As Charles Dickens’ once said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

So during this difficult time, we practice what we preach… bouncing back and growing in the process! Real life goes on, and so does REAL LIFE!

Now more than ever, as our world takes a step back from the daily hustle and bustle, we want our Lifers to know that their mental health and recovery is still PRIORITY!

The world is forcing us to take an inconvenient break that puts a lot of our basic needs at risk that goes much further than contracting the coronavirus.

It’s a weird time of empty shelves at grocery stores and unemployment as businesses shut down. And the CDC guidelines and restrictions can feel like you’re all alone in this frenzy. The more isolated we become, the more hopeless we feel… which makes substance use or any other negative coping pattern seem like a good idea.

It’s not! We are in this together before, during, and after!

With social distancing and ‘sheltering in place’ in mind, we want to make sure our Lifers (and supporters) know that if there is a will, there’s a way! REAL LIFE has put into place several ways to be available and carry business on:

  • To schedule an intake or inquire about services à call 804-322-3311; someone doesn’t answer… you will be called back ASAP!
  • Appointment with Pathway Navigators for current Lifers via cell or video messenger
  • Classes are held on our REAL LIFE Class Facebook page, and many more have been added in order to keep everyone engaged and busy.
  • Any other questions? Contact us however you can: message, email, or call (804-322-3311) and connect with our Facebook and Instagram to stay updated!

At this point, we have had success with continuing our classes on Facebook private livestream.  With many classes, we have had well over 100 comments as participants interact with instruction. Already we’ve gotten feedback from Lifers. One shared that the classes “are great and very helpful thank you for helping me stay focused on my recovery.” Another suggested to “keep it going if possible when the center opens for those who might miss a class,” which is a really good idea! Keep looking for the positive and stay healthy!


How You Can Help?

  • Donations:
    While we are operating from “a far”, we are working harder than ever and our expenses have not stopped; in fact, they are actually increasing, as we must further support Lifers who do not have the ability to pay their weekly program fee (which goes toward sustaining the recovery houses) and for other essential items. Further, our donations since the pandemic hit have significantly decreased, so monetary donations are needed now more than ever. Donations can be made online or by mailing a check (we are still checking our mail weekly): 406 E Main Street, Richmond 23219. 
  • Food and Essential Items Needed:
    Our houses are on quarantine except for essential services as defined by the Governor. Meanwhile, some Lifers have been laid off and others are struggling to obtain employment. Any food or essential items collected (i.e. hygiene products, cleaning supplies) goes directly to the houses for use by the Lifers.
  • Mornings with Moms
    Tuesday, 9 – 9:15 a.m. on Zoom
    5 slots for women available each week to sign up
    Join the REAL LIFE ladies from our Motherhood Program with a cup of coffee and a quick morning chat! Help our ladies kick off their morning in a positive manner and with other awesome women! Log into our Zoom call and share a positive message, an inspirational quote, or favorite bible verse! Let the ladies know they are loved and supported!
    Click here for more information or to sign up.
  • Mornings with the Men
    Thursday, 9 – 9:15 a.m. on Zoom
    5 slots available each week for men to sign up
    Join REAL LIFE and some of our male Lifers to kick off the morning in a positive manner! Help jump start their morning and push their thoughts in a positive direction through a quick Zoom call. Help support our men as they work to rebuild their lives.
    Click here for more information or to sign up
  • Check-in with (REAL) Lifer
    Weekly call check-in with a Lifer (No set day or time)
    REAL LIFE friends and supporters are paired with a Lifer and then begin weekly phone call check-ins. Once you sign up, you will be sent an email with the name of the Lifer and a bit of background on them, suggestions on discussion topics and a few other points that will help during this time.
    Click here for more information or to sign up.
  • Funds on Facebook
    Host a Facebook or Instagram Fundraiser to support REAL LIFE
    If you are on social media, will you consider hosting a fundraiser to support REAL LIFE? Through these tough financial times, REAL LIFE is working extremely hard to ensure we continue to fundraise in creative manners, as our donations since COVID are down significantly. This is an easy way to raise some funds, while raising awareness of REAL LIFE and allows folks to donate at any level. Providing an opportunity to help through a fundraiser is easy, but enables people to be a part of solutions and service to others during this tough time.
    If you are interested, let REAL LIFE Director, Dr. Sarah Scarbrough know (, and she will provide the link to the COVID video you can use and suggested text!