Sanctuaryhouse12's Blog

End of the year 2012 report for Sanctuary House of S. Florida, form 990-EZ
November 23, 2013, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Per Federal Statute Sanctuary House of S. Florida, Inc., a 501(c)3 public charity, declares its Form 990 for public inspection:

Total Revenue for the year 2012 totaled  $210,745.00

Total Expenses, including mortgages, utilities, client services, transportation, rental assistance, and medical co-pays totaled $ 214,136.00

Next proceeds, after expenses totaled $-3,391.00


Jared C. Cashner, CCR

Executive Director

Sanctuary House of S. Florida, Inc.

Drug addiction and what I’ve found on the subject
August 2, 2013, 7:00 pm
Filed under: broward sober living, dade sober living, DRUG REHAB, Florida drug rehab, florida halfway house, fort lauderdale halfway house, fort lauderdale sober living, ft. lauderdale halfway house, gay drug rehab, gay halfway house, gay inmate, gay sober living, halfway house florida, halfway house Fort Lauderdale, halfway house ft. lauderdale, halfway house in S Florida, halfway house in south florida, S Florida halfway house, sober livin miami, sober living fort lauderdale, sober living ft lauderdale, sober living ftlauderdale, sober living south florida, south florida halfway house, south florida sober living, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I have been asked to please continue blogging by many readers, concerned that my schedule for this has been somewhat lacking.  So, with that said, I’ll begin a regular schedule about emerging patterns and unhealthy habits … and even sometimes the extraordinary steps that addicts will go to, to continue injecting, while claiming ignorance about the facts.

After a five-year tenure as Sanctuary House’s Executive Director, it has given unique insights into tall-tale signs of an addict using,  I hope to share, each week, more of the signs, suggestions to some of the questions asked of us, as a long-term sober living facility and the adaptation of our hands-on approach.

Fist and foremost, as the father of two grown sons, a short message to parents.

If your child, whether he be 16 or 65 has more than a peckish flirtation with drugs, then the strategy for intervention is very different and often comes with a realization that the “continued financial assistance” is NOT helping, but rather giving the addict a temporary reprieve from responsibility or accountability. This is a vicious cycle that will continue until the parent is at their wits end or something major in the situation that forces the problem to the forefront, usually serious injury or death.

Sometimes, as parents, we are forced to admit that with the best of intentions for our children, tough decisions must be made.  In some cases, the decision to allow your child to hit bottom is as painful for the parent as the child.  My message first goes to mothers.

All mothers are incredible gifts to the world.  You endure incredible pain to bring life to your son/daughter and it is a pain that a mother must make for the sake of her family.  The same holds true to save the life of that child.  The painful, but necessary step often will be a pivotal moment in the difference in the destruction of the addiction or the destruction of the child, never knowing the missed opportunities that come with a child that has beaten this plague.

If the primary goal of any parent is to save their child and if early intervention is no longer an option, the addict finds himself caught up in a system that is driven by the amount of insurance that the addict has, rather than the level of care needed to assist in preventing relapse after relapse, transforming the 30-day rehab into an “alternate plan” when things don’t go as the actively using addict expects.  This, without a doubt leads to an expectation that 5, 10, even more visits is simply a part of the process, while precious time is lost and deterioration of the addict’s physical health, as well a steady march into increased psychological/mental issues that continue, if left unchecked.

Please feel free to ask your questions, online.  Meanwhile I’ll continue to share valuable information from the “front lines” of the battle for lives in the war of addiction.  Please feel free to visit our website to donate, to continue our mission of saving children and those that seek help.

Jared C. Cashner, CCR

Executive Director

Sanctuary House of S. Florida, Inc.

a 501(c)(3) organization serving those in need.

116 NW 25th Street

Wilton Manors, FL 33311


The long road to The Sanctuary



Insert: Jared Cashner and James Sanzeri, founders of Sanctuary House of South Florida
Insert: Jared Cashner and James Sanzeri, founders of Sanctuary House of South Florida

Wilton Manors Couple Opens Center for LGBT Alcoholics, Drug Addicts


After five years of struggling, one couple manages to turn an abandoned building into a promising recovery center for the LGBT community.

They’re sitting next to each other in a crack house, holding hands. Their matching engagement rings glisten — the same engagement rings they pawned off five years ago when they decided to buy that crack house.

Over the years, Jared Cashner and James Sanzeri have sold their car, emptied out their retirement funds, and pawned their engagement rings all to keep and maintain a property at the corner of North Andrews Avenue and NW 25 Street.

They called it the Sanctuary House.

