More than two decades ago Jim and Kathy Antonowitsch stood on the porch of the 80 year old house they had just purchased and renovated while welcoming in the first Client into the Oasis Treatment Center. Behind that client a promise was made. A promise that they would show each resident love and hope.
That the Oasis program would always strongly encourage spiritual development and they would never lose sight of the purpose of this house, to help those plagued by addiction, regain their lives and learn how to live as Jim himself had seven years earlier. Oasis would always be a spiritual home teaching love, strength, structure and hope. Oasis would be a long term treatment center with a treatment program of 30 days up to 2 years to be determined on an individual basis.
Their commitment to the Oasis and its residents would be drastically tested when their Son, Mark, was killed less than two blocks away from the house itself. The driver that took the life of their Son was an intoxicated addict! Kathy said “it was the love of the alumni and the residents that helped to pull her out of her sorrow” Jim would include “We decided we would continue to work with those addicted to prevent as many families as we could from the suffering we were experiencing. If that the man who killed my son had ever been to a program such as ours my son would be alive today”. And so they continued….
Jim knew that more would be revealed and that need became apparent three years later. In 1991 Jim took note that it seemed to be unusually difficult for some of his clients to follow the program and get better. He sought out doctors and other professionals for a solution. The issue soon became clear. Certain patients were suffering from a chemical imbalance as well as an addiction. Treating either/or had a teeter-totter effect. The solution, to treat both at the same time using non narcotic medication. A psychiatrist was added to the Oasis team and one of Americas first dual diagnosis treatment centers was created.
It has been 25 years and Jim and Kathy are celebrating their 50th year of marriage. Jim now celebrates his 29th year of being sober They have kept all the promises they made over two decades ago. The now 100 year old house still welcomes in those seeking a life in recovery. The couple is often asked when they plan to retire?
Jim’s answer “You retire from a job and this is not our job, this is our family. You don’t ever retire from your family”……….and out of love for their “family” they continue.