Our mission is to fill a need in the central/west Alabama area for a secondary form of rehab. Sometimes people who have completed a recovery program aren't ready to be in the real world on their own. This mission is being completed through the creation of the Will Bright House, located in Fayette, Alabama.
Will Bright was a kind, caring friend to all, and a drug addict. He tried so hard to overcome his addiction, but when he left rehab he had nowhere to go to get a fresh start. He got into drugs at such an early age that he really had no formal training of any kind, beyond a high school education. Will did have a part time job, but that wasn't enough. When you feel unworthy, drugs are an easy fix. You are always one decision away from disaster.
After going through numerous rehabs all over the United States, he just couldn't shake his drug habit, and died of an overdose in 2012 at age 25. His parents, Bill and Lisa Bright of Trussville, have decided to channel their grief to try to stop this from happening to anyone else.
Why is the Will Bright House needed?
There is an unfilled need in the Birmingham area for a place for someone fresh out of recovery to live, receive spiritual support, job training skills, and find meaning and purpose to live a life free from the bonds of addiction.
40-60% of people who complete a rehab program suffer from a relapse. (source: www.drugabuse.gov) This is exactly what happened to Will Bright.
Will Bright and his mother, Lisa.
Thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Lillian Kirkley, we now have a permanent location! She has generously donated her 126 acre farm in Fayette, Alabama, which features three cabins, a stocked fish pond, and a picnic pavilion. The town of Fayette has been very supportive of our goal. With the support of the city, we will have assistance arranging for jobs and job training for our residents! After three years of searching for the right location, we are so excited to have a permanent home for the Will Bright Foundation! The possibilities are endless!
(L-R) Will Bright Foundation Executive Director Tim Dean, Mrs Lillian Kirkley, Lisa and Bill Bright.
The Will Bright Foundation started as a grass roots organization originally called "The Bearded Brotherhood" in the fall of 2008, through a conversation of residents in a local recovery program. All the men were sharing with each other how thankful they were that they had found recovery from addiction. Will Bright was one of these men.
Each of them realized that someone else had helped them reach this point of recovery in their life. They decided they wanted to help other people find the same joy, peace and freedom from addiction that they all now shared.
They started raising money to pay the fees for new residents to enter the Foundry recovery program in Bessemer, Alabama by growing their beards out. This inevitably drawing the question, "What is the beard for?", which lead to the early days of what is now the Will Bright Foundation.
The original "Bearded Brotherhood".
Originally the goal of the "Bearded Brotherhood" was simply to pay the entry fees for rehab for people in need.
When Will Bright relapsed and died of a heroin overdose in 2012, the focus shifted toward filling a need for a secondary form of rehab, which we will call "The Will Bright House", so maybe others can recover and lead successful lives.
The establishment of the Will Bright House will function as a secondary step for candidates who have successfully completed a primary recovery program. We strive to fill a gap that can occur when people try to transition from recovery, back to every day life situations.
This is the most difficult and trying time for a new graduate of a program. The ease and temptation of slipping into old habits sometimes proves too strong, when there is no structure, emotional support, or job prospects.
The Will Bright House will provide faith based structure, accountability, and career training to help ensure that each candidate can have every opportunity to succeed.
The Will Bright Foundation has helped, since it's creation, fund "scholarships", or entry fees, for worthy candidates in a faith based recovery/rehab program, such as The Foundry in Bessemer. Part of our mission is to dedicate part of our yearly budget to pay for scholarships. Since 2013 we have paid entry fees for 9 people.
Over the years the Will Bright Foundation has seen many victories and many changes. Since it's grass roots inception in the fall of 2008, the Will Bright Foundation was incorporated in the summer of 2013 as a 501(c)(3) non profit entity.