Their goal in opening the Sanctuary House of South Florida was to provide a safe and stable environment for men and women in the LGBT community struggling with drug or alcohol abuse.

The Sanctuary House takes in people who want to recover from drug and alcohol abuse and offers them recovery meetings, therapy sessions, organized doctor visits, and a place to call home.

Cashner walks a brick path through a garden leading towards the front of the Sanctuary House. A large tree with branches stretching over the walkway drops bright, pink flowers into a little pond. There are gardens everywhere, practically around every corner. Cashner loves the garden setting. They make the Sanctuary House seem tranquil.

He takes a seat on the porch swing on top of the marble floors and rocks back and forth.

It’s hard to believe that a little less than five years ago, this was not at all how his sanctuary looked.

With cracked floors, broken down walls, and no doors, this abandoned building became a ground for squatters and drug dealers.

“It was a nightmare when we first bought it,” Cashner said.

Cashner and Sanzeri purchased the abandoned property in December 2008 and turned it into a promising recovery center. It began with just three clients. It has since grown to a volunteer staff of 13 and up to 41 clients at a time. The Sanctuary House managed to raise $250,000 in 2012.

“We’ve come a long way since the broken down property we first bought,” Cashner said.

Wayne Campanele takes a seat next to Cashner on the porch swing. Campanele has been a client at the Sanctuary House since March 2012. He has been in and out of rehab centers since he was 13 years old. This is the first time he feels at home.

“And I didn’t even mean to come here,” he said. Campanele’s drug abuse problems got him into trouble. A judge told him that he could either go to jail or enter into a program. Cashner stood up in the courtroom and raised his hand, “I’ll take him,” he said.

“I couldn’t let him go to jail,” Cashner reminisces. “I know how hard it is, so I had to be the parent with the steel-toed boots.”

The minimum stay for a client at the Sanctuary House is four months, but most clients stay an average of a year, according to Cashner.

“This is the best I’ve ever been in,” Campanele said. Cashner leans forward and pats Campanele on the shoulder.

“I’m signing Wayne here up for classes tomorrow morning,” Cashner said with a wide smile. Campanele is planning to attend beauty school.

“I feel motivated,” Campanele said. “Like I have a purpose.”

Cashner hopes that every client leaves the Sanctuary House with a job or ready to start school. The most important thing is that they have something waiting for them when they leave.

“If you want to take classes, I will help you,” Cashner said. “Don’t worry about money. I will find a way. You can believe that.”

Cashner stands up and begins walking a brick path around the Sanctuary House, through a fence and more gardens. He shows off the poolside area, situated perfectly under the shade of multiple palm trees and fully furnished. That’s not how it looked five years ago.

In December of 2008, the cracked concrete of a hollowed out pool was buried in the shadows of a large, yellow bulldozer. No trees. No furniture. The city was planning on knocking down what is now Cashner’s sanctuary.

“It was the most unattractive building in the neighborhood,” Cashner described it. And he wanted it.

To Cashner, it wasn’t just a crack house; it was a project. It was taking this decrepit, old house, a breeding ground for bad habits, and turning it into a safe place — into a home.

The couple bought their sanctuary before it was destroyed, but it was hardly habitable.

“The place was so bad when we first got it that it took me and James two months with a metal detector to find all the needles buried in the rubble,” Cashner said.

They did the repairs themselves and still do to this day along with managing the business end of the Sanctuary House.

“If there’s a leak in the house, it comes down to me and a plumber’s wrench,” Cashner said.

It took years to clean every apartment in the house and make all of the repairs. There are still a few repairs, as Cashner points out. A few doors jam and the roof needs work done — everything seems minor in comparison to the first repairs.

“Once we got the first big hurdles out the way, it was easy,” Sanzeri said. “We still keep busy, but we’re dedicated and we love it.”

Cashner pointed out a building across the road while speaking with SFGN. A few weeks ago, he recognized a drug dealer in the nearby building. As a 49-year-old retired court reporter, Cashner works closely with local police and local courts. He had the man removed from the building by police, simply by pointing him out..

“I had him out of there so quick,” Cashner chuckled.

“See this,” he said pointing at a bench in the gardens just behind the main building of the property. It was a gray marble bench engraved “Joseph ‘Buddy’ Sanzeri,” in memory of Sanzeri’s older brother who died at the age of 15 from drug abuse.

“I’ll be damned if I ever let a drug dealer anywhere near this property,” Cashner said.

Sanzeri struggled from drug abuse himself. The 24-year -old has been in recovery for more than five years.

