SAN ANTONIO — Supporting local arts is something William Gaskins decided to do earlier this year and the employees selling the art in Objets Étrange, a retail space in northeast San Antonio, will be folks in recovery.
“Here we are several months later and the net profits are going to support the Pilot House homes,” Gaskins said.
The homes are a part of a nonprofit called Pilot House Inc., a sober living environment for those in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse disorder.
“It is a high-end retail environment so if we are having an auction, we will have wealthy buyers come and bid on the items,” Gaskins said. “Everybody working the auctions is going to be a person in recovery. The people attending the auction to buy will know that.
He says this will destigmatize the views people have on addiction and possibly open the door for networking opportunities for people recovering from addiction.
“People struggling with substances are just as human as everyone else. Addiction is not their fault, it is not a moral failing, it is not a character defect,” Gaskins said.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, roughly 90% of people with alcoholism relapse within four years of completing treatment. Addiction can be costly, especially folks who come from low-income backgrounds and that’s where Gaskins’ colleague Michael Lister comes into the picture and assists folks with financial woes.
“Clients that come to our homes, and stay with us, our guests, I want to have them look at complete financial responsibility for themselves and see what financial literacy they have,” Lister said. “Credit repair is part of that financial literacy.”
William says the first sober living home will launch in August and it will be all women and the Pilot House plans to offer psych screenings from a psychiatrist to see what kind of psych medicines they are going to need.
“One of the things that each tenant at Pilot House is going to get is a recovery coaching. It’s a monthly session with a certificate recovery coach and all that is developing a recovery plan and then the monthly check ins is ‘okay, how are you doing on your plan?’” Gaskins said.
Gaskin feels like his approach to helping people financially, mentally and physically is vital because these are things he says are necessary to make a successful transition out of addiction.
“Recovery is possible, even for the worst cases of addiction,” Gaskins said. “When someone is ready they can turn their lives around and become a productive member of society.”