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At A Reprieve for Women, we’re committed to being genuine, honest and invested even when the path for our resident is hard.

About A Reprieve for Women

We believe so strongly in the processes we teach our residents – of developing Spirituality, Community, and Self – that we practice them as a staff as well.

A Reprieve for Women opened in September of 2016 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and is modeled after The Reprieve in Opelika, Alabama, which was established in 2009. A Reprieve for Women continues the Reprieve’s tradition to provide a unique place in the recovering and spiritual community as the center for a solution to alcoholism and drug addiction. Our staff and volunteers are the epicenter of this community based program, and illustrate on a day to day basis the very spirit in which the fellowship of service to others thrives. The 12 Steps live and breathe in each of our residents, staff and volunteers as they strive to do the work that they have been called upon to perform.

A Reprieve for Women is a six-month program founded in three distinct but interwoven phases. In the first 90 days we concentrate on 12 Step Immersion and a therapeutic foundation. The first two phases are 9 weeks in length, the third is four weeks long and the last phase is two weeks in length. From beginning, to the program’s conclusion, the goal is to assist women to obtaining the skills and tools needed to live in recovery as productive members of a community where service to others is the focal point.

The most important thing to us at the end of the day is that we are a constant reflection of what we teach to our residents. With a staff, largely in recovery themselves, we share more life experiences with our residents than most programs.

The Staff at A Reprieve for Women

Click names or photos to learn more about our staff.

Administrator

Community Living Specialist

Recreation Activities Specialist

Patient Financial Representative

Program Specialist

12 Step Program Coordinator

Executive Director

Brett Young

Executive Director

Brett Young is a native of Alexander City, AL. He attended college at The University of West Alabama on a football scholarship. After college, he began working at a television station in Birmingham, AL. He left that career and bounced from sales, management, and finance before addiction took over his life. Brett went to long term treatment and a sober living community in order to get his life back. Shortly after getting sober, Brett began his career working in treatment. In 2011, he first learned about The Reprieve. His personal experience with the 12-steps and treatment caused him to immediately gravitate towards The Reprieve model. Brett worked in several positions within The Reprieve, including National Referral Liaison before being promoted to the Executive Director in 2014.

Britten Elliot

Office Coordinator

Britten is a native of Hoover, Al. After graduating high school she moved to Auburn, AL. In 2004 she graduated from Auburn University and began working for Bradford Health Services. She has been working for The Reprieve since the day it opened in 2009. She loves helping people and is dedicated to this field. Britten brings a much-needed sense of balance and truly adds great value to all the staff, residents, and the program.

Seth Sherwin

Administrator

Seth is a native of Laurel, MS.  Seth attended college at The University of Mississippi.  While he was a student, Seth began a career as a musician.  For 9 years Seth toured the country playing with his band.  Seth’s growing addiction, paired with a toxic environment, led to the implosion of his career.  Shortly there after, Seth reached out to a previous band mate in Nashville, TN and asked for help. Once in Nashville, Seth began his journey of recovery and became involved in 12-step fellowship and mindfulness meditation. Now in long term sobriety, Seth has brought his extensive knowledge of 12-step programming, meditation and life experience to The Reprieve. 

Jared Murray

Community Representative

Brett Young is a native of Alexander City, AL. He attended college at The University of West Alabama on a football scholarship. After college, he began working at a television station in Birmingham, AL. He left that career and bounced from sales, management, and finance before addiction took over his life. Brett went to long term treatment and a sober living community in order to get his life back. Shortly after getting sober, Brett began his career working in treatment. In 2011, he first learned about The Reprieve. His personal experience with the 12-steps and treatment caused him to immediately gravitate towards The Reprieve model. Brett worked in several positions within The Reprieve, including National Referral Liaison before being promoted to the Executive Director in 2014.

Mike Denmark

Program Specialist

Mike is a native of Birmingham. He started experimenting with drugs and alcohol as an early teenager. Mike’s life quickly began to spiral out of control. After a couple failed attempts through 30-day impatient treatments centers, Mike enlisted into the U.S. Army. At the time, Mike thought a more disciplined life style and change of location would fix his problem. Upon enlisting into the Army, Mike’s addiction only manifested from drug use to more Alcohol use. After his service, Mike found himself deep in the grips of the Heroin Epidemic. He began a long run of emotional turmoil and chaos, that had his life and the lives of his family in a complete state of hopelessness. After years of Faith based homeless shelters, treatment centers, and jails, Mike finally ended up at The Reprieve. There he was introduced to the 12 Steps of Recovery and a new way of life. After graduating and staying connected with the Reprieve, he came back to work as a Program Specialist in the 12 Step Immersion portion of the program.

Will Howle

Program Specialist

Will is a native of Huntsville, Al. Will started experimenting with drugs and alcohol when he was 12, and his use progressed through high school. After high school, he enrolled in community college in 2007, then transferred to Auburn University. Due to drug abuse, he was put on academic suspension and forced to move home. Will quickly found himself in the middle of an opiate us disorder.   After a failed attempt in treatment and trying to do it on his own in the rooms of AA, he finally found a solution through the 12 steps at The Reprieve. After completing a year at The Reprieve he went to work at a sober living in South Carolina, before returning to The Reprieve to work as a program specialist.