“It’s more than personal to me,” Sanzeri said. “My brother died from drugs. There aren’t many places for these people to go.”

Now he pours all of his time and effort into giving others the chance that his brother never got. If it’s up to him, he’ll be doing this “forever.”

Cashner and his late husband of 18 years adopted a son, who was born to a mother with severe drug and alcohol abuse problems.

“I knew how he was born. I knew he had drugs and alcohol in his system from birth,” Cashner said. “But he was mine the minute they put him in my arms and I knew that, too.”

Both partners have reason to feel close to this cause — close enough that they’ve only taken a total of nine days off in the last five years, they said.

“Someone said to me once ‘you’re not an alcoholic, you’re a workaholic,’” Cashner said laughing.

There are three buildings. The biggest is the main building where the gay men in recovery stay. The couple opened two more for lesbian women, and transgender clients.

He opens the door to one room in the main building. It looked just like the others, furnished with a pull-out couch, small coffee table, and TV.  But this room was different. It was Cashner and Sanzeri’s home when they opened the Sanctuary House.

They spent all of their money and time on the Sanctuary House and ended up living in it with the clients for almost a year.

The couple didn’t intend to open the Sanctuary House, it was a “happy accident,” as Cashner calls it.

One rainy night in November 2008, the couple had a friend who struggled with substance abuse come to them with nowhere to go. They rented an apartment for him and helped him get back on his feet. The friend spoke at a recovery meeting and told others Cashner and Sanzeri brought him.

“It had a snowball effect,” Sanzeri said. “We weren’t just getting one or two calls about clients. It was more.”

Before they knew it, the Sanctuary House that could hold only three clients grew to house up to 41 clients.

“We’re planning on expanding the back end of the property to make room for more bed space,” Cashner said.

With Cashner’s close relationships to local judges and the police department, he gets calls constantly asking if they have room for just one more client.

The Sanctuary House grew rapidly, and before Cashner could see it coming, so did the bills. The couple sold what they could to keep the Sanctuary afloat, including their engagement rings, before their luck began to turn around.

They began receiving private donations from community members that wanted to support the cause. In September 2012, the couple opened a thrift shop just two blocks away from the Sanctuary House. All of the proceeds from the thrift store go towards funding for the Sanctuary House. According to Cashner, the thrift store makes about $8,000 a month.

With all of the money coming in from donations and the thrift store, Cashner and Sanzeri are able to offer bed space at the Sanctuary House to clients for $17.36 per day.

More people also volunteered their time to the cause as it grew. The Sanctuary built a staff of 13 unpaid volunteers. People like Eliana Dole volunteered their time.

Dole has been volunteering with the Sanctuary for over three weeks now, as their newest volunteer. She wandered into the Sanctuary House Thrift Store one day and immediately fell in love with the cause.

“When they told me about what they were doing, I thought it was incredible,” Dole said. Dole helps run the thrift store with Sanzeri.

“They just want to help others and it’s amazing,” Dole said. “If I can help someone to not hurt anymore, then I will.”

The Sanctuary House was recently recognized as a public charity in late April. The couple applied two years ago in order to work with other nonprofits and become eligible to apply for grants.

“Now, we’re in talks about upcoming grants,” Cashner said. He’s more hopeful now than ever.

Cashner doubles back to the front of the Sanctuary House. He fiddles with the engagement ring on his left hand, twisting around his ring finger. The couple bought the pawned rings back years ago. They’re getting married at the end of June in Long Island.

“We’re finally going to take a vacation,” Cashner said laughing.

He reminisces on the changes endured since they first pawned the rings off.

“There were no toilets in the space,” Cashner laughed. “The first year was spent making it habitable. The second was spent making it beautiful. Now, it truly is a sanctuary.”

For more information about the Sanctuary House of S. Florida, visit

For questions about bed space at the Sanctuary House or to make a donation, contact Jared Cashner or (954) 882-8363.

