David Lubbers at Sanford House

David Lubbers and the Significance of Change

  David Lubbers is a photographer. His black and white photographs are hung in group rooms, bedrooms, and common spaces at Sanford House at John Street. Lubbers’ images are provoking, thoughtful, and incredibly significant. His work is part of the healing environment of Sanford House.   And not only is David Lubbers a gifted photographer, […]

Boredom and Isolation in Recovery…

Yesterday afternoon at about 4pm I sat at the kitchen bench and stared off into space. I felt bored and restless. I would have rather been somewhere else. Working at an office in town maybe. Or out doing something – anything – stimulating and interesting.   But because I’m a stay-at-home mum who works part-time […]

Why Did You Choose Alcohol and/or Drugs Over Me?

  It’s seven o’clock and the school play is starting. Or it’s your birthday dinner with all the relatives. You could be sitting awkwardly with your boss at an introductory lunch, or waiting at the agreed upon spot for a morning walk. Whatever the commitment, you are looking at your watch with your heart in […]

ArtPrize – A Powerful Environment for Healing

  Art is healing. Looking at art, creating art, being in the room while others create art… is healing. And I’ve made it my professional mission to share this idea with others.     As an art therapist at Sanford House, my role is to encourage clients to explore alternative modalities of treatment. (Modalities outside […]

Healing Artprize artwork

When Your Significant Other Still Drinks…

  I bought a six-pack of beer for my husband from a local store a couple of days ago. It felt a bit strange carrying it across the road to my car – wondering if anyone might see me and wonder what the hell I was doing. I can just imagine the gossip, “Do you […]

Healthy Nutrition Can Help Me Stay Sober? DO Tell…

In the musical Oliver, there is a scene where a long line of adorable, strategically smudged orphans imagine they are eating a feast instead of the gruel they are being served. They warble, “Food, glorious food – we’re anxious to try it! 3 banquets a day. Our favourite diet. Just picture a great big steak fried, […]

Artists and Craftsmen: At The Custom Cottage, Furniture Can Be “Redemptive”

  I had the pleasure of speaking with Ross Graveling, manager of The Custom Cottage, last week. The Custom Cottage is a Grand Rapids manufacturer that designs and builds custom furniture from locally sourced wood. Each piece is built by hand, by a craftsmen at the Grand Rapids or Milwaukee location.   Over the course of […]

Rehab process at Custom Cottage

Early Morning Hikes Fortify Your Rehab/Recovery Experience…

  I have started a walking group at Sanford House at Cherry Street. Two mornings each week, rain or shine, I turn up at the treatment center early for “Walks With Mare”. I lead (sometimes follow) a group of women for a four mile hike around the city. We are starting a similar walk for men […]

Inside Sanford House at John Street for Men – Before and After Pics

  MLive’s business reporter James Harger and photographer Cory Morse were two of our first visitors to 221 John Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jim called the house, “hidden in plain sight”, because the former Hazeltine mansion sits far back on a hilly lot. You can miss it if you are not looking carefully.  It is one […]

Are Other People’s Drinking Habits My Business?

  I just took the dog for a walk around the neighbourhood and it’s glass recycling day so the pavements were all lined with green plastic bins. I was very nosy and examined them all, wondering about the householders who owned them. Bottle count on recycling day… There were a lot of these green bins […]