Wolfe Street Foundation

Wolfe Street Foundation

City: Little Rock
Category: Nonprofit Organization of the Year
Year: 2012

The Wolfe Street Foundation provides facilities and support to 12-step programs that serve alcoholics and their families and friends. It also sponsors events aimed at education and prevention for those seeking recovery from alcoholism and for their families.

The foundation was founded 30 years ago by recovering alcoholics from Little Rock, Joe McQuany, a writer and authority in the field of recovery, and businessman Gene Walter.

The foundation explicitly states that it’s “focused on recovering from a hopeless state of mind and body rather than on retribution. The foundation is not a treatment center.”

The center at 1210 Wolfe St. is, however, open 365 days a year, 16 hours a day to help those struggling with a terrible affliction. “Regardless of race, creed, gender or economic status, everyone is equal inside the walls of the Wolfe Street Center,” the center says.

The foundation, headed by Executive Director Markey Ford Brisbin, has four employees, 12 volunteers and an annual operating budget of $350,000. It estimates that it serves 50,000 to 100,000 people annually through 12-step outreach programs.

In the last few years, its Oscar Night America fundraisers have seen increased success with help from the Arkansas Film Commission and the decision to open them to the public and hold the galas at the Peabody Hotel.

From $43,000 in 2008, the foundation raised more than $100,000 in 2009 and 2010 and almost $100,000 last year, Brisbin said.

The foundation says that “Those who enter the doors are seeking help from the disease of alcoholism and [to] hear the message of hope from those who have been where they are offering to give back what was so freely given to them — a way to get and stay sober one day at a time.”

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