One of the biggest assets at House of Hope is its dedicated, long-term staff. Myrra Stockman, the Residential Director at House of Hope, is a great example.
Myrra’s parents were born and raised in American Samoa and moved to Southern California in the mid-1950s. Hardworking, they raised their three children to be high achievers, but Myrra felt she missed out on that particular trait. While her brothers became successful, she struggled in school and rarely completed anything. Feeling “less than,” she eluded those feelings with drugs and alcohol. At 18 she became pregnant, and soon after got married, but her disease progressed and she eventually abandoned her family as drugs became the most important thing in her life.
Myrra first came to the House as a client in December 2000. She was full of doubts, fears, and wasn’t even sure if she wanted to get sober. Most of her role models had been her male family members. She had little trust for women, so the idea of being surrounded by them in a recovery program wasn’t particularly comfortable. Nevertheless, she volunteered to stay in treatment for five months at the request of staff.
Following treatment, she transitioned to Sober Living and in May 2001 took on an entry level position at the Adams Center. She was soon promoted to Executive Assistant. In 2003 was appointed the Program Director overseeing residential, sober living and independent living. She went back to school, completing a two-year certificate program at California State University in Alcohol/Drug Studies with a 4.0 GPA. She has seen many changes at House of Hope, watching it grow from the 18-bed singularly-focused program when she initially arrived, to the multi-faceted organization of today housing 75 beds.
As Residential Director, she implemented a successful mentoring program, which paired recent graduates of the Residential Program with new clients. She was also instrumental in reinvigorating the Alumnae program, turning it into a vibrant support group that sponsors many outings for the clients. For many years she was the choir director of the clients/alumnae group who performed at the House of Hope Talent Show.
“My journey here has been incredibly amazing,” Myrra tells us. “House of Hope transformed my life at every level. I embraced the structure that I never had, that is now engrained in me. I did the work as it was suggested to me and a result, my life is full beyond measure. The program has given me a design for living that allows me to be supportive, nurturing, loving and consistent, not only in the lives of my family but also in the lives of the staff that I supervise, and the women in the House.”
She adds, “I’m honored to recognize and congratulate Maricela Gray as our new Executive Director. She and I went through treatment in the House together. The day I was admitted into the House, Mari was the first client to welcome me. We both have been through a lot in our experiences with House of Hope. We’ve seen a lot of changes since 2000. We also have both grown spiritually and in maturity. We may have had a blemished past, but thanks to this program and the tools of recovery, we have a promising future.