Executive Director / Linda Rigazio
Beginning at the age of 13, I started drinking and drugging then began moving between South Carolina and Miami. Always running from myself. After 30 years of alcohol and drug use, three marriages, two kids I did not raise, no family contact and looking at 10-20 years in prison, I realized I was hopeless and exhausted. With my husband ‘s encouragement, I headed off to Detox for the second time, returned home and started attending 12 step meetings where I picked up a white chip and I have never let it go. I learned that happiness came from helping others and I saw a need for sober living here in Brunswick. I took a leap of faith, sold my horses and committed myself to this mission and in November of 2009, the Grace House became a reality. Today I am truly happy, joyous and free. I honestly had no idea how great life could be clean and sober. My mission and that of the Grace House is to help as many women as possible find the same freedom and happiness. Because of God’s Grace the Grace House has not only transformed my life but the lives of many other women and their families. I am so thankful today that I never quit and that God never gave up on me. You can do it to !
Drugs and alcohol consumed my life before I came to the Grace House. I tried to stop multiple times on my own, but I failed every time. My life was miserable. I was without a job, and I had pushed my friends and family away. I felt my life had no purpose, and I was starting to accept that I was going to be miserable forever. I came to the Grace House in 2014. The ladies here loved me until I could love myself. By the grace of God and this program the obsession was lifted from me to want to drink or use drugs. I learned how to hold a job, pay my bills, and be a responsible young adult. I am so very grateful for Linda opening the Grace House and giving me and many other women a second chance at life. Today I am in school and have been blessed to work at the Grace House and give back what was given to me. I love my life, I am truly happy, and I never could have imagined that before getting clean and sober thanks to the Grace House.
CAC / JoAnne Hanft
A graduate of University of Georgia, Jo Ann attended the chemical dependency counselor training program at Hazelden Foundation in Center City, Minnesota. She is a certified chemical dependency counselor by the Institute of Chemical Dependency Professionals of Minnesota and was employed six years by Hazelden Foundation as their primary and family program counselor. Jo Anne has been our volunteer in house counselor since 2013 and comes to the Grace House twice weekly and provides our girls with one on one counseling free of charge. She is an unbelievable blessing to our house and residents and loved by all. JoAnne truly understands addiction.
LCSW /Virginia Holm
Clinical social worker, Virginia Holm “Betsy” helps the girls attain the personal growth they seek through art and psychotherapy. She has obtained her Master’s Degree from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences as well as a Master’s Degree from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. She obtained a Master’s degree in Art History from Case Western Reserve and a Bachelor’s Degree from Tulane University. Betsy is certificated in Cognitive Behavior Therapy from The Cleveland Institute of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) for the treatment of trauma and traumatic grief and loss. She holds a group counseling weekly.
The Paper Dolls
This is a group of about 20 local Christian women from St Simons who have come since 2010. These women conduct a short bible study group weekly and donate paper products monthly. These women become a personal mentor for each girl who comes here to make her journey through this new way of life, just a little bit easier. We could not this this without them!