2013 VERNON JOHNSON AWARD HONOREE

ANDRE L. JOHNSON

Detroit Recovery Project – Detroit, MI

Andre L. Johnson has served as the CEO of the Detroit Recovery Project (DRP) since its founding in 2005. DRP facilitates recovery for those struggling with addiction, helping Detroiters who were once on the streets become drug-free and productive citizens. Johnson’s skilled and sustained leadership in the development and maturation of the Detroit Recovery Project has inspired many. He’s been described as a “recovery carrier” – someone who makes recovery contagious to others by the power of his own story and the “living proof” manifested in his character and how he lives his life.

DRP provides a wide spectrum of support services to the city’s recovery community including GED preparation; twelve-step support groups; housing assistance; job readiness and employment assistance; and HIV prevention, testing, and counseling services. DRP also oversees an ex-offender program that helps returning citizens reintegrate successfully into the Detroit community, with an aim of assisting them with sustaining their recovery.

Johnson’s vision of a Recovery Village includes developing safe havens that provide housing to show that people in recovery can be productive neighbors and seek the same quality of life we all want. Johnson sits on numerous committees and advisory boards and is widely sought out as a speaker. He’s inspirational and motivating to young people, the recovery community, policymakers and the public. He has mobilized thousands of people in recovery and the broader community to widen the doorways of entry into recovery.

Johnson has brought formal and informal institutions to the table to shape the vision of a recovery-transformed health care system in Detroit. He’s worked to mobilize diverse recovery communities, engage the City’s key political, financial, and religious leaders, and a broad spectrum of health and human service organizations. Through the sheer power of his personality and his own recovery story, Johnson has been able to help people rise above the challenges Detroit is facing and to move forward to build a broad network of recovery support services.

As a team leader, he has also pioneered work to enhance recovery support resources in East Africa for the past few years. Working to bring recovery supports to Tanzania and Zanzibar, predominately Muslim countries without any pre-existing addiction treatment services, is an enormous challenge. Andre has been instrumental in fostering the now rising recovery communities in these countries, a model for cross-cultural consultation on the development of recovery support services.

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