To heal and empower any person with substance abuse disorder in a safe, nurturing environment to assist them in becoming a respected, responsible, productive member of the community.
Your one time or sustaining monthly donations help us help others. No amount is too small to make a big difference in someone’s life.
Co-founders John McManus
Medical Director Ruby Bayan, MD
In 2015, John McManus and Ruby Bayan, MD, an adult, child and addiction psychiatrist shared a common vision to provide the best care needed for those suffering from addiction in our community. With more than 50 years of experience between them in this field, they collaborated with other community stakeholders to bring their vision to life.
Waterfront Recovery Services is the first detox program in Humboldt County certified by the State of California Department of Health Care Services to provide Incidental Medical Services.
Congressman Jerad Huffman tours Waterfront with aide John Driscoll, John McManus and Dr. Bayan. (right).
Co-founder John McManus and Medical Director Dr. Ruby Bayan meeting with political leaders and community partners. (below)
My counselor couldn’t have done a better job. He always had time for me and gave me excellent care. I was given the same from detox staff all the way to the good food of the kitchen staff. Thank you!
Addressing the Needs of a Community in Crisis
Addiction Studies - Wellness Practices - Life Skills
Employment Opportunities - Transition Support
Waterfront Administrative Staff
Chief Operations Officer
Director of Admissions
Alcohol Drug Care Services opened Waterfront Recovery Services in the fall of 2017 to provide medically supervised detox and addiction therapy. Our staff of medical professionals and counselors specializing in addiction issues work continuously to develop compassionate and effective programs for residents in an effort to treat the whole person.
Detox Counselors at Waterfront case manage for individual SUD (Substance Use Disorder) recovery and general health care. WRS also provides services for dual diagnosis clients with secondary mental health issues.
Extra curricular exercise programs, yoga, art workshops, and a variety of spiritual practices scheduled on site bring inspiration and vitality to the process of putting lives back together.
Resumes, job interview skills, cooking classes, budgeting are some of the offerings our transitional housing staff make available.
Staff Spotlight - Estelle Mitchell, Case Management
Staff Spotlight - Estelle Mitchell
Photos: TOP - Estelle Mitchell in the Case Management office .CENTER - Estelle training for her administrative role. . BELOW - Estelle shares a new tatoo relecting her growth.
Mitchell shares her history. “I was in my addiction until I was about 21 years old, using anything and everything that you can imagine. I drank quite a bit, lived on the beach for six or seven years.” When she overdosed, “It sunk in that, maybe this is a problem. This isn't just like a way of life anymore. Because we’re a using family, that’s kind of the cards I was dealt; this is what we are, this is what we do and this is how it's gonna be. There’s no way to climb out of it,” was the thinking. But Mitchell decided to get clean. “I was pretty feral the first time I came here.”
Her first work experiences at Waterfront were as a resident going through the program and volunteering in the kitchen. That gave her something to put on her resume when she graduated and started looking for work. “I got a job at the Chalet,” a breakfast and lunch restaurant in Eureka. “I love the Chalet. They changed my life. But I slipped back through those cracks and ended up relapsing because I couldn't stay away from my family. I went back to treatment because the Chalet put up with my shit long enough.” Chalet management saw something in her. Rather than fire her like so many other employers would do, they told her to take some time off to get clean, promising to hold her position for her.
Mitchell came back to treatment at Waterfront and returned to her job at the restaurant. “I owe a lot to the Chalet. I have so much gratitude. They’re probably the main reason why I'm working here [at Waterfront]. After the second time I got clean, the hiring manager said, Okay, now that you're back to who you were, you're even stronger. You need to be a waitress. You’re smart and you deserve the extra money.”
Mitchell felt anything but smart or deserving but because of the love and support she was getting from Waterfront staff as a former resident and the encouragement from Chalet management, she gradually gained enough confidence to do the work.
When Chalet closed during the pandemic, Mitchell was once again facing new challenges. “I called Waterfront about a job and I was so nervous, I was crying,” she smiles. Expecting to work in the kitchen again, Mitchell’s familiar fears kicked in when she learned that she would be working the front desk. “But Jamaica and Jessica and Jeremy . . . the people who were kind of in beginner positions when I first came through for treatment, were now in upper positions and I would confide in them and they would tell me, ‘No, you are capable, you can do this.’”
Similarly, she conquered her fears when training to do case management. “I'm making it happen. You know, I'm really excited to be able to expand. It's a big deal. Especially for people like me who come from the streets and have nothing, are like, broken. When I come to work, I'm not just helping the clients and getting them what they need, I also get what I need from staff that work here.”
Mitchell claims that her life is now just the way she wants it to be: boring. “I’m not having to run [anymore]. I would have to like, sleep with my shoes on, my skateboard under my head so that I could just be ready to go. I was pretty much a loner,” Mitchell reflects. Now, “I have stability and love and food in my fridge, my bills are paid on time. I'm in a healthy relationship with somebody who loves and cares and cries for me and with me. Whenever anything negative is to be said it's in a mellow tone and of concern. There are never any malicious words being spit at me. It’s constructive. Now I have peace but it took a lot of work and growing pains and stress and strife. I pushed myself and when hard times hit, I was able to fall back on what I learned in the program.”
Mitchell faced another challenge when she became a mom because, like one in eight women, she suffered from postpartum mood disorder. And again, with help from her friends at Waterfront, she came out strong. “My baby has a mom who’s present and wants her to be happy and healthy and . . . she goes to her appointments. I was really scared that she was going to be a girl because I didn't know what a mother relationship looks like, you know, because the only relationship me and my mom ever had was a using relationship. Yeah, she's the coolest thing in the world. I wish I had a little bit more energy for her. But that's okay. There's a balance act happening and she's incredible, the best thing ever.”
Supported by Waterfront staff, Mitchell continues to build her skills - and her confidence. Still doing case management, Executive Director Jeremy Campbell has also been training her to take on some of the administrative tasks. He too sees something in her. “I'm working side by side with Jeremy and he's understanding and going at a slow pace and he’s kind of sneaking in some of the tasks because I told him I'm not good at math. I can't do this. I can't do that. But I think he’s, in a very tactful way, slipping things in so that I don't get scared. I can tell he knows what he's doing.”
Because Mitchell likes to push through her discomfort, she's helping Waterfront fulfill our mission: To heal and empower any person with substance abuse disorder in a safe, nurturing environment to assist them in becoming a respected, responsible, productive member of the community. Estelle Mitchell is all that.
Thank you Waterfront staff! I love you all and appreciate your care and encouragement. You have given me a good starting board for my recovery journey; I will miss all of you.
. . . really pulled through for me in detox going above and beyond, helping me through a very tough time. I should be getting my daughter back very soon. Thank you so much.
John McManus 1964 - 2022
indebted to this tenacious and compassionate man.
Family, friends and community collaborators came together at his memorial to celebrate the life of this powerhouse that ended too soon due to ALS. Speakers shared stories about McManus as loving father, smart, compassionate advocate, amazing musician and most of all, hilarious friend. Laughter marked most interactions with him and this occasion was no different. There was a general sense of appreciation that we had this wonderful man in our lives.
It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Alcohol Drug Care Services’ Executive Director and Waterfront co-founder John McManus. He was a fearless, street-smart visionary who insisted on raising the bar for care in our community. McManus walked the walk and showed others the way. We will forever be
Community Steps Up To Honor
John McManus and Support WRS
Sunday June 5th. Click here for info.
Medical Director Dr. Ruby Bayan on Community Voices
Waterfront Recovery Services provides a medical model for Substance Use Disorder designed by Dr. Bayan and Co-founder John McManus.