About Us

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REAL Recovery

REAL Recovery Inc was established on February 14, 2020, as an independent, grassroots, non-profit organization with a 501(c)3 status. Our organization focuses on empowering, advocating, and supporting individuals on their journey through recovery. REAL Recovery is a state certified Recovery Community Organization (RCO) for Daviess County. Our board includes at minimum 51 percent of individuals living in recovery from substance use. 

Our peer-driven services accept and support all pathways leading to recovery in order to increase access to individuals seeking an array of recovery supports & resources, enhancing quality support services & programs, and reducing stigma.

We provide a variety of activities and programs to all community members recovering from substance use and/or mental health challenges, not restricted to individuals enrolled in a specific educational, treatment, or residential program. REAL Recovery works in collaboration with local and state organizations to increase access to recovery services.

Our board members have personal lived experience through their own recovery that motivates and drives them to advocate for others along their recovery journey. REAL Recovery focuses on the community needs and embodies a “grassroots” approach. High community engagement and long-term programs are available to Daviess County and surrounding counties.  Our community takes full responsibility and implements the behavior change process, so that it comes from within. We advocate for our recovery community by meeting individuals where they are, listening and understanding their needs and/or challenges, and helping reduce stigma around recovery.  

We also focus on bringing change and awareness to Daviess County through Daviess Advances Recovery Access Consortium, also known as DARAC. DARAC is a collaboration of 15+ organizations partnering together for access to recovery support in our area. REAL Recovery has active status in their partnership with DARAC.

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower people in recovery against economic, cultural, and systemic obstacles.

Our Vision

 Our vision is to give a voice to people in recovery and help to improve access to housing, employment, and recovery resources.

Core Values

REAL Recovery upholds respect for all human beings. We strive to provide quality programs and services that are person-centered. Our organization believes that it is vital to the overall health and well-being of our society.

Accountability

Our organization is accountable for embodying its own mission and vision by actively addressing barriers within the community, focusing on the needs, creating and implementing strong programs to help assist those in recovery, and educating the public on the recovery resources within our community and surrounding areas. We are bridging the gaps between services in our area by connecting with multiple recovery organizations to build access and knowledge for stronger recovery services.

  • Advocacy
  • Ethical responsibility
  • Mentoring and education
  • Recovery and wellness support

Our Principles

  • Community space that is drug- and alcohol-free
  • Member Contribuition
  • Raise up member leaders
  • Loving Accountability
  • Responsible stewardship
  • Working to end systemic racism and socioeconomic inequality so that everyone can thrive

Partnerships

Our working partnerships with local recovery supporting agencies include: Light House, Serenity House, Central Christian Church, Community Corrections, Daviess County Security Center, IRACS, Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Dark to Light, Indiana University School of Public Health, Washington Community School/High School Stigma Stoppers, Daviess County Peer Recovery Services, Purdue Extension, Mental Health America Indiana, Daviess Community Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Samaritan Center, Indiana Department of Health, United Way, PACE Community Action Agency, and Daviess County Economic Development Corporation.

Our STAFF & Program Facilitators

Shaneah Shartzer

Shaneah Shartzer

Executive Director

Shaneah Shartzer is the executive director of Real Recovery and Co-Founder of Hands Up, working alongside the board of directors, team members, and community partners to improve access to recovery support services, resources, employment, housing, and community connections. She has always been drawn to helping others. Her personal lived experiences, spirituality, self-healing processes, and Psychology background has assisted her in many areas of her career. Shaneah is a Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coach,  Peer Supervisor, Spiritual Coach, Life Coach, and she graduated from Vincennes University with two degrees in Behavioral Science and Abnormal Psychology in 2016.


Shaneah is passionate about uplifting, empowering, and advocating for those in the community with mental health challenges and substance use disorder. At her core,  she believes people need to feel loved, supported, valued, and understood to thrive in any and all circumstances. She strongly believes in walking alongside those who are in need and extending a helping hand or listening ear. 


