Chris Howard – Founder / Program Director
Chris Howard knows first hand the wake of destruction that individuals and families experience as a result of addiction and mental health disorders. A Los Angeles native, Chris grew up in a home with a mentally ill mother and experienced the hardships and challenges that come with caring for someone in a continuously fragile mental state. As a young man, Chris turned to drugs and alcohol to help escape his troubles at home. After more than a decade of struggling with addiction, Chris finally was forced to make a change in 2009.
Initially, Chris had no intention of embracing long-term sobriety. He simply wanted a better life than the day-to-day struggle and chaos of an individual active in his addiction. However, after roughly 6 months of staying clean and sober Chris discovered a newfound sense of purpose in giving back to the community, and this changed him forever. He found tremendous benefit in a highly structured sober living environment/community and utilized it to change his life in monumental ways.
Chris continued his mission in recovery as a Director of a prominent sober living house in 2010. He learned the benefit of mentoring other men struggling with addiction over the course of many months, rather than watching them constantly relapse upon discharge from short-term treatment programs. Chris discovered his own determination to help individuals and their families regain the integrity, responsibility, and joy in sobriety that were once taken away by the disease of addiction.
Consequently, Chris went back to school, earning a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA in 2013 and furthered his understanding of the human mind. In addition, he volunteered at a social justice research lab at UCLA to better grasp real life social dynamics and witness how, and more importantly, why people can change.
At Ethos House, Chris it utilizing his years of personal and professional experience to better the lives of young men who walk through the front doors demoralized and lost. Through the structure and their experience at Ethos House, these men not only learn how to overcome addiction, but also thrive as mature, responsible, and joyful individuals in their journey of life.
JACOB G. - MANAGER
Jacob’s journey in sobriety began in 2015. His road to and in recovery has been the least bit simple, and the obstacles he has faced to get to where he is have molded him into the man he is today. Venturing into the cold shackles of his addiction in early adolescence, Jacob’s goals were shunted prematurely. Upon dropping out of high school sophomore year his focus consisted of getting high and consequentially continuing to compile wreckage in his life. As his addiction advanced, run-ins with the law compounded, and failed attempts at rehabilitation persisted, Jacob felt more and more hopeless that he would never be able to end his affinity for self-destruction.
It was not until March 31st, 2015, that Jacob found the solution he needed at Ethos House. Through the guidance of his peers, with an emphasis on total accountability, he felt empowered to change the course of his life for the better. Though unwilling and defiant initially, his role models stuck with him and did not give up. He was pushed and encouraged throughout his reluctance to participate in life and pretty soon opportunities started to present themselves. After completing the program, he had scope and ambition in his life, which empowered him in his role as manager at Ethos House. He had not felt this in nearly a decade.
Jacob went on to re-enroll in school at Santa Monica College while still going through the house. He became fascinated by philosophical thought and reason, which corresponds greatly with the nature of the twelve steps of AA and their application in life. Jacob plans to continue in this field of study, while attending UCLA and continuing to follow true to the values his mentors instilled in him while he was new in sobriety. The contentment Jacob once found through artificial highs and intoxications is now achieved through working with other alcoholics. Jacob believes everyone’s journey is different, but what lays the foundation for change is inordinately the same. It takes support, guidance and a willingness to challenge one’s personal convictions.
ANDY L. - MANAGER
Originally from New York, Andy attended Duke University in pursuit of a degree in public policy and a career in sports management, but his addiction took off when he discovered opiates in college. This was the beginning of a long and hard road, perpetuated by substance abuse and poor decisions that led to his ultimate downfall.
In early 2015, Andy left college to enter treatment in Los Angeles, where he relapsed on numerous occasions. After bouncing around multiple treatment centers and sober livings for two and a half years, Andy had reached his “bottom”, leaving him a broken and unable to run from his problems. With no real life-skills or aspirations, Andy began to recognize that he was unable to muster the willingness to self-motivate and elicit change. Accepting that drugs and alcohol were a major hurdle to for Andy to overcome and required tools he was unable to access within himself.
Andy entered Ethos House late in 2017 devoid of any real direction or purpose in life. He had reached a bottom that opened his mind to developing a sense community that would lay the foundation for his development, enabling him to question his perceptive and grow into a man of character as a result. Surrounded by like-minded men in recovery, Andy embraced the Ethos Community of Men, all of whom had reached a place their life that depended on their recovery.
Through his time at Ethos, along with his experience in AA/Twelve Steps, Andy completely rebuilt his family relationships and got back into school at Loyola Marymount. He is now a senior studying history, with a minor in economics, in the hopes that one day he will attend law school. Playing golf, rooting for New York sports teams, exercise, and spending time with family and friends are what he finds meaningful today.