Alumni & Testimonials

Alumni & Testimonials


Alumni Stories & Testimonials

Our treatment program is individualized to each patient’s needs, and it’s designed to help conquer addiction, rebuild, and create a path to long-lasting recovery. Our program includes dynamic treatment modalities that heal the root cause of addiction, including a variety of adventure therapies, psychotherapy, psychiatry, and physical activities such as yoga, breath works, guided imagery, and internal healing led by our spiritual director. Our alumni have glowing reviews and we are proud of helping our clients reach a place of peace and stability.

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I used to feel lonely and scared all the time. I used to be angry when I woke up every day. A year ago, I was living in Boulder, Colorado and in an abusive, unhealthy relationship with a man that I resented, but I was terrified of leaving. I woke up every morning not wanting to live another day but I was too scared to change anything. However, by the grace of God, my family, aided by the help of a placement therapist, helped me find Safe Harbor. I entered the program after participating in a seventy-day wilderness drug treatment program and was able to regain control of my life that was quickly slipping away from me.

Arriving at Safe Harbor’s Knox house I immediately felt a sense of ease and community, which I now know I have been searching for relentlessly my whole life through unhealthy relationships, drugs and alcohol. I was very fearful about living in a house full of women, but I very quickly started forming connections. Now, nine months later, I have a life I never would have imagined. I am currently a Support Staff member at Knox program and enjoy giving back what was so freely and generously given to me. I am so passionate about the program that I believe truly saved my life by showing me how to practice self-love on the journey to my recovery. I have made life-long friends here that are honest to me, support me, and help me walk through my fears and difficult times. I no longer fear waking up every day. I am excited for what my future holds for me and I am proud of the woman I am today.


Love and Solutions

I went to Safe Harbor in July of 2014. Sober ever since. This place SAVED my life. So much love and solution. The professional staff was very professional. I have seen so many woman go thru safe harbor and achieve sobriety and serenity. I would recommend this place to any woman who suffers from addiction, eating disorder or trauma.


Know Happiness

Safe Harbor will love you until you can love yourself. This is what I was told by Velvet during my first week when I was shaking with trepidation and unsure if I could do this 90-day recovery program… I feel truly grateful and blessed that Safe Harbor found me and that I’ve had the opportunity to grow and know happiness.



I went through Safe Harbor over 2 years ago and it helped transform my life for the better. It was a tough decision to go to treatment, but I’m so grateful that choice led me here. The staff was so loving and understanding, and I met some women that I am still close friends with today. This place gave me the tools to live happy and sober – which I never knew was possible.


Feel at Home

Safe Harbor Capella saved my life. The staff is amazing, helpful, and caring. They make you feel at home. I highly recommend Safe Harbor’s sober living. I left learning the tools I needed, and have been free from my addiction since leaving SH for 2 years. I was able to meet with rev. Arlene who thought me how to focus on the positive outlooks on my life. They thought me that drugs are not escape. Capella and all of the Safe Harbor homes are almost like a mini vacation. There are always activities, amazing residence who support one another. Not to mention chef Dave. Safe Harbor/Costa Mesa will always be my safe place. Forever thanking SH house.


Plan geared towards my needs

I came to Safe Harbour on a recommendation from Hazelden Treatment Center in Center City, Mn. It was a safe environment and I immediately felt I’m right where I need to be. I had a specific treatment plan that was geared towards my needs. They had a team approach that was highly affective. I wish I would have tried relocation for treatment many years ago. I felt getting completely out of old territory had enabled me to focus on myself without any distractions. I followed the recommendation of Safe Harbour to continue my recovery in a Sober Living house and today I have an amazing life and I’m coming up on 5 years of sobriety. Thank you Safe Harbour for believing and loving me when I didn’t believe I was lovable.


Kind and Considerate

I entered Safe Harbor for women over 5 years ago, and restarted my life the minute I walked to the doors. The staff were kind and considerate, the chef made healthy, delicious meals and I embarked on a new, stronger path in my recovery. I relapsed after a decade of sobriety and was so ashamed, But the women I stood with, that stood with me at Safe Harbor held my hand through the worst time of my life and helped me rebuild and recover. My case manager took me to court on her days off. The support staff literally walked me up to the pharmacies and supported me as I cancelled my prescriptions for the drugs I was abusing. They let me laugh and cry and feel loved. Most of all, it was the spiritual director, Reverend Arlene that really changed my feeling and outlook. Her insights have had a deep and important impact on me and this phase of my recovery. My second time around is stronger and more precious because of Safe Harbor. I continue to volunteer with Reverend Arlene and to support the women that come through the doors because Safe Harbor saved my life and it’s my pleasure to do so. Thank you, Velvet for your gifts. 3rd house RULES!


