Southern Oklahoma Addictions Recovery is a therapeutic work program for men who have been convicted of drug and alcohol offenses. We work with courts in central and southern Oklahoma to place people in jobs rather than in jail or prison. The program emphasizes personal responsibility and strict accountability as well as sobriety. It's the only one of its kind in the region.
Before SOAR was founded in 2008, courts had no choice but to send nonviolent drug and alcohol offenders to prison. After officials in Pontotoc County expressed concern about the situation, Ada businessman Duane Murray began organizing the long-term rehabilitation program. Today, nearly two-thirds of SOAR's clients graduate and return to their communities as sober, productive citizens.
SOAR has a nine-member board of directors, two full-time and two part-time staff members, as well as a number of volunteers. We serve about 40 clients each year, most of whom spend six months at the facility.
Most of our clients are referred by courts in Southern Oklahoma. Upon entering the program they are placed in jobs with area employers. They are expected not only to work but to attend regular 12-step meetings and church services. Abstinence is strictly monitored. To meet a growing demand, SOAR expanded in 2013, moving to a new facility with beds for more than 20 clients.
SOAR doesn't receive any taxpayer money. Our costs are paid by donors and by our clients themselves, who earn their way through the program by working at jobs in the community.
- 2008 SPRING
Drug court officials in Ponottoc County express concern that there is no alternative but prison for nonviolent drug and alcohol offenders.
- 2008 FALL
Southern Oklahoma Addictions Recovery is founded, offering a program of work and recovery for men who would otherwise be incarcerated. SOAR opens a facility on 14th Street in Ada to house about eight men and accepts its first residents.
SOAR expands as courts across Oklahoma begin referring defendants. SOAR’s employer base also grows as Ada area companies recognize the program’s value.
SOAR is in contact with all drug courts in Oklahoma, and requests for placement increase. The program’s waiting list grows. A new board of directors begins a search for a larger facility.
- 2014 JUNE
Grand opening of a new SOAR facility. The Pruitt Center for Recovery, at 115 N. Oak Avenue in Ada, houses 20-22 clients.
- 2014 FALL
Directors take the first steps toward establishing a separate SOAR facility for women