Victory Programs started as one small program located on Massachusetts Avenue over 40 years ago. A safe space for men facing substance use disorder. It was a small team of people with an even smaller budget. In an attempt to spruce things up a little, one day the staff bought a can of paint off the clearance rack at the local hardware store – tomato red. Up it went on the door and the word spread: “If you need help, go to the place with the red door — they take everyone.”
To this day, when other organizations can’t or won’t take people in, we do. We don’t turn anybody away. We offer second chances. We keep people alive. We look for unmet needs and we work to address them. We’ve been doing just that for more than 45 years:
- During the height of the AIDS epidemic, when people diagnosed with both HIV and substance use disorders found themselves with nowhere to go for treatment and care, we were the first to open our doors.
- When incarceration was the only option for women who had been designated a danger to themselves or others due to substance use disorder, we offered a community-based treatment option.
- We were among the first organizations to welcome transgendered individuals into the gender-based program of their choice.
- We were one of the first organizations to allow those on psychotropic medications (e.g., antidepressants) into our substance use treatment programs. While most recovery programs cite abstinence as the best – indeed the only way – to overcome addiction, people with dual diagnoses, such as addiction and depression, are far less likely to relapse if they receive properly monitored medication to combat depression.
- And in 2012, when the Boston Living Center faced an uncertain future, we rallied, and Victory Programs stood by its side and sorted out a solution to ensure that those living with HIV/AIDS could continue to access the vital services that this safe space has to offer.