Shaneah is driven to assist others in finding their purpose, embracing their authentic power, and cultivating change in the community by changing the narrative around what a healing and recovery community looks like. She acknowledges that recovery looks different for each individual and it is important to have all the tools in the toolkit to make a difference. 


Throughout her life, Shaneah has been directly and indirectly impacted by severe mental illnesses, addiction, and loss. Despite the obstacles, she continued to heal, recover, and love others for who and where they are on their journey.  Using her personal lived experience, she guides and supports others on their journey through life’s challenges . With her sight set on the future of the recovery community, REAL Recovery ensures that individuals have access to a safe and inclusive space,  recovery support services, recovery programming, community resources, advocacy, meetings, education,  and training opportunities to facilitate and embody personal growth and change. 


Shaneah says, “life’s experiences and challenges happen to all of us at different rates. We are all recovering from something in this life. Let’s recover together!”

Bethany Danford

Administrative Assistant

Bethany Danford has served as an administrative assistant with REAL Recovery since May 2023. She recently became certified in Mental Health First Aid and aspires to become a recovery coach so she can help the people of her community navigate mental health and substance use challenges.

A fun fact about Bethany: She has never been to a concert and would love to meet Jelly Roll!

Trista Byers

Director, Recovery Cafe of Daviess County

Trista Byers is the director of Recovery Cafe of Daviess County and is a certified addictions peer recovery coach. She has lived in Washington most of her life and strives to give back to her community by helping people who are near rock bottom like she once was. Trista says “I have 3 beautiful children and just want to help make the world a better place for them and everyone else!”

Toby Mandabach

Boxing Club Facilitator

Toby Mandabach serves on the board of REAL Recovery and is the lead instructor for the Pete Clymer Youth Boxing Club.  He is also a member of the Washington Conservation Club.

Toby is a Medxcel associate serving the Daviess Community Hospital, where he has worked and with Daviess Community Hospital for over 25 years. He is a retired member of the Indiana Army National Guard with over 24 year of service with two deployments to Iraq.

Toby is proud to be a part of REAL Recovery and the many ways they serve the community, and looks forward to further growth and development of such a vital organization.

Toby is married to Debbie, a longtime volunteer at  the Feed My Sheep Food Bank, and they have two sons, Logan and Eric. They enjoy camping, kayaking, and grilling out.

Tabatha Riker

Resource Specialist

Tabatha Riker is one of the co-founders of REAL Recovery, a resource specialist of Recovery Cafe Daviess County, a multiple pathways facilitator, and a certified peer recovery coach. She was born and raised in Washington, Indiana, and completed her first year of law at Vincennes University. Tabatha is passionate about helping others in addiction. Her goal is to travel the United States and help others experiencing substance use disorder, self harm and homelessness. She is self-driven and dedicated to the ones around her. She loves her family, the sun, and sandy beaches.

Cedric Merritt

Lead Social Support Meeting Facilitator

Cedric Merritt is one of the founding members of REAL Recovery. He is the facilitator of the NA group, Just as You Are. He is an Army veteran of six years and now resides in Washington, Indiana. His personal goal is to help as many people as he can to make the transition from being incarcerated to living a sober and productive life. Cedric says, “Being in recovery for the past seven years myself gives me a lot of knowledge and experience to deal with the ones who are trying to start the recovery process.”

Board Members

James R Hay Jr.

James R Hay Jr.

President and Chairman of the Board

James Hay, Jr. was born in Indianapolis and raised in Washington, IN and is a peer recovery specialist at Lifespring Health Systems. His personal goal is to become a Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coach II MH, FS. He strives to be an agent of change in the community he serves in order to help people to succeed. His mission is to raise awareness for mental health issues that arise from substance use disorder. He has training in CJ Matrix, M.A.T., 12-step/DBT, and IDDT (integrated dual, disorders treatment). James enjoys playing softball and spending time with family.

