Here at Windhaven we’re blessed to have the greatest Program Director ever.
That’s right, the greatest. Sarah started off at Windhaven as a resident. Fresh off the streets of Seattle, Washington, Sarah came in with her head hung low, broken and discouraged from relapse after relapse. Her step one experience was heavy and would set the stage for being a role model of a strong woman in recovery.
After graduating Windhaven as a resident, Sarah bravely took on the house manager position. We use the word ‘bravely’ lightly. You don’t know patience until you’ve lived with nine girls and one of the toilets gets backed up, and the bathroom is suddenly out of order. Other times it was coming home exhausted and getting bombarded with questions about grocery lists, what time the meeting is, or making four separate trips to Walgreens, because residents forget to coordinate with each other, but all need to pick up their medication. It never beat her down, she served others regardless of her frustrations; she held strong boundaries without cowering.
With every scream, cry, and belly laugh, Sarah was there. She met her job description one hundred times over. She walked with a variety of girls as they learned how to live life on life’s terms, choose sobriety on hard days, and learn the ins and outs of living a recovered life. Sarah did all of these things, even giving rides, while sleeping at the house where her job description duties ended. But Sarah never stopped there.
As house manager, Sarah was known for her compassion, her ability to love the difficult ones, to show hope to the hopeless. She fought hard for her residents and never backed down.
Alumni Share About Sarah
We don’t want you to just take our word for it, so we asked some of our alumni who lived under Sarah as a house manager, to describe their experience. Here’s what they had to say:
“When I came to Windhaven I had been kicked out of every facility I had been taken to. I was hopeless, hurting, and very destructive. I had walls built up so high that it would take an army to tear them down. But that army ended up being a tiny little blonde who fought for me, never gave up on me, showed me who God is, and loved me like he would. She helped break through those walls so that I could learn to love myself and recover. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Sarah and Windhaven”
“I consider myself extremely lucky to have had Sarah as my house manager at Windhaven. Sarah is the most caring, compassionate, hard-working and loyal person I have ever met. Getting sober is extremely difficult and terrifying. Having Sarah there to guide me through the daily struggles of early recovery made my journey less turbulent and frightening. She helped me see that recovery is possible and showed me through her own words and actions what a recovered woman could look like.”
“I remember when Sarah first became my house manager. We lived together as residents, and I always admired how she gracefully worked the program. She continued to do so as a house manager. In getting to know her better, I realized that no matter what life throws at me, God will always guide me through. She was a walking example of that. Sarah taught me many things at Windhaven – one of them being how to properly recycle (haha!). On a more serious note, Sarah held my hand through the hardest time I’ve had to go through in sobriety – the death of a loved one. She loved me through it and I will never forget that. I am forever grateful for you, Sarah.”
Some people spend their whole lives trying to impact the amount of people that Sarah has in just the span of her sobriety thus far. After being house manager, Sarah went on to become the program director. She has taken on a great amount of responsibility and stress, but always keeps her program strong. Her ability to balance work, along with her commitments in the rooms, numerous sponsees, and showing up for everyone is truly a glimpse of her dependence on her higher power.
From resident to house manager to program director, we are blessed to have Sarah. It is our greatest joy to watch women walk through our doors and experience freedom that forever changes them.