Culture & the Family
Ryan Haynie | December 22, 2020
Marcus’s story: Sober living through community
[As we approach the holiday season, OCPA is sharing stories of real people whose lives have been impacted by some of our work over the past year. Without supporters like you, this work would not have been possible.]
Marcus, a Tulsa native, runs Sangha—which is Sanskrit for “community.” It’s a sober-living house where around six men, who are working to kick their addictions, live. Marcus leaned on his own background—a master’s degree in psychology and a history of heroin addiction—to establish a haven for those needing to recover from substance-use disorders.
The Sangha house has many components that make it unique. The focus is on physical health, mental health, financial literacy, creating resumes, and being of service to the community of Tulsa—as well as being employed and paying rent.
“We really wanted to focus on elements that make a person who they are. So that when they do reintegrate back into society, they are sober and they are able to take life on with a newer, greater perspective,” Marcus said.
When COVID-19 hit, people in recovery and those suffering from an addiction were particularly hard hit. Marcus explained that the darkest times for addicts are those of isolation and heightened anxiety. Not only are recovery centers keeping their doors closed, but people don’t have their communities and many have lost their jobs.
This is just another example of how the COVID-19 shutdown affected lives in multiple ways. OCPA believes that both lives and livelihoods matter—which is why we started the “Reopen Oklahoma” petition in April. The statewide campaign gathered more than 12,000 signatures and showed that Oklahomans wanted to return to work and normal life.
For more than 25 years, OCPA has promoted limited government. We recognize that excessive government actions can have negative effects on people in all areas—including on the men that Marcus is helping. OCPA exists to help Oklahomans thrive, and we exist because of your partnership with us. Your year-end gift of $50, $100, $1,000, or whatever you can afford will ensure that OCPA continues to have a positive impact on Oklahomans’ lives. You can donate by clicking here.
Criminal Justice Reform Fellow
Ryan Haynie serves as the Criminal Justice Reform Fellow for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. Prior to joining OCPA, he practiced law in Oklahoma City. His work included representing the criminally accused in state and federal courts. Ryan is active in the Federalist Society, serving as the Programming Director for the Oklahoma City Lawyer’s Chapter. He holds a B.B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He and his wife, Jaclyn, live in Oklahoma City with their three children.