Face It TOGETHER's history

Face It TOGETHER began as a community-wide initiative in Sioux Falls, SD in 2008. Since our founding in 2009, we've reached people impacted by addiction – including loved ones – in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, five Canadian provinces and five other countries.

Our origin story

Our story starts with co-founder Kevin Kirby, a seasoned business executive. Despite being well connected in the community, having a loving family and the ability to draw upon significant financial resources, Kirby struggled to get well from his alcohol addiction. Once he did, after multiple treatment stays across a few years, he wanted to learn all he could about his disease and the addiction treatment landscape.

Kirby recognized there were flaws in the system and wondered how people with fewer or no resources ever managed to get well. He was called to do something. First, he was connected with Charlie Day, a lawyer, CPA and health care finance expert, who would ultimately become Face It TOGETHER's other co-founder. Day had recently served as a senior finance officer in one of the nation’s largest regional integrated health care systems. He was an experienced start-up strategist and business innovator and ready to give back to the community. 

Kirby and Day began crafting a vision for a community-wide transformation around addiction, along with some of the nation’s leading experts. Very soon they could see that those with the most “skin in the game” – employers, health care organizations and others – needed to play a leading role. Their work led to a seven-month community town hall process that enlisted the private, public and social service sectors to identify shared solutions to addiction in the community.

Face It TOGETHER was the outcome of those town halls. The organization's model was unique, innovative and designed to bring social transformation around addiction. In 2009, the nonprofit opened its doors and began coaching in the Sioux Falls community.

Face It TOGETHER has been recognized by Ashoka, a leading network of social entrepreneurs, and has received the Bush Foundation’s Prize for Community Innovation. The nonprofit has also partnered with the Daniels Fund, to expand programming into Colorado, and Stand Together, as part of its prestigious catalyst program.

Since its start, Face It TOGETHER has reached individuals in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, five Canadian provinces and five other countries. The team's dedication to the mission and vision has remained unwavering. And although Face It TOGETHER's primary service, peer coaching, fundamentally hasn’t changed, the organization has refined its processes and continued to learn from the communities in which it operates. Some noteworthy events from Face It TOGETHER's history are included below.

Photo of Sioux Falls, SD office

2009: Sioux Falls

Face It TOGETHER opened its doors in Sioux Falls, SD in 2009. We've been in our Tennis Lane office since 2014 – it will always hold a special place in our memory. It's the location of immense growth, thousands of connections with members and noteworthy celebrations like our 10-year anniversary.

Photo of in-person peer coaching for loved ones

2016: Loved ones

Prior to 2016, we weren't meeting the needs of loved ones of those with addiction. Members of our team started researching the existing models available at the time and piloted a loved ones program to see what lessons we could learn. We saw an incredible jump in engagement and heard firsthand that we were changing family members' lives. Since our official program launch in 2017, we've continued learning and refining our loved one program. In 2021, we launched our new Wellness Index, a proprietary assessment developed specifically for the loved one population.

Photo of de-identified RCI results

2018: Recovery Capital Index validation

The Recovery Capital Index (RCI) was externally validated by South Dakota Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal. The results demonstrate the RCI is an effective assessment for measuring multiple dimensions of addiction wellness, irrespective of a person’s treatment modality, recovery or wellness pathway or substance of abuse.

Photo of addiction nonprofit team members in Colorado Springs, CO

2021: Colorado Springs

Thanks in large part to the support of local organizations like GE Johnson Construction Company, Face It TOGETHER opened its Colorado Springs location in 2021. We're thrilled to be part of the community and look forward to increasing our awareness across the region. 

Photo of peer-reviewed journal article

2021: Loved one program validation

Our unique loved one coaching and its positive outcomes for families struggling with addiction was validated in April 2021. The qualitative study was published in South Dakota Medicine, a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal, and answered the following research question: What changes do persons with addiction and loved ones report in their relationships after participating in Face It TOGETHER peer coaching?

Help us move forward

These milestones have been possible due to the generosity of folks like you, who care deeply and are dedicated to being part of the solution. We wouldn’t be here without you.

As we move forward in our mission, we’re excited to form new partnerships, remove barriers for marginalized groups and help as many people as possible on their paths to wellness.

Here’s what our members say:

  • 89% agree their sense of hope increased because of coaching
  • 90% agree their lives were transformed for the better
  • 98% would recommend Face It TOGETHER to others

We’d love for you to join us in the next chapter of our organizational history. Every financial gift has the power to make a difference in the life of someone impacted by addiction. Here’s to the next 15 years of solving addiction!

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