Friends of Recovery Association

FORA, a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, has been advocating for Oxford Houses, transitional housing for people in recovery from drugs and alcohol, in Kansas since 1991.

  • There are 140 houses in Kansas. 

  • FORA provides the $4,000 start up loan for all new houses in Kansas.

  • FORA provides mentoring, crisis intervention, conflict mediation, community liaison work and landlord negotiations.

  • FORA has helped thousands of individuals in recovery break away from the destructive pattern of addiction and become productive members of their communities.

  • According to a DePaul study, people who stay in an Oxford House for 15 months have an 80% success rate of still being clean and sober in 5 years.

  • FORA helps families stay together by establishing houses for men with children and women with children.

Our Mission

Friends of Recovery Association's mission is to support and collaborate with Oxford Houses in Kansas, which are self-supporting, democratically-operated homes for recovering individuals. Friends of Recovery and Oxford Houses assist service participants to attain and sustain recovery from substance addiction.

Our Vision

There is an Oxford House for every recovering individual in Kansas.

Our History

Friends of Recovery was started in 1991 by a task force formed at Asbury United Methodist Church, headed by Ed Stephenson and Harold and Ruth Keeling. Mr. Stephenson brought Oxford House founder Paul Molloy back to Kansas, where the first Oxford House was opened  and is still open today, as Oxford House Santa Fe in Overland Park, Kansas. 

The Oxford House Program

Oxford Houses is transitional living for people in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. The houses are not a boarding house or a halfway house, but a home run democratically by the service participants themselves.  If everyone pays their own way, does not drink or use, and abides by the democratic process, they may stay in an Oxford House as long as they wish. 

Friends of Recovery Programs

Friends of Recovery (FORA) is the outreach organization supporting the Oxford Houses in Kansas.  FORA programs include opening new Oxford Houses with federal block grant money, mediating in houses, case management and education.

Opening New Houses

Paul Molloy, using his influence with Capitol Hill, helped establish start-up loans for Oxford Houses worldwide.  In 1988, Congress enacted P.L. 100-690, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. This Act included a provision that required all states to establish a revolving loan fund to provide startup funds for groups wishing to open sober living environments based on the Oxford House model.  The mandate was changed in 1990 to a permissive provision codified as 42 USC 300x-25.

Kansas has a revolving loan fund for Kansas Oxford Houses since 1993.  A new house applies for the loan through FORA, which works with the chapter to open the new Oxford House.  

Case Management

Oxford Houses' case management includes attending house and chapter meetings, mediating disagreements between house members, landlords or neighbors. Monthly New Member orientations help Oxford House service partipants understand the principles and traditions of Oxford House. Alumni, Chapters and Friends of Recovery offer workshops focusing on house officers, communitcations, and trauma-informed care. 

Staff Members

Leigh Anne Larson

Executive Director

Bio Coming Soon!

Erica Hasler

Office Manager

My name is Erica Hasler I am the Office Manager at Friends of Recovery. I have been involved with Friends of Recovery and Oxford Houses in Kansas since 2016. I have a passion for helping individuals find long term recovery from drugs and alcohol. I believe that with the assistance of an Oxford House and a program of recovery it is possible to do so.

Chuck Liston

Outreach Coordinator

Bio Coming Soon!

Tom Wanko

Outreach Coordinator

Bio Coming Soon!

DeAnn Norman

Outreach Coordinator

I have been involved with Oxford house not only as a resident but also as an active alumna since 2015. I enjoy working with people in recovery and hope to continue expanding my knowledge and experience with Oxford Houses in Kansas. When I’m not helping with Oxford, I love being a full-time wife and mother and playing as much pickleball as possible!

Travis Cox

Outreach Coordinator

Bio Coming Soon!

Board Officers

Patrick Wiemar

Board Chairman

Since joining the board in the Summer of 2018, Patrick has married his passion for recovery and keen business acumen together to help serve Friends of Recovery Association and Oxford Houses in the state of Kansas. His favorite thing about serving on the board is the teamwork and creative thinking between other board members and the talented staff. With his focus always being on the future, Patrick could not be more excited about where Friends of Recovery is going and how he can help facilitate it’s success.  

Stephanie Curry

Board Treasurer

My name is Stephanie Curry and I am a recovering alcoholic, 5 years sober! I am currently an Alumni of Oxford House, and actively participating in the Alumni Association for the Kansas City area. I have been apart of the Board of FORA for 3 years, and have been Secretary and Treasurer of the Board. I am also currently the Chair for Oxford House World Council and active in Oxford House State Association. My full time job is working for a drug and alcohol treatment facility in Lenexa KS. 

Board Members

Bradley Colglazier

Bio Coming Soon!

Thomas Simmons

State Chair

Bio Coming Soon!

Lenny Lippert

Bio Coming Soon!

Marilynn Scafe

Bio Coming Soon!

Deborah Strong

Board Member

My Name is Deborah Strong and I am a retired educator of 34 years  - with 21 years as a school administrator.

I am a community member on the board who has seen the effects of addiction on families and students.  I have seen the positive results of people living in Oxford Houses and am committed to educating the public on the benefits of recovery and the alliance between Friends of Recovery and Oxford House. 

Mike Tompkins

Bio Coming Soon!

Amber Huff

Board Member

Bio Coming Soon!