Friends of Recovery Association

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

  • Currently there are 134 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 to 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

The mission of Friends of Recovery Association 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 will assist these individuals 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 are transitional houses for people in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.  They are not a boarding house, not a halfway house, but a home run democratically by the residents themselves.  As long as 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 for 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 start-up funds for groups wishing to open sober living environments based on the Oxford House model.  The mandate was changed to a permissive provision in 1990 and is now codified as 42 USC 300x-25.

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

Case Management

Case management of Oxford Houses includes attending house and chapter meetings, mediating disagreements between house members, landlords and/or neighbors.  New Member orientations are given monthly, which help new Oxford House members understand the principles and traditions of Oxford House.  Workshops are given by alumni, chapters and Friends of Recovery with topics such as house officers, communication and trauma-informed care.

Board Officers

Board Chairman- Patrick Wiemar
Board Treasurer- Stephanie Curry
Board Legal Counsel- Johnathan Tomes

Board Members

Tyler Roberts
Deborah Strong
Marilyn Scafe
Lenny Lippert
Marla Looper
Mike Tompkins

Staff Members

Executive Director - Leigh Anne Larson
Office Manager - Erica Hasler 
Outreach Coordinator - Chuck Liston 
Outreach Coordinator - Tom Wanko