Changing Lives…Connecting Community
In 1969, two individuals in recovery from drug addiction opened their hearts and doors to other addicts. Their small treatment center became a private nonprofit organization, Center Point, Inc. in 1971. From its humble beginnings, the organization has expanded to become one of the nation’s leading health and social services agencies with programs in two states: California and Texas. Bread & Roses proudly serves three of their locations in the North Bay.
“The Manor” in central San Rafael, CA is one of the first recovery facilities where Bread & Roses presented live music. Since 1976, we have continued to serve this Center Point location bringing the healing power and deep connection of music in 296 performances to men and women committed to turning their lives around. This is the highest number of shows that we have brought to any facility that we have served. Well known musicians like Matt Nathanson, Chris Smither, Joshua Rich, David Freiberg and Linda Imperial, Lowell Levinger (aka Banana), Lisa Kindred, Tea Leaf Green, Miles Schon and Mark Karan have enjoyed playing here. Many musicians have said this is the best audience they’ve ever experienced.
The Residential Women and Children (RWC) near downtown San Rafael is known as “The Village.” It offers a unique opportunity for women to be with their children while going through treatment. Bread & Roses has been bringing shows there since 2008, having done 83 shows for these families in transition.
In 2017, we started doing performances at Center Point Drug Abuse Alternatives Center (DAAC) Turning Point, a residential treatment center in Santa Rosa, CA. The enthusiastic audience of adults is receptive to a variety of genres of music. David Luning, Jesse Brewster and Allyson Paige, Miracle Mule and the Rowan Brothers are some of the artists who have played here.
Tom Browning, the current program manager at The Manor has been a substance abuse counselor since 1997. He recently shared; “The mission of Center Point is to help each person, one at a time, to become a community member, to achieve independence in life. We work to integrate individuals into society with the coping skills necessary to sustain recovery. This includes helping them find housing, employment and other support.”
The musicians we bring to these facilities always connect with the audience in fun and meaningful ways. Very often the audience will sing along to familiar songs and give raucous applause afterwards. Sometimes residents who are musicians too will play along or offer up a song of their own. They are always excited to have us there no matter what type of music we bring. It is healing and an important part of their recovery when the clients see you don’t have to use drugs or alcohol to have a really good time!
By Carolyn Gauthier, Vice President, Programs
1) Chris Donohoe performed at Center Point in 2016. Photo by Peter Merts.
2) The Dolly Mamas shared their great harmonies and guitar work for the men in recovery at Center Point in San Rafael in 2018. Video by Carolyn Gauthier.
3) In 2018 David Luning & Ben Dubin played a fantastic original Americana set for men and women in recovery at Turning Point in Santa Rosa, including his song "Royalty," which was featured on the show Nashville. Video by Marian Hubler.