In 1999, Rick Holliday started a men’s recovery program at 908 Maple Ave. in Independence.
There are rules. Make your bed, do chores, attend meetings, get on the bus to work.
“There’s a lot of structure,” Holliday said.
Residents have to work the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, and it’s recommended that men stay for nine months to a year, giving them time to change habits and begin to see the world differently. Holliday said It’s about a way of thinking, about “just living life and being grateful and trying to contribute something.”
The group pays its own way, and it claims a high success rate.
“We’ve had a lot of people get sober,” he said.
“They are, in my opinion, the main partner in this part of the community to help addicted people,” said Pastor Bob Spradling, a longtime leader at Maywood Baptist Church.
Holliday is still the group’s director, while still working an outside job. There is on-site staff, but he added that “it’s mainly alumni that run this place.”
For several years, Maple Street House has been on Winner Road near Van Horn High School, where it can handle about 30 residents. Now it’s moving to a site on Truman Road a couple blocks east of Sterling Avenue, and it will be able to handle 40 to 45 residents.
“So we’re able to help more people now,” Holliday said.
The highly structured approach works, Holliday said.
“We call it AA boot camp – a spiritual ICU,” he said.
A resident starts out in an eight-man room, then a room for four, then two. Then there are two adjacent sober-living homes where a resident continues his transition while keeping ties with the Maple Street program.
“There are folks who cannot make it without this kind of structure,” Spradling said.
Spradling noted that Maple House does many service projects.
“They believe in service, so they are going to serve the community,” he said.
Holliday said there’s an AA meeting at 5:30 every evening, open to everyone.
AA is meant as a lifelong process.
“There’s no graduation,” Holliday said.