Richard Shelton

Vice President and Treasurer

Richard (Rick) Shelton serves as the vice president and treasurer on REAL Recovery’s board of directors.  Rick is one of the founding members of REAL Recovery, established as an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization on February 14, 2020. He enjoys helping others through challenging times and believes that recovery is possible for everyone. His dedication to the recovery community is astonishing.  In the fall of 2022, Rick and Shaneah Shartzer collaborated efforts and launched a new re-entry support program called “Hands Up.” This program supports individuals who qualify for community corrections programs and are in need of financial assistance to begin a work release or home detention program. Rick is a Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coach. His mission and goal is to use his life experiences to help others find their way to and through recovery. Richard is a lifelong musician and Army Veteran.

Elaine Wolven

Secretary

Elaine is our Secretary of the Board. She recently joined Real Recovery in the spring. Elaine is charismatic, giving by nature, and highly involved with helping others. Whether that be helping individuals with basic essential needs or being a support, Elaine is a great fit for our organization and team. .  
Elaine shared that Real Recovery was an answer to her question of how she can help others and be more involved. She loves that Real Recovery offers so many opportunities to help others and that the organization isn’t limited to only helping with addiction and mental health.

Robbie Drew

Board Member

Robbie is a REAL Recovery board member and has been in recovery for three years and enjoys helping others through his experience with addiction. He is employed at Perdue Foods as a back up lead on the dayshift. Robbie is an active member of Victory Community Church, NA GSR/Chairman on weekends, and volunteers as needed. Robbie is a graduate of Washington High School and enjoys learning new things.

Currently, Robbie is working on receiving his recovery coach certification, working with his wife to start up a grief support group, and serving as a mentor to others. Robbie values his relationship with God, and believes in looking for the positive in all things in life. After overcoming his addiction, he wants to be a role model and mentor for those still in addiction.

Trudy Drew

Peer Recovery Coach

Trudy has been in recovery for three years and strives to give back in her community. She resides in Washington, IN, and enjoys being a stay-at-home housewife, caregiver, and helping others with her testimony. Trudy is a member of Victory Community Church, is a volunteer at Recovery Cafe or Daviess County, and is a NA GSR/Chairman on weekends. Trudy has an associate’s degree in administrative office technology, and is certified in business, law, and admin from Vincennes University.

Trudy is currently working on earning her recovery coach certification. She hosts a grief support group for Daviess County, helps the elderly in the community, and serves as a mentor and volunteer in local jails. Trudy values everything she has learned from the multiple recovery resources in Daviess County, and wants others with substance use disorder to have the same opportunities to conquer their addiction as she had.

Toby Mandabach

Board Member

Toby Mandabach serves on the board of REAL Recovery and is the lead instructor for the Pete Clymer Youth Boxing Club.  He is also a member of the Washington Conservation Club.

Toby is a Medxcel associate serving the Daviess Community Hospital, where he has worked and with Daviess Community Hospital for over 25 years. He is a retired member of the Indiana Army National Guard with over 24 year of service with two deployments to Iraq.

Toby is proud to be a part of REAL Recovery and the many ways they serve the community, and looks forward to further growth and development of such a vital organization.

Toby is married to Debbie, a longtime volunteer at  the Feed My Sheep Food Bank, and they have two sons, Logan and Eric. They enjoy camping, kayaking, and grilling out.

Cedric Merritt

Board Member

Cedric Merritt is one of the founding members of REAL Recovery. He is the facilitator of the NA group, Just as You Are. He is an Army veteran of six years and now resides in Washington, Indiana. His personal goal is to help as many people as he can to make the transition from being incarcerated to living a sober and productive life. Cedric says, “Being in recovery for the past seven years myself gives me a lot of knowledge and experience to deal with the ones who are trying to start the recovery process.”

Contact Us

REAL Recovery

10 W. Van Trees Street
Washington, IN 47501

Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

(812) 642-5007 | contact@myrealrecovery.org

Reach out to us to learn more about our resources and services.