Bad Behavior: The latest on accusations of bad behavior in the Marshall County Jail

Huntsville-based program uniquely supports recovering addicts

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- A Huntsville-based non-profit takes aim at addiction in a unique way.

It's called Stepping Stones. Its leaders say they're helping addicts regain control of their lives in a way that halfway houses and other resources may not be able to do.

Those in recovery live together in a home and thrive on mutual support, says director Eric Richards. And the important part: they get a job, and are expected to keep it.

"We are integrating them with jobs," he said. "With the community. People are going to church. They're living in residential homes. They're going to 12-step meetings. They're learning how to be a citizen."

Living together, they can keep each other accountable. And there are rules in the house, including if you relapse, you're out.

"These people are trying to keep their lives straight [too,]" explained Larry Roberts, the Stepping Stones Community Coordinator. "They're not going to put up with any 'B.S'."

"This has been such a blessing for me," said Lester, who has been living in the house for just over a month. "You have to shed that old individual and step off into the new. And that's the opportunity that's being provided to me here."

"Every person that is in our type of housing-- that's a person that's not in jail, not in prison, not absorbing some type of state resources," said Richards.

He wants to see the program grow from housing 30 men, to 100, and even spread into other communities across the state. He says it would be easier to do that if they had more employers ready to work with them.

"We can [provide] good, reliable workers," said Richards.