Solid Foundation

Excellent treatment center! I first entered their Capella program for trauma in August of 2014. I had done a geographic, uprooting my life in NY for California. I found the combination of group therapy, individual therapy, and 12 step extremely helpful in creating a solid foundation for my recovery. More than half of the support staff I had were alumnae of the program. As a result, I felt as though the staff really understood what I was going through and was able to support my growth in relatable and effective way. Additionally, the case manager I had was well qualified and provided me with excellent care. After 90 days of residential treatment, I entered into safe harbor sober living which has since become the connections program. Being in sober living connected me with a vast network of sober women, most of which were Safe Harbor alumna. Even after leaving sober living, Safe Harbor continued to be my main source of support and encouraged myself and other alumna to “stay in the love” by offering us employment as support staff at the treatment centers. I felt that I was given adequate training and my RRW certification was paid for by the administration. Throughout my year working at Capella, I always felt supported and like I was making a significant difference in the lives of recovering women. I would highly recommend Safe Harbor as a great place to get sober, a supportive environment to work and a wonderful community to call home.


Get Help With Addiction Today

The Safe Harbor Treatment Center Admissions Team works to ensure that we can help as many people struggling with substance abuse. Receive the highest level of care available at Safe Harbor. We are here to answer any questions you may have about starting your journey for you or a loved one.


Saved My Life

This place saved my life. I’ve never received treatment so catered to my personal needs and issues. The women who work here are passionate about what they do and most of them went through safe harbor themselves. The community is so strong and supportive and loving AND connected with each other even after treatment. They live up to their motto “stay in the love”


Found Answers

I went through Safe Harbor a few years ago and my life was changed for the better. For the first time in my life I found answers to questions I had been searching for my entire life. I went through numerous treatment programs but Safe Harbor was different. It gave me hope. It gave me a foundation. It gave me tools to deal with life. I am so grateful for Safe Harbor…especially for Danelle, Annie and Morgan.


Love and Respect

I feel compelled to share my experience here. I had such a different experience with Safe Harbor and I owe Velvet, the staff, and the girls of Safe Harbor my life. I spent four years trying to get sober from alcohol. Within those four years, i came close to death, suffered through withdrawal seizures, lost the faith of my family and friends, and came to the brink of suicide. My life was a disaster and I was living through the darkest most hopeless part of my life.

With the support of my family, they offered me treatment a last time, this was my fourth. I talked to the admissions department almost daily, and Safe Harbor called to check in on me, to check in on my flight status, to check in with my family. The hands were extended immediately.

I arrived at the Knox facility with my dad. I was incapable of much interaction with him, nor was I willing to give him much hope as far as my future was concerned. But he left with hope from the words of my case manager reassured that I would be okay, that I was safe. I know he probably slept that night. Im grateful for the amount of effort she put forth with me and my family.

I was shown love, I was shown respect, and I was supported so strongly in a beautiful house. I cried every day, for three weeks, and Every Time there was a staff member there for me, listening to me, sharing their experience, helping me get through the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Getting sober.

I finished my 90 day treatment, I followed direction and went to Sober Living. I learned what is was like to be a woman in recovery, how to develop relationships with other people, how to live in the principles. Safe Harbor taught me to live my life with love and tolerance as my code.

Today I give back to Safe Harbor everyday. It is the one event that turned my life around, that helped bring the light back in my eyes, my heart, and my soul. I have a beautiful life today, a wonderful relationship with my family, an apartment with another Safe Harbor alumni, a rewarding job, and I maintain connections with Safe Harbor girls in multiple states. I am forever thankful for everything I received and I am grateful to be able to say that I am still sober and still recovering.


Life Changing

I came to Safe Harbor with high expectations, but what I received went over and beyond anything that I could have imagined… The women I have met through Safe Harbor House and the program are some of the most amazing and important individuals to me today. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity. It has been a life changing experience. It is definitely one that I don’t regret.


Open House

I was never a patient here, however I was able to meet the staff at a recent open house event on Bernard street. The home was incredible, I believe it’s a historical home. The place just has so much Beauty and history. The staff members I met were very friendly and knowledge as well. I hope I will never have to attend a treatment center, but if me or my wife or family did, this is the place I would go too.




Sitting on my couch with my roommate looking back on over four years ago when I met her at Safe Harbor’s sober living after leaving Knox and Capella. As addicts and alcoholics nothing can be perfect for us, we come in to treatment irritable restless and discontent. I was the same way and wanted to find any reason to get out as I immediately regretted my intention to get help. Feeling anything “felt” too painful and unmanageable. I understand people end up leaving before letting this gift in and therefore feel like everything and everyone has let them down. Every one has a different path but for me and the 7 women I was able to have lunch with last weekend- this was the greatest experience we got to share. I am blown away that I sat at a restaurant with the women I lived with for almost a year- working on ourselves every day and laughing harder then ever. It hasn’t been a golden red carpet experience every day but I would have never been able to accomplish what I have now without Velvet, Becky, Danelle, Joanne and all the girls I get to share this insanely loving and ridiculously fun life with. I got to learn how to experience and participate in my own life. I came to safe harbor, broken, traumatized and covered in shame, and today I feel whole-able to walk through life with confidence and grace. Thank you for taking me in throughout the last 4 1/2 years after I pushed/ran away. When it felt too hard. Thank you for letting me be human. Thank you for unconditionally loving me. Thank you for checking on me even when I didn’t want to be checked in on. Thank you for my relationships for life. Thank you to all you women who have kept me safe, loved and strong… And thank you for being there when I couldn’t be there for myself.
Love love love.


