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The day my husband and I found Soba was the beginning of the answer to our prayers. We had managed to get our daughter Joy through a 30 day rehab program and had learned that it was imperative for her to stay in a sober living program for at least another month if she were to have any chance at all with her recovery from heroin addiction.

Sadly, she was very resistant to the idea of sober living and had rejected the idea because it seemed too institutional and restrictive. After talking with John Tarasi and Greg Hannley we felt we might have a chance to save our daughter, if we could just get her to meet them. She agreed, as she said, only because she felt that she owed us that much. John and Greg responded immediately to our call and arranged to meet us within the hour. The girl we brought to them was angry, frightened and had a chip on her shoulder!

We were amazed to see the change come over Joy as she listened to Greg explain the lifestyle and program at Soba. His honesty and understanding disarmed her and we could see her sit up and come alive as she realized that Soba was a place that she could be safe and also be allowed to be her own person. About then a few of the residents came in to meet Joy and share their experiences and stories of how they’d come to Soba and the good life that they’d found there.

After touring the apartments, and falling in love with them, she was happy to sign up for a month at Soba! Greg gave me permission to stay the first night with Joy, as my husband and I were reluctant to leave her there without thoroughly checking out the whole situation. After getting settled in and meeting her roommate we all went to our first NA meeting.

After the meeting we went back to Soba and joined her roommate and some of the other residents out on the deck overlooking the Pacific. Before long we were all laughing and talking and sharing experiences. Joy and I began repairing our relationship that night.

The feeling there was magical, very spiritual and comforting, in that everyone there was on the same quest for peace and dignity in their lives. Joy, and her Dad and I, were confident that we’d found the place for her to continue her recovery. We visited many times during the next month and each time was special and fun. We were so encouraged by Joy’s progress. Joy decided to stay after the first month and that stretched into nine months, with her moving to the Villas for the last few months. She became very involved with her twelve step program and began working hard at her recovery process.

After a few months she was hired to work at a teen rehab near Soba. She loved working with the teens and discovered a real passion for helping others. She’s realized that this is her calling, to share her hard earned wisdom. To this end she has left sober living to return to school to get her masters in social work.

Yesterday she called to tell us she has been accepted at NYU! She attributes her success to the support and guidance she received while living at Soba and the Villas and working at the teen rehab. She is so excited about going to the school she dreamed about years ago, and is really fired up to work even harder now! Her father and I know that without Greg and John touching her heart that first day we might have lost our Joy. We will forever be grateful to them and dedicated to supporting and advocating for Soba and The Villas at Malibu. Hopefully, in a few years, Joy will have her masters in hand and return to work with the people who restored her to a life worth living!

Anonymous Parent