About Shana’s House

There are sober living recovery homes across the nation, but out of every 7 beds available, only 1 is open for women.  It’s not that women are any less prone to addictions, it is a reflection of the lack of womens homes for drug and alcohol recovery.  

On top of this, it is much more challenging to bring women into places that foster sober living.  There is a strong stigma that surrounds their addiction – more so than with men.  In addition, women tend to not want to admit that they need help and often have a do-it-yourself mindset.  But addiction healing is one of those things that can’t be done alone.  Recovery requires support and care from trusted people surrounding the addict.  

Shana’s House offers a private, supportive sanctuary for women to conquer their dependency on drugs or alcohol.  We have a network of therapists, case workers, staff, and addiction specialists to help women heal and reenter their lives with sobriety.

About the Founder

Robert Curry has been in recovery for the last 35 years.  He understands the arduous journey toward sobriety because he has been there.  He’s personally experienced the joys, the frustrations, the hurdles, and the hard work that it takes to achieve sober living.  Now, he wants to help others succeed in their recovery.

Robert performed a tour of duty through the Marine Corp in Vietnam (1965), so he’s intimately familiar with the atrocities of the human condition.  Coming back from the war, he went to law school for a year before changing directions and getting his MBA at Columbia University.  He worked with several big-name financial organizations including JP Morgan Chase, Price WaterhouseCoopers, and HSBC.  But the work seemed to lack something, so he left the financial world and started his own business Turning Point for Leaders as an executive coach and recovery specialist..   Robert has been performing corporate interventions for the last decade.

Witnessing first-hand the horrors of addiction in his niece (read Shana’s Story, a letter from the Founder [link to Founder Letter]), Robert took his passion for recovery and committed himself to helping women who were battling their alcoholism/drug dependency.  He opened a private half way house for women only.  It is the only sober living home for women in Fairfield County, Connecticut.  His goal is to help women succeed in their recovery and achieve a normal, drug/alcohol-free life.  

In addition to Shana’s House, Robert manages a trust which he created to help support and care for his grand-nephew, Shana’s son.  He is dedicated to giving him the love and support his mother wasn’t able to, as well as honor her memory within him.  

Meet the People behind the Supportive Network at Shana’s House

Joyce S. Sixsmith M.A., L.A.D.C.:  Joyce is a licensed CT alcohol and drug counselor.  She currently works both in her own private practice and with high school students as the Connections Counselor for Substance Abuse at Darien High School.  Joyce is also the current President of the Ram Council Foundation, a non-profit organization that encourages healthy decision-making for teens to live substance-free lives (New Canaan).  With 34 years of experience handling substance abuse cases, it is no surprise that she is often called to lecture on a variety of topics for schools, agencies, and faith communities.  Her seminars appeal to parents and professionals as well as teens.  She is a strong force working for teen and young adult sobriety.  Her expansive knowledge and expertise of substance abuse among younger women is extremely beneficial among our clients.

Lance Minor:  Lance is no stranger to the intimacies of recovery -- he’s been in his own recovery since 1975.  He had a successful career for many years as the advertising and sales rep for Sports Illustrated Magazine.  But after losing both his wife and granddaughter to the disease of alcoholism, he decided to take a different and more fulfilling career path.  He enrolled at the Hazelden Counselor Training Program (Center City, Minnesota) and today is a Certified and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.  He is dedicated to helping those suffering from the disease get the help they need to achieve sobriety.  Lance’s deep commitment to this goal is illustrated by the fact that he has been Robert’s own sponsor for the last 3 decades. 

Ingrid Gillespi, B.P.E., M.S.c.:  Ingrid has more than 30 years’ experience in human services for both rural and urban communities.  Early on in her career, Ingrid was trained in Asset-Based Community and Youth Development.  This education was instrumental in defining her approaches for assisting communities and organizations who are struggling with substance abuse. 

In 2004, Ingrid was hired to rebuild a regional coalition known as Communities 4 Action.  The coalition collaborated with local efforts to reduce substance abuse while promoting stronger mental health.  They spearheaded the use of evidence-based approaches such as SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment). Ingrid’s determination and inspired thinking, along with her years of experience in the field, gives Shana’s House the ability to take a creative and innovative approach to help residents live in sobriety.

Pamela George, Director of Residential Services/Admissions/Business Development:  With 10 years working in business management and development at Andersen Consulting, Innovative Kids and The Walter Schalk School of Dance, Pamela is well-versed in business practices.  She handles all aspects of operations and management at Shana’s House.  But her focus is much deeper than making sure the day-to-day activities run smoothly.  As a mother of twin girls she exhibits strong nurturing tendencies, providing empathy and care to residents who are in the various stages of their recovery.  Pamela has a deep commitment to the women at Shana’s House, having personally lived through the painful experience of loved ones struggling with their addictions.  Her strong organizational skills, leadership, and community-building talents offer the support residents need to achieve successful recovery and independence.

Allison Kernan, Public Relations Strategist/Program Coordinator:  Allison comes from a place of deep understanding having once been an addict herself.  She knows the struggles these women are facing first-hand. She is a success story who wants to help other women achieve their own sobriety – and often speaks publicly to share her story of recovery as a panelist and speaker for many organizations.  She had put much effort into building a community of relationships and support for residents in recovery.

Allison is a Certified Recovery Coach who trains the trainers at the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery’s Coach Academy.  She is also certified in Mental Health First Aid.  Allison was appointed to the Board for the Treatment and Recovery Subcommittee of the CT Drug and Alcohol Policy Council, an organization dedicated to finding ways to break down barriers for recovery and improving treatment. 

Kate Carbone, Office Manager:  A graduate of Shana’s House, Kate is a success story of recovery.  She is grateful for the love and support she experienced through Shana’s House and now helps others who are going through similar experiences.  She draws on her own struggle as a woman in recovery to build supportive and trusting relationships with clients to help them through their own recovery.  Kate has a talent for coordination and detail, so she handles the recreation activities for clients enrolled in the program.  She is also a licensed massage therapist. 

Claire Balducci, Case Manager:  Claire has nearly three decades of addiction experience which she draws upon daily to guide and coordinate clients through recovery at Shana’s House.  She provides positive coaching, role modeling, and mentoring for clients to help them achieve a successful life of sobriety and independent living. She is also the main point of contact for family members.  Claire graduated from the University of Miami for Drug and Alcohol Counseling. 

Victoria Benson, Case Manager

Keri Crossley, Program Coordinator

Greer Ferraro, Kitchen Manager/Program Coordinator