Van Ness Recovery House (VNRH), the longest running recovery house serving the LGBT community in the nation, has announced it has elected Manny Rodriguez as its new Board Chair, making him the first Latinx identified person to lead the board in VNRH’s history. Rodriguez takes the leadership role as the House positions itself to celebrate a 50-year milestone of serving the LGBTQ+ recovering community.
“I am honored to have been elected as Board Chair for The Van Ness Recovery House and am looking forward to working with and learning from the current talented board,” Rodriguez told WEHO TIMES. “I am also excited for the opportunity in championing the vision Program Director Kathy Watt, and her incredibly dedicated team have for the Van Ness House and its residents. My goals are to work diligently with the board on establishing a fundraising campaign leading up to the Van Ness House 50th Anniversary-2023, expanding and developing the board as well as ensuring the Van Ness House is known as a national LGBTQ recovery legacy.”
Manny Rodriguez currently serves as CEO and Founder of La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center. He is a thought-leader in the LGBTQ addiction treatment space, a fierce advocate for families, community activist, producer of relevant media, and a true visionary. He received a BFA in Dance from the world-renown “The Juilliard School in NYC”. He toured the world extensively with Ballet Hispanico of NY, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, Nicholas Rodriguez-Dance Compass and Compañie Atlantique Chopinot in France. He was also the Director of Promotions and Marketing at GameWorks, a startup and subsidiary of Universal, DreamWorks and SEGA and served on the boards of The Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing, The Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council and Co-Chair of The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Committee.
Outgoing Board Chair Ritch Colbert has served in his role for the past 4 years. Through his leadership, the House has been elevated to the strong standing it currently holds today in the recovering community.
“I have been connected to the Van Ness Recovery House for nearly 4 decades and it has been my privilege and honor to serve as chairperson of its board for the last five years,” said Colbert. “We’ve come a long way in this short time, and I am grateful and proud of our great board and dedicated staff. I am particularly grateful to leave the house in the very capable and loving hands of Manny Rodriguez”
Colbert is the co-founder of PPI Releasing, LLC, an independent television distribution company. He will remain a dedicated and honored board member of VNRH.
The Van Ness Recovery House will celebrate 50 years of service in 2022 through 2023 with various events capturing the history and diversity of the recovery community it has served for many decades. Co-chairs RJ Holguin and Brian Stevens have already begun planning for a grand celebration.
The Van Ness Recovery House opened a 20-bed residential treatment facility in 1973 serving the LGBT community. VNRH was one of the first to welcome persons with HIV and AIDS into residential addiction recovery treatment. Since then, VNRH has served thousands of individuals struggling with substance related disorders. VNRH provides client-centered, trauma-informed, recovery-orientated services, offered by a committed, caring, and qualified staff of licensed, certified, and registered professionals. VNRH does not discriminate because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, handicap, sexual orientation, or HIV status. Although VNRH largely targets the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and the transgender community, heterosexual clients are welcome and have proven success in the program.