For the better

Was there for 30 days and they changed my life for the better….Im drug and alcohol free….and I wanna live my life to fullest…they showed me and gave me my life back….I highly recommend this center for men or women.



I just recently went through the knox program and I absolutely loved it !! If I had not gone through safe harbor, I know I wouldn’t be sober today! The support staff is nurturing and loving. I made life long friend ships. Safe harbor saved my life and gave me my life back !!!



Thank God for Safe Harbor and the women dedicating their lives to helping these young women who are struggling with lives many obstacles. Safe Harbor provides structure and guidance and love to those who want help staying sober.



Safe harbor is hands down the most effective treatment center in Southern California. It changed my view on life and saved my soul. I recommend safe harbor to anyone looking to recover.


Compassion and Support

My story of our family and treating specialists interaction with Safe Harbor is one of extraordinary success. We will always owe them a deep debt of gratitude.

My daughter who suffers from serious concurrent disorders including medical, psychiatric and substance abuse problems was literally given a second chance at life by Safe Harbor. All other treatment specialists, therapies and programs had failed and we were desperate. My daughter arrived at Safe Harbor following Wilderness Therapy (at 2nd Nature, Utah, an impoartant first step and critical starting place that I would stongly recommend). In California, we were picked up from the airport by a wonderful professional, warm and healthy looking female Safe Harbor staff. We would never have guessed that she had ever had any of the problems my daughter was suffering from. When she candidly shared her recovery story, this first very important interaction, showed us right off that recovery, health, happiness and productivity was possible This was our new beginning at this very scarry time.

Safe Harbor was recommended by numerous reputable sources including senior treating specialists in Canada and the United States, an educational consultant and the wilderness therapy program. It was one of only two options for someone with the complexity of my daughter’s issues. The Safe Harbor Program Director supervised and guided every aspect of my daughter’s care. She consulted with my daughter, myself and our family therapist and kept us informed and closely involved in every struggle, care delivery decision, and helped us all to understand and cope with relapse and progress. I developed unfailing confidence in Safe Harbor’s commitent, compassion and ability to support my daughter’s slow, complicated and most importantly successful recovery journey. Safe Harbor proved very connected to resoures in the therapuetic community and was able find additional services by excellent therapists to meet some of my daughter’s unique needs.

My daughter benefited substantially and would not have recovered without the insight, compassion, and support of Safe Harbor staff. She required and received 24/7 therapeutic support. The Program DIrector has selected and trained excellent staff, who having experienced recovery, have first hand knowledge, specific targeted training for the client base, and accordingly the ability to interact, recognize the needs, fears, self-denial and self-defeating behaviours of clients that we as parents and family members cannot know, cope with or help our loved ones. My daughter has grown to love these people. They formed the foundation beneath her feet when she felt she had no place to land and they helped her build a path forward sometimes minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day. She would never have stayed in the treatement she so badly needed without their demonstrated caring and conviction.

Safe Harbor’s culinary program is extraordinary.I mention this because self-care including healthy eating are often distorted and life threatenting challenges. Safe Harbor spares no expensense at emphasizing and encouraging healthy eating. The chef is remarkable. While always demonstrating healthy boundaries which was important to my daughter in itself, he noticed the things she liked, presented the food beautifully and helped her rediscover an appetite and interest in healthy eating. Regular and communcal eating is montored and supported as are alll eating behaviours..

The varied therpeutic programs and staff therapists provided critical support of my daughter for trauma and other major disorders. On site visits with therapists and from a psychiarist and dietician also supported her progress in the comfort and familiarity of the Capella premises. The facilities look and feel like home with lovely spacious cottages and gorgeous gardens.

The location perfectly supports graduated independence. My daughter arrived unable to leave her room. As she developed, she was supported to move farther from the main building to the attractive cottages that are attached. This was visible to her as progress. She was accompanied to the many local activities including gym, yoga, AA, NA, grocery, pharmacy, movie theatre which are all nearby and in walking distance. As she progressed she could venture to these places with other people in the program. This also was progress. She eventually was able to move to sober living with continuing therapeutic supports. Her progress has entirely been owed to her own efforts to work hard with the many staff and treating specialists who have been involved in her care and in particular to the caring, specialized knowledge, attention and customized treatment at Safe Harbor. I thank all of them!