2010Sanctuary House Brochure outside2010Sanctuary House Brochure inside

Just something funny from Sanctuary House crew
April 30, 2013, 11:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Well, I just learned a valuable lesson… all places, the drive-thru of Burger King. When the girl at the drive thru asks you what size milk shake you want, with “what size do you like”?>…..don’t answer with…..”Well, what size are you?”>>>>>>> Ya just might regret going over a size medium… I soon found out, when I got to the window. She said,”Damn glad you didn’t order a larger, ..cause I was up in here waiting for you…..”….. I’m choosing my words more carefully in the future, since I almost ended up with a 250 lb bride ……wow, that was close…..funny thing is I’ve been home for more than 20 minutes and I’m still laughing……I’ll sleep well tonight,,,,,,now, leave me alone while a laugh some more.
Also, Thursday, May 9th, Sanctuary House is thrilled to have Ms. Cathy Craig calling BINGO in the gardens of Sanctuary House Thrift
2133 N. Andrews Ave
Wilton Manors……..seating is limited.  Call 954-882-8363

A Bingo and Pizza Party
April 20, 2013, 12:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sanctuary House is happy to announce our :”Bingo under the stars” night and pizza party, hosted by Ms. Cathy Craig. $15.00 for ten games and show. Seating is limited, so purchase your tickets early. Sanctuary House Thrift Store and Gardens. 2133 N. Andrews Avenue Wilton Manors 
For more information, call 954-336-5800.

Sanctuary House of S. Florida Thrift Store and gardens are now open

Sanctuary House, with the help of our local community, has opened our thrift store and gardens.  The gardens will double as a place to shop or for locals to “hide out” from the world for an hour or so.  Enjoy our free wi-fi, lounge about the gardens with a book from our library of selections, with a hot cup of tea; or shop in our store for those unique gifts that the Sanctuary Thrift  are becoming known for.

In addition, starting February 7th, the gardens will become Bingo under the starts, hosted by the nationally known bingo caller Ms. Sandy Bottoms, all the way from North Carolina, with themed evenings; and a show that you’ll talk about over and over.

This week’s theme is Beach Blanket Bingo

Enjoy her commercial

Beach blanket bingo

See ya at Bingo!!

Addiction Recovery at the end of 2012
January 1, 2013, 2:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Looking back over the past year, Sanctuary House has continued to assist those ready for a clean way of life.  I’m more convinced than ever that with the correct structure, all people, both the addict and the family that loves them can move beyond the despair of addiction and substitute it with  the “highs” and lows of everyday life, without needing to reach back into the past for the poison that caused so much devastation; and to everyone touched by the plague of addiction and alcoholism.  Sanctuary House, working closely with family members, can make a noteworthy differences, only if the addict is ready for the permanent change. 

The one thing, I personally have noted, is that there are addicts that will make arrangements to enter our facility, knowing that after the parents, already spending thousands of dollars for drug rehabilitation, will use the opportunity to do nothing more than have the place to sleep, the airline ticket to South Florida or any vacation local’; and will disappear within days to continue the same destructive behavior, having the agenda in place well before arrival.  

Disappearing for a number of days, doing the “my phone was off” or “my phone’s battery is dead”, never considering the relentless fear of a loving family that does not know the whereabouts of their child.  

The clients are usually in the age range of 20 to 32 or 33 years of age.  By experience, I have continued to see this behavior as a pattern; and it is only beyond this age range that it becomes impossible for the parents or grandparents to go further or have the ability to go  through a considerable portion of their retirement or simply exhaust all means to assist further.  This is the period where the young addict learns the art of lying and the extremes that will, for a while, continue to finance a potentially fatal part of the process, if left unchecked.

I have heard the stories of parents that have spent so much, for the sake of their child, that it can be a life altering experience for the loved one that worked their entire life or worse, is forced to return to the workplace in order to continue the enabling that the addict is comfortable with.  This age range comes with an added difficulty.  

For some reason, many in this age range will use the “I didn’t ask to be born” attitude to continue the parent or loved one paying, using many lies to keep the cash flowing. At this age, coupled with hardcore drugs, the addict begins to loose the ability to show empathy.  This is temporary, only if the cycle of spend and use is, at least temporarily, interrupted.  

This reminds me of a past client from Arkansas.  We will call him Josh,  Josh, arriving by bus, was financed by a mother of modest means.  His history, as told by his mother, was that of a single parent while her son was growing up.  Later in his teens, the introduction of drug use took an already strained family income to the brink of collapse.  As she continued her story, her son was getting settled into is new unit on the main campus, here at the Sanctuary.  Finding out that this parent, on three acres of land that had been left to her by her father, growing vegetables all through a labor intensive summer and run a roadside stand to sell the fresh produce grown and worked from the property that kept the family from doing without the most basic of needs.

Since I also come from the Common Wealth of Kentucky, I have seen this story firsthand and know its effects on those that can least afford the burden of a family member riddled with drugs.  

