At a regular West Hollywood City Council Meeting on Monday, September 18, 2023, the city council recognized the Van Ness Recovery House (VNRH) with a proclamation for National Recovery Month in the month of September and in celebration of the House’s 50th year anniversary.
Mayor Pro Tem John Erickson presented VNRH Program Director Kathy Watt, and Board member and owner of My 12 Step Store RJ Holguin, with the Proclamation. Both representatives took a group photo with the entire city council.
“The City of West Hollywood has understood the value of recovery for a very long time,” said Watt at the meeting. “It’s important that we have the support of cities because that’s allowed us to go to the county… I want you to really understand why my heart and the Van Ness Recovery House is so indebted to the City of West Hollywood is because even though we have 20 beds, up until 2017, the county only funded six beds, and had it not been for contracts we had from the City of West Hollywood, there’s a good bet our doors would have closed until we could raise the money to open them back up. So I am really eternally grateful… It’s pretty safe to say that everybody is an ally to Van Ness Recovery House, an alumni of Van Ness Recovery House, or quite possibly somebody that will cross our path, unbeknownst to them at this moment, and we’ll be there for them. So I want to say thank you. Thank you, John. It’s very exciting. And we’re gonna keep going.”
The City of West Hollywood invites the community to attend the Van Ness Recovery House Carnival Celebration on Saturday, September 30, 2023, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall and Great Lawn, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. In celebration of the Van Ness Recovery House’s 50th Anniversary, the ‘Carnival’ is being brought to the community to highlight the organization’s 50 years of work and service, and to recognize September as National Recovery Month. The Carnival is free and open to the community and will include food, games, and entertainment.
The Van Ness Recovery House is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to meet the critical and expanding needs of the LGBTQ+ community through whole person care and integrated services that target drug and alcohol addiction, mental health concerns, and sexual health in a socially supportive environment. The 20-bed residential treatment facility opened in 1973 and was one of the first facilities to welcome people with HIV and AIDS into residential addiction recovery treatment.
Since its inception, the Van Recovery House has served thousands of individuals struggling with substance related disorders. The City contracted with the Van Ness Recover House beginning in 1992 and has referred thousands of community members and residents to the agency to receive services.
“The City of West Hollywood has made it an ongoing priority to address recovery services by providing funding for programming at a variety of agencies and by educating the public about substance use,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore John M. Erickson. “Congratulations to the Van Ness Recovery House for 50 years of amazing work and service to the community.”
As part of its commitment to recovery services, the City of West Hollywood is working on next steps in the renovation of the historic Log Cabin building, which houses the West Hollywood Recovery Center (WHRC) on N. Robertson Boulevard. In late June 2023, the California State Legislature approved AB 102 Budget Act of 2023, which contains $1.15 million in appropriated funding to support the Log Cabin renovation project. On Monday, July 10, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 102 into law. More information about the Log Cabin is posted here: www.weho.org/Home/Components/News/News/10917/23.
The City of West Hollywood’s Human Services Division publishes a Substance Abuse Services Guide featuring information about addiction and recovery resources: www.weho.org/services/human-services/substance-abuse-addiction-recovery.
To learn more about the Van Ness Recovery House, or to make a donation, visit: