Eric Richards, CEO, founded Stepping Stones to develop and deliver community based recovery models for substance abusers. He founded Stepping Stones after being inspired by the CEO of Oxford House, a network of 1700 sober living houses distributed nationally. Eric questioned the CEO why there weren’t many sober living facilities in Alabama – the CEO shot back why don’t you do something about that? Today Eric manages Stepping Stones by mentoring the staff, promoting community awareness of substance abuse/recovery services, and ensuring the Stepping Stones program continues to promote best practices of evidence-based recovery models. Eric believes the spiritual principles behind the 12-Steps such as unity and service must lie at the core of the organization. Eric lives with his wife and two children in Madison, and likes to kayak and take random trips to out of the way places.
Fran Fluhler,Board of Directors, is a servant-leader in the greater Huntsville community. She also operates Manna House, which feeds hundreds of needy men, women, and children weekly. Her experience makes Fran well suited to support the mission of Stepping Stones.
Larry Roberts, Director of Operation, has been with Stepping Stones since 2011.His duties include outreach, recruitment, job placement for residents, and life skills training for residents. Larry has worked for four years in the field of recovery, in South Florida as well as Huntsville. He enjoys not only the challenge but also the rewards of working with former substance abusers. Larry lives in Huntsville with his girlfriend and cat. He enjoys hiking and birding.
Stephanie Jennings, Women’s Housing Director, has a passion for helping women at Stepping Stones and the larger recovery community. She is a firm believer in the power of a rigorous 12-Step program to change lives and not only teaches this to our residents but also models it through her own recovery walk. Stephanie is committed to every woman who enters the program, providing both accountability and mentorship. In addition to serving as our Women’s Director – Stephanie is a talented photographer who has been nationally acclaimed! She resides at one of the women’s houses along with her cats, where she shows our women first hand what it is like to have a strong character in recovery. Stephanie is working on her Certified Peer Support Specialist training and is supporting the expansion of access to recovery in the mid-South area.
Ty Morris, Men’s Director, has been with Stepping Stones since 2015 assisting in outreach, recruiting, job placement and life skill training for residents, along with providing transportation for work and 12-Step meetings. As a former EMT – Ty feels fortunate to be in a position to give back to others. A Decatur native, Ty has worked in recovery for years as an assistant counselor at Bradford and in sober living. He resides at the Level 1 Men’s property, where he leads the incoming resident in recovery best practices. Ty builds a rapport with the incoming resident quickly and demonstrates to them what is required to be successfully clean and sober.
Stepping Stones has standing relationships with several organizations in the greater Northern Alabama area that regularly refer potential residents to Stepping Stones. These include both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, medical detox facilities, shelters, and social agencies. Not only do these facilities refer residents to us, they serve as a safety net in the event of relapse by one of our residents. When you enter our community, you are immediately plugging into the greater recovery network in North Alabama!
Crestwood Behavioral Health operates an Alcohol and Drug Detox Treatment program on an inpatient unit adjacent to their hospital. Medical detox is available 24-hr a day. Stepping Stones works closely with Crestwood in the event of a relapse of one of our residents who are given the opportunity for a supervised medical detox.
Stepping Stones believes in carrying the message. Our residents regularly support outreach events at Bradford Health Services, Pathfinder, the Salvation Army, churches and others. If you are interested in having a Stepping Stones representative visit your organization, please contact us at 256-469-4415.
There has been considerable local coverage of the Stepping Stones model. Click below to read articles and hear an interview with our founder.