Our Story

Recovery Allies of West Michigan started as a simple committee associated with Network 180 (Kent County Community Mental Health). It was designed to advocate for and train Recovery Coaches to improve the system of care. In 2013, it was decided that in order to make significant progress an agency needed to be formed that was dedicated to these tasks. Recovery Allies was born!

Since it’s formation, Recovery Allies has grown it’s service area well beyond the Kent County borders. In the last year, we have experienced a significant change in leadership and have redefined our mission and goals. Recovery Allies remains committed to the art of Recovery Coaching, but also sees a need for expanded training, support, and advocacy within the system. We are excited to branch out, while maintaining our roots. This promises to be an exciting time and we encourage you to stay in touch as we grow.

Recovery Allies is a 501 c(3) nonprofit organization, licensed by the State of Michigan for substance use prevention work. We work with several community organizations and are proud to be pioneers for recovery.

Education. Support. Advocacy.

Our Board of Directors

Mark Thomson


Open Position

Vice President

Open Position


Open Position


Meri Hopkins


Marvin McKenzie, Jr.


We are currently seeking community members interested in supporting recovery in our community and the future of Recovery Allies. If you are interested in learning more about joining our board please click here or contact Sara Paxton at sarap@recoveryallies.us for further information.


In addition to seeking Board members, Recovery Allies is looking for community members interested in serving on committees that provide support, consultation, and recommendations to the board.

The committees we current available positions on are: Finance and Recovery.

If you would like to learn more about a committee or serving on one please contact Sara Paxton at sarap@recoveryallies.us.

Our Employees

Sara L. Paxton LMSW, CAADC, CCS

Executive Director

Janice Schau

Pathways Coordinator

Carolyne Merlington

Office Administrator

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