On West Cypress, blocks from downtown Altus, construction on a unique building is transforming a house once only meant for demolition to a center ready to house 18 women struggling with recovery from alcohol and drug use.
The owner of the house, Ricky Self, is a native of Altus but left as a young man carrying a problem with alcoholism. Now, he’s made it his mission to reach out to others struggling with alcoholism in the community and facilitate their recovery.
Though Self is living in recovery, the road that led him back to his hometown was riddled with failed attempts, near death experiences, bouts in rehab, and time spent working through sober living programs.
“I grew up in Altus, but I had to come back to really grow up,” Self said. “Now, I want to create something that will help others like me.”
The Transitional Living Center will give residents the chance to attend recovery classes, obtain an education, have a job and independence while being surrounded by other women who are dedicated to recovering and remaining sober.
“You don’t realize how much community you need in recovery,” Stacy Mccullough said.
Not long ago, Mccullough was facing felony charges for drug possession. Now she and Self are working together to start the Transitional Living program in Altus—the same program that helped Mccullough recover in Tulsa.
Mccullough has worked with Celebrate Recovery and assists other women who are in domestic violence, drug, alcohol, and human trafficking situations. Originally from Altus as well, coming back is about giving back to her community, friends, and family.
“It’s about addressing the real reason that drugs and alcohol come into play,” Mccullough said. “Finding the insecurities, past hurts, and mindset that leads to this behavior is the only way to move past them.”
“We want to remove the shame and guilt of living with this disease,” Self said. “So people who need help can get it. We want to bring it out in the open, that’s why we chose a building at the heart of Altus.”
Though the center isn’t ready to open, Self and Mccullough are excited to begin taking in women and implementing life skills classes including courses in cooking, budgeting, and building healthy relationships with the added benefit of accountability and support.
“I’ve sponsored women I used to sell drugs to,” Mccullough said. “I tell them now that instead of being their drug dealer, I’m their hope dealer because that’s what this all about—hope that we can be good mothers, friends, and daughters by first being the best we can be for ourselves.”
Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.