HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The sole mission of our RCO is to mobilize resources within and outside the recovery community to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. Public education, policy advocacy, and peer-based recovery support services are the strategies through which we achieve our mission.
Axiom Community of Recovery was initially formed as a nonprofit organization in Arizona in July 2012 under the name Vivre. The organization began providing recovery housing services to homeless individuals impacted by the criminal justice system. Our nonprofit organization started with just ten beds but eventually expanded to 167.
Through a collaboration with Vern Johnson, Duane Mantey, and Jackie Uhlemann, Vivre started Building Blocks Counseling (BBC) as an LLC in October 2014 to help better meet the needs of Vivre's clients.
Building Blocks Counseling was subsequently licensed as a behavioral health clinic. In September 2015, Vivre was awarded the Residential Behavioral Modification Contract from the Arizona Department of Corrections. Through its partnership with BBC, Vivre provided SUD treatment services to over 500 individuals released early from prison in Arizona. This contract was expanded in 2017 and offered a 90-day program to clients.
BBC continued to grow, securing contracts with Arizona Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and began working with Mercy Maricopa Integrated Health (the current RHBA for Maricopa County). This contract was aimed at providing SUD treatment to LGBTQ residents of Maricopa County. Through this relationship, Vivre and BBC created inroads in the Serious Mental Illness and treatment community. Our agencies and subcontractors have been trained annually on cultural sensitivity through ln10. All BBC staff attended a four-hour cultural diversity class in person and other diversity-related classes through the MMIC ReHas system. Duane Mantey and Vern Johnson have served as presidents of the Arizona Recovery Housing Association.
Our leadership staff has been on the cutting edge of trans and LGBTQ+ issues for over 30 years, serving on multiple LGBTQ+ boards and committees, which has helped create an inclusive environment. We have had extensive experience working with PWA and HIV through our existing contracts with MMIC ( BBC's LGBTQ Counseling contract) and our Department of Correction Contract.
Vivre and BBC became widely known as a quality provider of recovery housing and SUD treatment services in Arizona, working with high-risk clients. The agency and its recovery housing staff have been involved at a statewide level in helping create solutions for homelessness and drug treatment, as well as working hand in hand with agencies to provide services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS and those who identify as LGBTQ+.
In 2022, Vivre enhanced its mission and purpose to become an official Recovery Community Organization. A recovery community organization (RCO) is an independent, non-profit organization led and governed by representatives of local communities of recovery. The broadly defined recovery community – people in long-term recovery, their families, friends, and allies, including recovery-focused addiction and recovery professionals – includes organizations whose members reflect religious, spiritual, and secular pathways of recovery. This same year, Vivre changed its name to Axiom Community of Recovery (ACR). Under this new name and mission, ACR still provides recovery housing but also
organizes recovery-focused policy advocacy activities, carries out recovery-focused community education and outreach programs, and offers peer-based recovery support services.
The sole mission of our RCO is to mobilize resources within and outside the recovery community to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. Public education, policy advocacy, and peer-based recovery support services are the strategies for achieving this mission. Today, we serve clients of all nationalities and religions. We aspire to meet each client where they are and proceed through the stages of the change process to find housing and employment and address any mental health needs they may have. While ACR serves all individuals and families who come to us seeking support for substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders, our goal is to support individuals experiencing additional high-risk factors especially. These factors include individuals involved in the criminal justice system, racially/ethnically diverse, uninsured, living below the federal poverty level, homeless, etc.
ACR believes recovery to be a self-defined process with many possible pathways to achieving the improved quality of life and wellbeing that comes with recovery. Axiom Community of Recovery has solid partnerships with Arizona-based treatment programs, primary care providers and physicians, the criminal justice system, employers, housing services, child welfare agencies, and other key recovery stakeholders and organizations in Arizona. We are in the process of obtaining accreditation with the Council on Accreditation on Peer Recovery Support Services (CAPRSS) of the national advocacy organization Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR).