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Apr 28, 2024

Leader Spotlight: Don Roberts of Never Alone Recovery Support Services

At Headwaters Foundation, our commitment to ‘working side-by-side with Western Montanans to improve the health of our communities’ is the driving force behind everything we do. In pursuit of that mission, we are privileged to collaborate with incredible leaders who are driving change in our region. These leaders champion community wellbeing, support families, advocate for policy change, and contribute in countless other ways.

One of those leaders is Don Roberts, Executive Director of Never Alone Recovery Support Services (NARSS) in Ronan, Montana. Don has been a pivotal figure in Montana’s peer support and recovery movement since 2016, on a mission to help Montanans find their personal path to long-term healing through community and relationships. A tireless advocate for the dignity of individuals in recovery and the betterment of Montana’s behavioral health system, Don’s impact in the community has been both wide and deep.

Inspired by his own recovery journey, Don pursued a Bachelor of Social Work at Salish Kootenai College, where he developed a plan for an addiction recovery program in Montana’s Mission Valley as his capstone project. This plan laid the foundation for Never Alone Recovery Support Services, which he founded in 2018 to provide a healthy and supportive setting for his neighbors in recovery. 

In just 5 short years, NARSS grew from day services supported by volunteers in a donated space to include a recovery hall, men’s and women’s recovery residences, and now a Recovery Village in partnership with Salish Kootenai Housing Authority. The Village helps fill a critical gap in Montana’s recovery ecosystem by providing long-term residential recovery services to families so that they can stay together during treatment. NARSS also offers culturally supportive programming on the Flathead Nation through the Red Road to Recovery Program. 

Don has a unique ability to hold space for individuals in recovery while highlighting the larger changes needed to better support the recovery community in Montana. Don still provides direct services and peer counseling at NARSS’ recovery hall, while mentoring peers to obtain licensure as addiction counselors for their own personal growth and to expand capacity in the community.

Don’s work extends beyond local impacts to overarching improvements in our state’s behavioral health system and narratives about recovery. He is involved in establishing Montana’s first voluntary certification standards for recovery residences through the Recovery Residence Alliance of Montana, increasing the quality of recovery services statewide. At the same time, Don works to change the narrative around recovery in our state from one of short-term, crisis treatment and intervention for individuals to one of long-term recovery and hope.

Don Roberts is a remarkable leader and champion for community healing. His outsized impact on recovery support in Montana is inspiring; we are so grateful for his work.

Learn about and support Never Alone Recovery Support Services here.