Founders Path was the brainchild of Ron Reinhart, who was at the time, a counselor in Cleveland, Ohio's only homeless shelter. He was given a vision and felt that more could be done to serve the alcoholics and addicts in his community, by getting the addicts and alcoholics out of the city for the weekend. During that weekend respite, they would have an opportunity to learn that long term recovery is based on a relationship with God; built on "The Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous. Structured on this vision, the first retreat was held in June, 1997. In 2001, the group attained its status as a non-profit 501c3 organization.
Ron's wife Dolly (who is not an alcoholic or addict) did all the food preparation and Ron gave the presentations that focused on "The Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous. At the time, Ron was the Director of the PASS (Pick-up, Assessment, Shelter and Service) program at the Salvation Army and the retreats were funded solely by them. The clients attending the retreats were participants in the PASS program and have since moved on. We continue to do joint retreats with them in their new venture in New Jersey.
Founders Path's mission Founders Path Mission is to assist individuals in building spiritual, physical and mental foundations for the future.
Our goal is to help others that are new to the recovery process build spiritual foundations that enable them to live drug-free lives.
“Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to other alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
During the weekend they learn that long term recovery is based on a relationship with God. This is a spiritual principle common to all denominations and the “The Big Book” of Alcoholic Anonymous. The retreat gives alcoholics and addicts in the infancy of treatment a weekend reprieve where they can gain the fundamentals of the AA program and a spiritually grounded way of life.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.
But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.
That the man who is making the approach has had the same difficulty, that he obviously knows what he is talking about, that his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no attitude of “Holier Than Thou,” nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured-these are the conditions we have found most effective. After such an approach many take up their beds and walk again.
Pg.18 Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book
Founders Path Today
Founder’s Path has a formal board of directors that is staffed with members of the Recovery Community and also Christians in recovery.
The retreat is now opened to anyone in the Recovery community.
Founders Path holds four retreats a year, sponsoring fifty clients from six various treatment centers (200 per year). In 2015 we intend to increase that number to four hundred a year.
The design of these weekend retreats has positively influenced the outcome of the client’s success in recovery at area treatment centers since 1993.
For we believe any success of relief from addiction MUST come from forming a relationship with God.
Those with long-term sobriety volunteer and mentor our clients during the weekend respite, which identifies strengths, gifts, and talents. Our volunteers come from Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and also local area church members whom God has freed from addiction.
These actions include: advocacy, mentoring (accountability for setting and striving to meet goals), continuum of care (clearly stated program expectations, rules and structure), accountability, assisting clients in identifying strengths, gifts, and talents with links to resources and positive activities.