Celebrating 69 Years of
Service to the Community

About Stella Maris

Mission Statement


Stella Maris’ mission is to provide quality chemical dependency treatment and mental health services to our community regardless of race, sex, religion or ability to pay. Stella Maris will strive to make services available to all those seeking treatment based on presenting need and available treatment capacity. Stella Maris recognizes that alone we cannot meet the total needs of our community and will work with other community resources to improve the availability of appropriate services for the treatment of alcoholism and other addictions.


TheaterStella Maris opened its doors on November 16, 1948. Fr. Otis Winchester, a young priest at the neighboring St. Malachi’s Church, and seven members of a relatively new organization, Alcoholic Anonymous, recognized the need for a facility to house alcoholic men through the process of recovery. Stella Maris, the Star of the Sea, became a refuge for men dubbed by newspaper headlines as “derelict and debauched” and “skid row bums.” Homeless, down and out men were assured three meals, a prescribed course of treatment and the camaraderie of other alcoholics looking to give up the bottle.

In those days, Stella Maris housed 11 men at a time. There always seemed to be room for one more. Over the past sixty-three years, our facility and programs have grown. Though we consistently monitor and improve our services by implementing “best practices”, we have never lost sight of our mission and commitment to serving the truly needy in our community. Currently, we provide 16 inpatient medical beds in our medical facility for men and women requiring a medically supervised withdrawal from alcohol and/or other chemicals. Patients receive a history and physical by a staff physician, laboratory services, twenty-four hour nursing care, medications, individual and group counseling, and discharge planning to the next appropriate level of care. The average length of stay is 3 to 7 days. In 2011, we served over 600 individuals.

In our men’s residential facility, we have the capacity to treat thirty-eight men on a daily basis. These men are referrals from our own medical facility, social service agencies, the criminal justice system, The Veterans Administration, and walk-in homeless men needing recovery services. In long term residential, the clients receive treatment services regarding the disease of addiction, relapse prevention, individual and group counseling, vocational training and job readiness skills. The average length of stay is three to six months. Clients are discharged after securing sober housing and employment. Clients are encouraged to attend weekly outpatient sessions and family counseling for a year following discharge. In 2011, we served 110 individuals in our supportive housing unit, and 258 men and women in out outpatient programs. Countless others attend 12 Step Meetings every day of the week, participate in family programming and education, and attend aftercare.

In the Gallagher Center, our community recovery center, clients and their family members participate in outpatient chemical dependency and mental health services. The Center situated between the medical building and the residential building houses staff offices, group rooms and large meeting rooms for 12 Step meetings, an amphitheater and a Recovery Coffee Shop for members of the fellowship to meet with the newly sober.  In 2011, over 300 men and women received services in our outpatient programs.

A message from the executive director:

December, 2016

deborahDear Friends of Stella Maris,

This year, through the committed efforts of our board, staff, partners, alumni and volunteers, Stella Maris has responded to major changes in our environment. The increasing wave of opiate use and corresponding greater demand for services combined to challenge us, our systems and our facilities to maintain our high level of quality care. Together, we are addressing these challenges and we are well-positioned to sustain and expand our mission “to provide quality chemical dependency treatment and mental health services to our community regardless of race, sex, religion or ability to pay.”

In our 2016 fiscal year, we provided more services than ever, treating:

  • More than 1000 individuals through subacute detoxification
  • 500 in intensive outpatient group and individual counseling
  • 250 in our supportive housing

    Our Gallagher and Detox buildings are currently being renovated to make space for more outpatient groups, more individual counseling services and an ambulatory detox program to support client transition into our outpatient program by Spring 2017. We are also opening our first Stella Maris sober house in early 2017.

    We deeply appreciate your ongoing support. With your assistance, we can do much more. Please consider donating this year to help us respond to the alarming increase of substance abuse in our community. On behalf of our board and dedicated staff we wish you a peaceful and blessed holiday season.


    Deborah A. Bridwell, PhD
    Executive Director