The LaGasse Family Foundation began as a dream, a wish, and a conversation between two recovering addicts.
Walking along a neighborhood street one night, one recovering addict turned to the other and recalled the battle his brother fought with the overwhelming disease of addiction, a battle ultimately lost and paid for with his life.
Wanting a second chance but having no safe place to go – no place to relearn how to live, no place to escape temptation while the mind and body fights a battle of utter craving versus a desire to end the insanity of a vicious cycle – this is where so many addicts find themselves when they hit bottom.
The first house was created with this struggle, and the brother lost to this disease, in mind. It is called David’s House. In David’s memory, the LaGasse family began its first recovery house, with the hope of giving addicts a way to help themselves.
As the house grew, more space was acquired to accommodate the dozens of addicts from around the country who needed a second chance at life. They came from within Sarasota to escape old places and people that triggered temptation, places that once were home. They came from rehabs and institutions, needing a soft transition between a clean, highly-structured daily schedule and life in the “real world.” And they came from prisons and jails, needing to reintegrate into society while staying clean and sober.
Today there are four houses, each named in memory of someone affected by the disease of addiction:
- David’s House – Our first house, named for David, who died as a result of this disease
- Johnny’s House – Named for Johnny B, who died with 20 years clean, and was a living demonstration that recovery is possible
- Bobby’s House – For Bobby, who overdosed
- Carolyn’s House – Named for a mother, in memory of all mothers of addicts, who watch their children suffer and self-destruct, and yet continue to try to love them
As the LaGasse Family Foundation grew, so did our resources and our ability to give back to the community at large. As sick and suffering using addicts, we take whatever we can from the world around us, lost in a spiral of self-centered desperation. In recovery, we can give back in so many ways. We can help those who came before us, who showed us how to live when we didn’t know how. We can help those who follow our path, giving them the tools and opportunity to find a new way to live. And we can help the community at large – families going through hard times, kids finding healthy ways to play and connect, community events that bring people together, and recovering addicts who just need a ride or some food for their kids while they are putting their lives back together.
We are grateful for the opportunity to give to others, and grateful for our lives. And we are grateful for you, reading our story and learning about what we do. If you have questions, want more information, or want to join our foundation, please contact us.