Taylor Made Retreat’s success can be attributed to the staff and volunteers that are dedicated to supporting our mission. In an effort to personalize our intentional work, we would like to give you a more intimate glimpse into the people who make up our team.
Meet Linda Looking, our newest House Manager. With an impressive history, Linda brings valuable experience to the house, contributing to the well-being of our residents and enhancing their journey toward recovery.
What is a House Manager?
Our House Managers manage the day-to-day functions of the house. They are the first resource for each of our residents – to answer questions, ensure they stay on schedule, chaperone excursions, and more. Their most vital role is to work one-on-one with our residents on their “step work”, tracking their progress as they journey through the 12-step recovery program. They provide personal insight from their own recovery journey and build relationships with each resident, providing a real-world example of successful sober living. All of our house managers are recovered addicts or alcoholics with firsthand experience with the 12-step program, and many of them are successful graduates of Taylor Made Retreat.
Linda is enrolled Assiniboine/Sioux (Dakota) from the Ft. Peck Indian Reservation in Montana. With her sobriety date of June 11, 1978, she has been in recovery for 45 years. Linda was hired at Native American Rehabilitation Association (NARA) as a counselor in 1981. When she retired in 2006, she became treatment director at NARA outpatient. Most of Linda’s career has been in the recovery field. She
spent six years as the Elder Project Manager for Mother Nation (part-time) and Case Manager for Catholic Community Services, running their recovery house. She presided as board chair for Mother Nation for three years when starting their non-profit, and since 2016 she has served as the President of the Northwest Council of Water Protectors. Linda is also the mother of six beautiful children and grandmother/great-grandmother of 34. Linda is glad to have been involved in the native communities throughout the Northwest and enjoys the work she is doing now as a House Manager at Taylor Made Retreat.
A Conversation with Linda
You’ve worked in the recovery field for a long time. Can you tell us why you have continued to choose this work?
Because I am in recovery myself. I believe that my higher power guided me to be in this field. All of the struggles I’ve been through have become assets – to help people, and to help women especially. I’ve endured a lot and I can relate to women who have been in difficult situations and abuse. Being a parent motivates me as well. When I got sober, I had five little faces staring up at me, and I didn’t know who they were. I believe my higher power brought me here so I could help others who have been in situations like that.
What drew you to work at Taylor Made Retreat?
Creator just guided me here. It’s the way it happened. Lowell [MacGregor, Executive Director] came up to me after speaking at an AA-meeting; he liked my story. He asked if I would speak to the Taylor Made residents at an upcoming Fireside Chat. Then he added, “How would you like to come to work for us?” I had just retired, but he asked me to think about it, pray about it, and let him know.
When I came to speak at Fireside, I knew I liked it here. I liked the way that TMR uses the 12 Step Method – it’s an important part that’s missed in regular treatment. Other recovery centers touch on the steps but they don’t “work” them. Here, they work them into their life. Clients work with the other clients like teammates; staff hold the clients accountable and support them in each step. It’s amazing.
What would you tell someone who wanted to get sober, but didn’t know where to start?
I honestly would tell them to come here. I had been in recovery for eight years, really struggling, and had never really worked the steps. I think that was part of the problem. Here, by working the 12 steps with accountability and support, it gives you a foundation for recovery for the rest of your life.
To take your first step towards recovery, or simply to learn more about Taylor Made Retreat and our mission, call (360) 433-1040 today.