We are not a transitional house where staff works with clients or patients. We are a community, a home where we make friends, where we come alongside to accompany those who have to learn to sober live again. At Cornerstone, relationships are our specific therapy. I am drawn to this personal realtional way of life – a way of life – not just a job. This fresh approach to those with addictions is rare …but feels so right and quite sobering. (Tom Copps, Founding Executive Director)
Cornerstone was founded in 2006 by Tommy Zarembka and Tom Copps. Tommy Zarembka, then working at Joseph’s House, found that men who were able to move out of Joseph’s House faced many hardships and most returned to their addictions. An informal survey conducted in 2005 confirmed that well over 65 percent of the men relapsed to drug abuse; almost one-half of them returned to living in shelters or on the streets. Their health rapidly deteriorated.
Safe and affordable housing in the District of Columbia is scarce. For men who are low income, living with a disability, and struggling to maintain their sobriety, housing is even more difficult to obtain. Even with safe and affordable housing, many men still need supportive services to live sober, independent lives.
Cornerstone welcomed its first resident in August 2006.