families visit as well as children not yet in Mom’s care come to visit.

We have gone to court and seen the reunification of 5 families across the state, and we have had to advise courts of client red flags in three cases.

We have several alumni that are still clean, practicing recovery, employed and productive; and there are a few that are in jail today for non-compliance with legal requirements, or new crimes.

The reward of seeing the successes, is our reason for existing. When we receive a new client that is fresh out of treatment, and they arrive scared, nervous, full of self-doubt and self-loathing, and we get to watch the transformation to a confidant, courageous, productive, spiritual women, full of hope and joy, this is the reward of our labors. Seeing the light come back on in their eyes, watching them as they see their child(ren) for the first time in who knows how long, knowing there is a chance that this one may not have to suffer from active addiction again, this is the paycheck that erases the pain of our hard work.

We have been operating at capacity since we opened, and hear regularly that we need to expand. We have the room, but not the finances.

If we are going to increase housing capacity we also need to build a commercial kitchen as the one we have now is stretched to accommodate cooking for the 12-15 we cook for daily.

We also are working on creating a prevention video and presentation that we have previewed portions of to rave reviews, but need funds for production.

We need a 15 passenger van (at minimum), a playground for the kids …… we need ….

We are praying that the year ahead will bring champions into our midst that can and will help us accomplish our goals.

With 11 days left in the month we have increased our donor contributions by 36.3% over last year, increased our program revenue by 5.6%, and added $5,726 to our balance sheet (equity), so for three years we have proven we are a viable agency, able to accomplish our mission and stay within budget.

Lives are being saved, the Opiate Crisis is in our battlefield, and we are making a difference. If you are looking for a critical mission to support, please just take a closer look at us. Call and talk, or schedule a visit. The community needs us, and we need you.

Paul G. Hook
Pirate Springs
You can mail a check, or give online at but please, do something!