Helping Substance Addicted Individuals Back on Their Feet
Bridging The Gap to Recovery (BTG) offers assistance during rehabilitation for those suffering from substance abuse. We can help take care of the necessary living expenses when the participant makes the life-changing decision to enter qualified treatment centers.
We are the only organization providing this service to victims of drug and alcohol dependence in our area. Our goal is to help individuals and their families live a drug-free life by addressing one of the greatest fears of undergoing a drug rehabilitation program.
It is common to hear thoughts such as, “I will lose my job,” or “I will lose everything” when the subject of rehabilitation is raised. Some parents who have fallen into addiction are even hounded by thoughts like, “I will lose my home” or “My children won’t have food.”
Through our program, we take that part of the fear away. We provide financial support for essential living expenses to those undergoing treatment or new in their recovery.
Our services may even at times include feeding the children of substance abuse rehab patients left at home, helping with rent or mortgage, and assisting with car payments.
We strive to serve as an avenue for creating an impact on local and global communities. Our objective is to help more individuals successfully complete the recovery process and to offer them an advantage for personal growth as they lead sober lives.
Through our help, participants will be able to positively engage their future, their families, and the community at large. This is not merely a period of transformation, but a journey full of excitement and significance for BTG professionals and those we help.
In March of 2015, Sharon “Mama Duke” Gipson received the worst phone call a parent can receive. Her oldest child, Duke Collins, overdosed on heroin and died alone in his bathroom at the age of 42. It’s human nature to try and mitigate the circumstances of a tragedy and cover it with pleasant white lies; the larger the tragedy, the thicker the wrapping of lies and excuses.
Sharon, understandably, spent the next few months wrapping the loss as quickly and cleanly as she could. She tried to protect herself from the truth and the perceived shame.
Duke, a fixture in the Orange County metal scene, was the lead singer and guitarist for The Deadlights during their short run. They released their self-titled debut album in February of 2000 on Elektra Records and played the second stage of Ozzfest 2000.
Unfortunately, they broke up after a falling-out among the members. Duke remained involved in the scene, playing bass for Droid from 2005 to 2007 and continuing to write and record music until his death.
After three months of blaming anything aside from addiction, Sharon had an epiphany. “This is not what Duke would have wanted,” she said. “Even as an addict, he always tried to help others. He would have wanted me to do the same.”
She decided to create a charity in Duke’s memory, hoping to fill one of the holes in the recovery process – a hole Duke fell through many times.
“Duke and I discussed rehab a lot,” she said. “He wanted to get clean, but he wouldn’t commit to rehab because after 60 or 90 days, he would lose everything. He would be evicted, jobless, his storage unit would be taken, all his property, his gear – all gone.”
She began reaching out to Duke’s friends on Facebook and launched Bridging The Gap to Recovery (BTG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to covering the living expenses of musicians while they are in rehab and for a short time afterward.
Duke was charming and charismatic, making you feel like a lifelong friend within minutes of meeting him. It is easy to see where he got this trait after meeting Mama Duke. From her desk in Kansas City, Kansas, she founded a charity, built a board of directors, and planned the kickoff event in eight months. Each step in the process brought a new challenge and a new person into the group.
“It was the Dukeness,” she said. “He brought the people we needed together when we needed them. This is all him. I didn’t even know what I needed let alone who to ask, but the right person always showed up.”
All it took was the “Dukeness” and one conversation with Sharon to cement the member’s commitments. The bravery it took for her to stand up and say that her son was an addict, the courage to admit that drug addiction cost him his life, her passion and commitment to this cause - all pour through every conversation she has about her son and BTG.
The BTG team or "Team Duke" is committed to helping foster the most efficient processes, and the most beneficial partnerships between our communities’ generous donors and our program.
Help us spare families from the pain of losing a loved one to addiction. Feel free to reach out to us by filling out the form below.
Take the first step to making a big difference. Make a donation today by clicking the button below. Please take note that donations to BTG are tax deductible.
Our mission is to assist substance abusers with essential living expenses while participating in a treatment program. Applications for assistance will be completed in conjunction with a treatment provider. Catch our website as we move further along in the development process. Please take note that we do not provide any clinical services such as clinical referrals, treatment, or counseling.
If you or someone you know is suffering with addiction, please contact your local Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous chapters. In addition, your local health department, hospitals and/or treatment facilities should be able to assist you with identifying an appropriate course of treatment and a provider in your area.
Our hopes and prayers are with you in your recovery.