Making the Pura Vida

March 28, 2023

When Robert Holmes noticed a need for sober housing in La Plata County, Colorado, and San Juan County, New Mexico, he decided to do something about it, founding a nonprofit organization called Pura Vida for Good. Holmes, who is the owner of the river resort Tico Time on the Colorado/New Mexico border, plans to turn the resort festivals into benefits to fund the construction of and upkeep of sober housing and recovery homes in the two counties. This story is sponsored by CMIT Solutions and The Big Idea Makerspace at San Juan College

Learn More...

Read the Full Transcript

What do you do when you see a need in your community that isn't being addressed? If you're Robert Holmes, you create a nonprofit specifically designed to address it. The need in question? Creating affordable, sustainable recovery homes and sober living in La Plata County, Colorado and San Juan County, New Mexico. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by CMIT Solutions and the Big Idea Makerspace at San Juan College. I'm Hayley Opsal.

A lot of my life has been in... in serving others, but this is a formal way of doing it, I guess. Just at a larger level than just working with individuals one-on-one. We were formed last year about in August and it all developed out of Tico Time River Resort, which is a resort and music music festival venue that my wife and I started four years ago down at the state line on the Animas River. Just the buzz with Tico Time and bringing people together down there kind of has sparked this idea that we could use that momentum and awareness to... to do something other than just have a business down there or something that could serve the community in a larger way.

Tico Time hosts large concerts and festivals, and it's a resort along the Animas River, and those concerts will now be one of the primary fundraisers for Pura Vida For Good, becoming benefit concerts to help fund the organization. La Plata County in particular, is lacking facilities that assist former addicts with recovery, and Holmes knows firsthand just how helpful recovery homes and sober living can be to help people get their lives back.

I'm a 20 year sober alcoholic drug addict myself, and I got into a lot of trouble when I was younger and found myself in a really bad place. And at age 19, ended up going to rehab and went to a 28 day treatment center in California. And I went to a transitional housing recovery home. It's like structured sober living. And that was, for me, a huge stepping stone that was very helpful to me to getting my life back on track.

Durango does have the Hilltop House Community, a halfway house that is run with assistance from the government. But what Holmes envisions as part of Pura Vida For Good is private recovery homes and sober living, a place available to people who may not have government referral for recovery living or who are exiting incarceration, rehabilitation, and detox programs, and are in need of transitional housing. The project for La Plata County, Casa Pura Vida, envisions a place that houses both a recovery home and sober living, providing support for people at all stages of their recovery journey.

You know, a lot of times it's look, people are looked down upon for having substance abuse issues and the truth of the matter is we're just humans that found ourselves in a bad situation. And life got us down to a point where someone like myself, some people can figure out a way to just figure it out, get their lives back on track on their own, and if people can do that, then awesome. But there's certain situations, like for me, where I was young, extremely fearful, and if I didn't have family and friends and the resources to get me back on track, I really don't think I'd be alive today.

Recovery Housing provides recovering addicts with support in the form of regular meals, support for and encouragement to find employment in the community, resources in the form of counselors, housing support managers, and more. Sober housing, while often less structured than recovery housing, also offers support to recovering addicts as they begin to transition back to public life.

Just providing someone with a room to live in and say, "You have to stay sober," is not enough. It needs to be a whole comprehensive approach, offering someone all of the right steps and resources to get their life back on track. And even then there's a large likelihood that they're going to fall off.

Pura Vida is on the lookout for properties in La Plata and San Juan counties that they can transform into their recovery homes and sober living, as well as funding sources. Learn more at Thank you for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Hayley Opsal.


Need more  Local DURANGO News?

News for Locals. By Locals.
Editorial Policy | Copyright © Local News Network Inc. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy