Every once in a while we have a speaker with a truly inspiring story ...
... and on July 11, 2017 that was Paula Mays-Hall and the story of Open Door Recovery House. It is truly a story of how success begets success and the success story starts with an ignominious beginning. Paula had started life with a quite hard rearing, and now had fallen into a routine of drug usage, one necessitated -- in her mind -- by her struggle as a young, single mother trying to support her children and facilitated by offers of methamphetamine from "friends" who knew she would succumb to the siren song of boosted energy and the ability to work faster.
Paula spoke of those dark days as if they were just yesterday, and it was clear that they were not totally behind her. Struggling alone with small children and running now with "friends in all the wrong places" Paula found herself in trouble: in trouble with the law.
She found herself in District Court facing felony charges and a bail she could not make. Her children were taken and scattered among various people who could care for them. She was certain that she faced a long prison term. But a judge saw something in her and released her on personal recognizance. A PR bond to be sure, but one with many strict requirements.
She worked those requirements -- some out of genuine desire and some just to satisfy that crazy judge* who had put her back on the street. Paula was introduced to the 12-step program for the first time, was undergoing some counseling, and had to keep a job. Slowly her life came to be something that most of us would consider at least almost normal. For Paula it began a renaissance. She did so well on her PR bond release that the DA's office dropped all the charges against her and she was never even indicted.
But the renaissance would not come full circle for several more years. There would be a resurgence of addiction, this time with alcohol. Life had not exactly turned up roses for Paula, even after her initial success, and pressures built again and led to the classic self-medication through the abuse of drugs and alcohol -- alcohol for her this time. And one day, in 2006, Paula "awoke" and was inspired. Inspired not only to help herself but to help others as well.
Listening to Paula speak was an emotional and inspiring 20 minutes. She is energetic and passionate about what she is doing, and about how she got to where she was in 2006. 
Open Door Recovery House was born. It was May 1, 2006. Paula was sober, feeling intensely blessed and grateful to have arrived at this place in her life. By 2009 the organization had been created and obtained its IRS 501(c)(3) status. And on May 6, 2010, Open Door Recovery had its first resident. Since that time many women have come from the ranks of probationers trying to recover under the tutelage and strict rules of Drill Sergeant Paula. Her toughness and fundamental understanding of addiction earned her a spot on the 33rd District Court's Drug Court program where for years she has provided guidance for women who wanted to re-start life clean and sober.  The mortgage on the facility was paid off this year.
Success -- Paula's personal success in achieving sobriety -- truly did beget the success of Open Door Recovery House. Hundreds of women own their personal success to this program and now men are also benefiting. Joshua House, modeled after Open Door Recovery, offers a similar opportunity for men. It is run by Paula's husband, Robert Hall, who has also been personally successful in recovery and now shares what he has learned. 
Rotarians also heard from Rob Paul who is on the Board of Open Door and is in charge of their annual golf tournament fund-raiser. The tournament this year is on September 10th at the Slick Rock golf course. It's a 4-person scramble with a shotgun start at 1pm. 
Details and registration can be found on their website where you can register to play, pay your registration fee, and learn about the prizes and other details. Sponsorships ranging from $100 to $2500 are available.
Paula and Rob are shown here along with Glenna Hodge, local attorney and member of the Open Door  Board. The picture board shown contains photos of women who have been through the program and have done well. 
Footnotes:  Paula was struggling with three young children "way back then." Now, not only has she been successful in her recovery and in establishing Open Door, but each of her children has achieved success as adults. Of the women who have gone through the program with Paula, she spoke of one familiar to this author and who when last seen by me was, in my opinion, hopeless. She too, has now achieved dramatic success in her recovery and life.  
See success truly begets success.
* I was that crazy judge.  wink