Offering Hope, Help, and Healing to women in recovery from addiction, supporting their transition to a healthy, drug-free life.
OpenDoor-Columbus is a grassroots, boots on the ground nonprofit organization serving some of the most vulnerable women in our community-women in recovery from substance use disorder. OpenDoor-Columbus provides one-year of free services (a Table) to women (a Friend) as they transition from treatment and/or incarceration to a drug-free life. The uniqueness of our model is that each Table has 6 volunteers who bring their social and relational capital to the Table, providing resources beyond measure to their Friend. Table volunteers meet weekly with their Friend helping her achieve her goals while at the same time creating life-long friendships. Relationships transform lives. Lives that have been transformed, are inspirational. We invite you to be the light in the darkness.
One volunteer put it this way: “There is no greater gift to yourself than the gift of helping others. OpenDoor-Columbus allows you to help someone help themselves, making the gift last a lifetime!”
hope, help, and healing
Even when its roots are in the dirtiest waters, the lotus produces the most beautiful flower.
We are Committed - We are dedicated to staying on the journey for as long as it takes.
We are Respectful - We value everybody and embrace the whole person.
We are Transformational - We build timeless relationships and strengthen communities.
We are Innovative - Our approach is different than traditional programs.
OpenDoor-Columbus was founded by three moms…
Leslie Kristoff, Rachel Muha and me, Tammy Foeller. Two of us, Leslie, and myself, desperate for our daughters to stop using drugs and one, Rachel, devastated by the death of her son, Brian, killed by men high on drugs.
Three moms. One vision. Many goals.
Our lives brought together by sadness, pain, heartache and now, hope.
This is our story- separate yet woven together. This is the story of our children who never met but brought us together.
In 2018, I was at an Al Anon meeting during lunch time. It was an ordinary lunch hour spent at an Al Anon meeting. Al Anon is a support group for families of loved ones suffering from substance use disorder (SUD). As always, the room was full, and I felt safe. I listened to each person share their heartache, and even their joy. Surprising that in a room full of people worried about their loved ones, that there could be joy, and even laughter.
This is where I met Leslie. Her heart was broken. And heavy. And sad. When I looked at her, I saw my reflection. Leslie and I became fast friends -sharing our secrets, fears and the loneliness that comes with loving a child who is suffering from SUD. Our daughters, who were once full of life, were now trapped by their addiction.
It was a short time after we met that Leslie told me that she had a dream of starting a non-profit. She envisioned being able to help women in our community struggling to find resources to support them in their recovery and transition to a drug- free life.
Having listened to Rachel’s witness about her son, Brian, I reached out to her for some guidance. Rachel’s son was a student at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio in 1999 when he was kidnapped and murdered by two young men high on crack. There are no words to describe that kind of piercing pain. No words.
Instead of this defining Rachel as a victim herself, she has spent more than 20 years of her life serving children like the ones who murdered her son. She has dedicated her life to changing the lives of children who are growing up in neighborhoods riddled with guns, drugs, violence, neglect and abuse. And she forgave the men that murdered her son. Rachel not only offered leadership, but she also became the third founding member of OpenDoor-Columbus.
And our work began. After months of brainstorming, contemplating what to do, sweat and tears, we had our name and applied for our nonprofit to become a 501©(3) Today we are bringing Hope, Help and Healing to women in our community.
We do this by providing 1-year free services (a Table) to a woman recovering from SUD. Tables are composed of a 6–8 volunteers who complete 15 hours of training including an extensive training on trauma. The community volunteers make a year commitment to act as a team of mentors, encouragers, and advocates for their Friend cultivating relationships that last long beyond the year. This transitional relationship fills the void that exists between incarceration, treatment, or a court ordered program to sustainable recovery.
We need your help!
We need you to open your heart.
We cannot do this without YOU!
For many years I used substances to fill a void in myself that I did not want to face. I carried a sense of pain and sadness that I believed only substances could fix. Every time I attempted to find recovery, the mental obsession of using again would overcome me, ultimately leading to the next relapse. I had ruined all the relationships in my life. I knew if I continued to use, I was going to die. During my final relapse, an overpowering sense of gloom and darkness took over me.
Every single door that once was open was now closed and I was left alone, in a filthy motel room, with two choices-live or die. That is when I asked God to help me. The moment I asked God to help me, the darkness that overpowered me for so many years, was softened and I was filled with light and hope. For the first time, I chose to walk with God. Hitting rock bottom allowed me to fully surrender. I found hope in my surrender.
I walked through that door with God and I have not looked back. Today, I no longer obsess about my next fix or putting any substances into my body. I get to experience life beyond my wildest dreams. Recovery has shown me how to live freely and joyfully. I am forever grateful for the journey I have experienced because it has given me the strength and courage to walk through any door. I know I can survive because I am a survivor!
An addict’s story of COURAGE as told by Samantha
Knowing I was going to have to stop using was very scary. All the bridges had been burnt; the only options left were prison or death.
My circle closed in. I knew I had to stop. The life I had known was coming to an end and I didn’t want to die but I told everyone I did because I wanted pity. I wanted my own way. I was so scared.
Eventually the doors that were once open, had CLOSED. I was alone and I realized that there was NO way out except to surrender, get sober and deal with the consequences of the wreckage of my past. Then one more door opened. It was the door that brought me out of the darkness.
I now see the light on the other side of the door. I am relieved. I want to live. I want more for myself. It is at this point that I know nothing can stop me. I had hit rock bottom and was ready. I have the motivation to walk through that door from darkness to light.