"I was at an AA meeting at Options one day. There was a fellow from the streets, a shopping cart guy. He had a lot of problems. He had a lot of complaints, and he had a lot of pain. And he was sharing them with us. He also had a lot of fear. After he finished sharing, Davida asked: "If you could remove your fear, how would you approach these problems you've shared with us?". Not only was the guy stunned at that possibility, I was stunned. What would you do if you faced all the same problems and removed the fear? Now, that's courage. That's how we change. That's how we open new possibilities. That's Options Recovery Services."
Martin Sheen, Actor/Options' Honorary Chair
"In the 35 years I've been here, I can't think of one program that has helped homeless people more. Options has opened its doors to the police department. Telegraph Avenue- traditionally a haven for both the homeless and drug offenders-has been transformed as a direct result of Options."
Bobby Miller, Berkeley Police Captain/Options' Board President
"As a pediatrician, I've never seen a battered child where alcohol and drugs haven't been involved-ever-and it's just ignored. We know that 93% of domestic violence involves alcohol and that gets ignored. Since 2001 when Proposition 36 funds became available, programs like Options have saved the State of California $280 million on incarceration - previously the only solution to what is essentially a modern day epidemic.
Dr Davida Coady, Options' Founder & Executive Director
"As Mayor of Berkeley it's been inspiring to watch Options help hard core substance abusers-often homeless street people-to re-enter our community. Options has forged a partnership among our community, the courts and substance abuse treatment that is breaking the cycle of substance abuse and crime."
Tom Bates, Mayor, City of Berkeley
"Options realizes that all human beings are entitled to respect and dignity. This is particularly important to those of us who deal on a daily basis with persons who have either fallen into, or created for themselves, situations from which they seem helpless to extricate themselves without assistance. Options ability to translate this realization is evident in the support they are able to engender from such diverse persons as district attorneys, public defenders and judges."
Judge Brosnahan, Superior Court Judge, Oakland
"In this community, as in any other American city, the addicted homeless, many of whom are mentally and emotionally unstable, are the pariahs of society. Dr. Coady is the Mother Teresa of the East Bay who embraces the addict and insists that they can be well. It is in this hope that the addict finds recovery and health. Before Options, an addicts only choice was prison or death, or both."
Fr. Bill O'Donnell (1930-2003), Options' Co-founder
"My father gave me my first drink when I was two years old. I smoked my first weed when I was seven. From there I went to mushrooms, acid, crack, heroin,...anything and everything. If God hadn't given Dr. Coady the vision, I don't know where I'd be today. I was court committed to Options. I was homeless at the time. I wouldn't give up this life I got today for anything else in the world."
Michael, Current Options' Client
"It's bad on the streets for women. I was always trying hard to find something that would stop me from using. The third time I was committed by the courts. Because Options worked I made a contract to stick with it no matter what. My whole life was nothing, but drugs and alcohol. I've never known any other way. Being clean and sober is a strange new experience for me."