These funds were to be used for items such as heating oil, groceries for her and Josh’s little sister, Emily.  Within the first week, this parent, excited about the possibly of having the son she loved returning to some level of normalcy was conned into paying for her son’s second month with the lies of searching for employment and enrollment into one of our local community colleges.  I personally took Josh to the Guidance Office of his school selection, all the while the clock is ticking.  Feeling that this young man, who looked like a kid, for the most part, might have the chance to walk away happy.  When Josh insists, to his mom, that the additional funds are needed, now that things are going great, talks her into a significant portion of funds strictly set aside for the most basic needs of the family.  As a parent of two sons, myself, I felt her need to save, yet wonder how she would keep her own household running during the roughest part of an Arkansas winter.  After discussion of his future in South Florida, in private, his mother relented; and relinquished the funds to keep her dream of a son on the right path alive and nurturing.  

Since this age group is the more difficult to assist moving forward, I was excited, personally, to his assurance to his mom that employment was eminent; and that he would be assisting her with the much needed return of the funds later in the Fall and to insure the care and welfare of his sister and to assist with mom’s endless work to prepare for the year of a cold winter season ahead, after growing season ahead.

Within days of his second month, Mr. Josh simply disappeared.  Frantic, his mother began the search through endless calls to hospitals, police, and anyone that would listen.  Our office, as frantic, began the “driving the neighborhood”, asking questions and looking for a kid that would certainly stand out with his “goober” style of dress and small town aura that was obvious.. or so I thought.  Three days had passed and no word of a nineteen year old, in a city known for its decedent side, where good sense is a commodity in short supply.  At times, hourly calls from Arkansas to Florida, asking questions and looking for answers.

Now, you ask yourself, where is Josh?  Here’s the answer.

Josh showed up on day eight, high on crystal meth and not understanding that the bragging of making money by prostitution was easy money was un-welcomed by all on campus that heard the bravado.  In the end, there had never classes, school was never attended, no employment, but rather a self-centered child with no empathy for the position his parent is now left to endure.

I told this part of our struggle to show the incredible lengths some men, in this age range, will go to, to make their way to a tourist town, to fulfill a pre-set agenda that included drug use and anonymous sex.  When Josh finally showed up, my first reaction was to call another parent to let her know that her son was alive and safe.  Since I explained to Josh that he would not be allowed to sleep his intoxication off on our property, I offered him a ride to our local hospitalization rehab center.  To my dismay, his demeanor went from that of Opey Taylor to a vulgar and out of control man, insisting he needed nothing from anyone.  After his departure, within hours, there were pictures of him on social media, showing “bruises” and claiming being assaulted by members of our staff.  Because, in his way of thinking, he had been wronged by being forced from the facility that would never allow the serenity of others to be interfered with; and revenge was in order.

The one thing I’ve always tried to reinforce in clients of our houses is simply this, if you do the right thing, incredible things happen.  That includes a healthy portion of honesty, immersing yourself in one thing after arriving, you and your future that includes stone cold sobriety.  Given the time away from drug use, the empathy can return.  Left unchecked over years, the switch that brings back empathy simply turns off and is never seen again.

After the fact, our office learned what was.  Parents beware, this is an app that can be downloaded to any android phone or iproduct.  It gives the user pinpointed location of other people looking for their respective style of anonymous sex, with drugs often involved.  This app works in real time, making the addiction easy to pick back up, after arrival to any location that is chosen for the next phase of their recovery, the sober-living-house part of the recovery.

Parents, you have the right to look on the phones of your children.  We are the parents.  The idea that a fifteen year old has privacy rights is bunk.  I never had a second thought of looking at anything that could have potential results of harm to my child, my charge that compels me to do the right thing and take charge, when necessary.  This is a tool that gives the parent involved an opportunity to thwart a path, that once started, would lead to a life of survival, rather than a life of happiness and fulfillment.  To both of my sons, I’m proud of you.

Sanctuary House will continue its work as a non-profit organization assisting gay men in a later stage of recovery, instituting structure over continued destructive behavior.  The work continues.  

Please visit our website if you would like to know more about the work we do or to help with your tax deductible donation that helps us help others.  

Oh, where is Josh?  I recently saw Josh in an area, by day, is a shopping area and at night, known for hustlers and those who prey on them.  His face was drawn, without light in his glance, shirtless and lost.  This does not have to happen.  The  cycle can and must be broken.  This is part of our Mission Statement.  I look forward to reading your responses.  Thank you for the wonderful emails.  The work continues.  But disappointment in our efforts, at times, are overshadowed by the story of Matt, a success by all measures……but that’s another story.

Thanks for reading and keep the responses coming.

Jared C. Cashner, CCR

Executive Director

Sanctuary House of S. Florida, Inc

a non-proit organization dedicated to the recovery of the gay community.