The “Give to Keep” Story

Communities for Recovery began when one man was inspired to give back to the addiction recovery community that had helped him during his time of need.

Dr. Joseph Scott Thornton, Jr., known to all as Scott, was a mechanical engineer and business leader who founded Texas Research Institute in 1975. After struggling with alcohol addiction, he found that giving back to others helped to strengthen his own sobriety. In 2004, he founded Volunteers at the Creek, where he and five other individuals who had achieved long-term recovery provided peer support recovery services to patients at Seton Shoal Creek Hospital in Austin.

The organization’s motto, “Volunteers Give to Keep,” encompassed Scott’s personal experience and vision.

Becoming Communities for Recovery

From the original partnership with Seton Shoal Creek Hospital, Volunteers at the Creek expanded to serving patients at over seven hospitals.

In 2008, the organization was renamed Communities for Recovery to reflect this growth. That same year, Communities for Recovery opened its community center location on the Austin State Hospital Campus, which allowed for an increased diversity of programs and services for individuals and families in the wider recovery community.

The organization also increased its focus on advocacy, and in 2014 received the Joint Commission (TJC) Accreditation for Peer Recovery Support Programs. Also in 2014, Robin Peyson began as the organization’s Executive Director, helping to grow the organization as a center of connectedness for individuals at any stage of recovery.

Our Community Today

Today, the volunteer program is still the backbone of Communities for Recovery and what makes the organization the heart and soul of Austin’s recovery community.

The Peer Recovery Coaching program is fast growing, with eight recovery coaches on staff and at least one volunteer coach in the community center every day. New coaches are trained quarterly through the Peer Recovery Coaching Institute (LINK).

The community center is thriving and able to offer a full calendar of free classes and events (LINK), including meetings for over 25 recovery support groups. Communities for Recovery continues to be a leader in state and federal advocacy, and is proud to participate in community-wide events like the Big Texas Rally for Recovery, Austin PRIDE, and Texas Overdose Awareness Day.

Nearly 15 years later, we still “give to keep!” Connect with us to help grow this wonderful community and grow your sobriety along the way.

Our Work

As long as poverty, injustice & inequality persist, none of us can truly rest. It doesn’t take much to change a life. Get in touch today and start making the difference.