The Owner’s Dream

On June 27th 2008 owners Jim and Kathy Antonowitsch hosted an anniversary luncheon to commemorate Oasis Treatment Center’s 20th year of service to the recovering community. Celebrating with friends, family, colleges, and alumni Jim and Kathy shared their reflections of those first years and how it all began. Now we provide Oasis Halfway Houses: long term sober living at a super affordable price.

It was 1962, she was 17 and he was 21. They fell in love instantly and were married 6 months later. They started their life off with dreams and hopes as most young couples do, but had no idea what their future would have in store for them. In late 1981, Jim was a man who had it all; beautiful homes, a successful and thriving landscape business, a loving family and a chronic addiction to alcohol that was threatening to take it all away. By early 1982, a sick man; emotionally, physically, and spiritually; committed to get sober after a series of demoralizing events. He was determined to save his life and his family.

Although Jim was able to stop drinking for 2 years, his life continued to spiral down and he hit an emotional bottom. As fate would have it, he met a man that was also sober but doing things a little different, he was involved in a program called Alcoholics Anonymous and he was more than happy to introduce this program to Jim. Little did they know in those early AA years just what kind of miracles were waiting for them and where this journey of recovery would lead them.

Now being 7 years sober and working with over 50 other Alcoholics, it came to Jim that he could do more. He and Kathy had a dream to find a way to give back what had been given to them. They decided they would open a recovery house, a place where people could come to get the help that they needed. Kathy knew it could not be just any treatment center but a place of love and forgiveness, a place to begin again and learn a whole new way of living. Kathy was determined to find the perfect place and she did. Not everyone could see the vision Kathy had when she first saw the house; but Jim did. Others saw an old beat down crack house that should be condemned but Kathy and Jim saw their dream. Once the owner of the property heard what Kathy and Jim had planned for the house, he sold it to them and the dream began.

In the beginning it was just Jim, Kathy, a house manager, cook, and a part time counselor. It didn?t take long before the word got out and as the number of clients grew so did the staff. More and more people came, got sober and stayed sober. Something very miraculous happened; it became a family. With people coming back each year to pick up chips for lengths of sobriety at a meeting they call Fireside it was becoming clear that this was a house of love where miracles were born. Jim did the Fireside meeting every week, worked with the residents, ran the business end of things, did spirituality groups, and helped to make Oasis what it is today. Kathy did various jobs over the years but her greatest gift is her Love Group that she does every week. During love group Kathy passes out treats and reads children’s stories. Through this group, Kathy found a way to remind those affected by addiction that they are worthy of love, life, and forgiveness.

Twenty-five years and thousands of residents later, the couple is a little older, a little wiser and not that much different. Jim will still promise every single client that he will tell them the truth, teach them what he knows, give them the tools to stay sober and share his life with them. Kathy will still love each person, regardless of who they are, where they came from, or what they have done. Jim and Kathy have had their own hardships over the years; their only son was killed by a drug addict, but their commitment to the Oasis has remained true. On any holiday you can find them at the center, celebrating with their “Family�?. While Jim is past retirement age, you will not find him at home enjoying all he has accomplished. Your best bet is at Oasis, talking to an addict or alcoholic, teaching a spirituality group, leading a fireside meeting or helping the staff. Kathy will be in her love group each Friday, reminding people that they are loved and that there is hope.

Jim and Kathy had a vision 20 years ago and it surpassed their wildest dreams. Oasis’s original logo “Love Will Give You Wings.�? has continued to give the residents their wings to stay alive. And when asked what the future holds for the Antonowitsch’s ; for the most part, they plan to spend it with their “Family�?; the Oasis Treatment Center.