Ross Pape

Life Skills Coordinator

Ross is a native of Huntsville, Alabama. Ross attended Auburn University where he studied Information System Management. During his final semester he could no longer keep his addiction at bay. Over the next two years he bounced around different treatment centers and sober living facilities. Ross finally relinquished control of his life and surrendered to a long term recovery facility in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2015 Ross was hired to open a sober living facility in Greeneville, South Carolina. During his tenure in South Carolina, Ross became a nationally certified recovery coach, trauma informed level 1, and began taking classes in psychology at The University of South Carolina Upstate. It was through another Program Specialist that Ross became interested in the 12 step immersion process being done at The Reprieve. Ross brings his extensive knowledge of recovery into the Life Skills portion of our program.

Bo Mullins

Community Living Coordinator

Bo is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. Bo’s addiction took hold of him before he graduated high school and he had trouble continuing his education. Bo failed out of college and struggled to maintain long-term employment. Bo first entered recovery in 2012 after attending a detox facility. He started a cycle of sober living houses and periods of abstinence for stretches of time, followed by relapses. This cycle lasted until 2015 when he arrived at The Reprieve as a resident. Since that time, Bo has graduated college and started a family with his wife and dogs. Bo brings his past experiences of what to do wrong and right in recovery into the community-living portion of our program.

Hans Shellhamer

Recreation Activities Specialist

Hans is a native of Auburn, AL. He started college at Auburn University in 98’. While he was a student Hans’s growing addiction interfered with academic studies causing him to drop out of school and enter the workforce.  After a few years of continued addiction Hans found himself having lost another job, and facing losing his family. Realizing something had to change Hans reached out for help and checked into Bradford Warrior. There Hans began his journey of recovery and became involved in 12-step fellowship and an active lifestyle. In 09’ Hans got back into school at Auburn and began an internship at the newly founded Reprieve as the “Activities Guy” which quickly turned into a career. He finished up his degree from Auburn in 14’ and became the Recreation Specialist for The Reprieve.

Will Mummert

Recreation Activities Specialist

Will is a native of Huntsville, Alabama and a 2007 graduate of Huntsville High School. Growing up, Will loved sports, both as a participant and as an avid fan of college and professional football and basketball.  However, seven years of alcohol and drug abuse drained Will of all his physical and emotional resources. In 2014, Will found himself on the receiving end of an overdose and on a path that led him to a year-long stay at The Reprieve. After graduating from The Reprieve and working in Opelika, Will was drawn back by his desire to help others suffering from substance abuse disorders. Will currently resides in Auburn with a younger brother who attends Auburn University.

Brian Patterson

Food Service Manager

Brian is a native of Tullahoma, Tn. After a previous treatment attempt, Brian found himself back in treatment in 2011. At that time, Brian owned and operated a restaurant back in Tennessee but knew he needed to focus on his recovery. Brian made a decision to become a resident of The Reprieve. Within the first 60 days, Brian told the staff that when he got enough sober time he was going to come back and be the cook for the residents. In 2013, Brian became the Food Services Manager for The Reprieve.

Michael Azar

Michael is originally from Montgomery, Alabama. He graduated with a degree in Radio, Television and Film from Auburn University and went to work at a local TV station in Montgomery in 2011. In the fall of 2013, his addiction had taken over most of his life and he made the decision to enter treatment at The Warrior Lodge. With the help of family and friends, and the urging of a couple of key members of the staff at The Lodge, he ended up at The Reprieve in October of 2013. After getting his feet set for a couple of years in recovery, he asked for a job at The Reprieve. He has worked with The Reprieve since 2015 in a variety of roles.

Patrick Owens

Patty is a native New Yorker. He enlisted in the USMC shortly after graduating HS. While a Marine his alcoholism greatly affected his performance and he was ultimately separated from the Corps. He returned to NY and went on hopelessly for another decade. In 2008 he moved to Nashville where he met Seth Sherwin (the current administrator of The Reprieve) and developed the relationship that they have now which ultimately led them both to Opelika. Since 2015 Patty has been an integral part of the Reprieve Team and its development. He has since used his experience in the Marine Corps and recovering from his terrifying drug addiction to help guide young men in the disciplines of the recovery process.

Zac Lott

Zac was born and raised in Birmingham Alabama. He was raised by his mom, granddad, and grandmother. Zac started experimenting with drugs and alcohol around the age of 13. After he graduated high school, he decided to move to Tuscaloosa and go to school at Shelton state and study business. While living in Tuscaloosa, he became heavily addicted to opiates and xanax. His life started to spiral out of control. He started failing all of his classes and eventually had no option but to move back home with his mother in Birmingham. He tried to control his addiction, but it just kept getting more out of control. In 2011, his mom checked him in to Bradford Warrior for 28 days, and as soon as he got out he started using again. Over the next 5 years, he was in and out of multiple rehabs. In 2016, he finally decided to pursue long term help and admitted to A Reprieve for Men. For the first time ever, he truly worked the steps and applied the principles to his entire life. Zac has found his niche in helping others apply those same principles to everyday life situations, in the life skills portion of A Reprieve for Men.

Will Howle

Program Specialist

Will is a native of Huntsville, Al. Will started experimenting with drugs and alcohol when he was 12, and his use progressed through high school. After high school, he enrolled in community college in 2007, then transferred to Auburn University. Due to drug abuse, he was put on academic suspension and forced to move home. Will quickly found himself in the middle of an opiate us disorder. After a failed attempt in treatment and trying to do it on his own in the rooms of AA, he finally found a solution through the 12 steps at The Reprieve. After completing a year at The Reprieve he went to work at a sober living in South Carolina, before returning to The Reprieve to work as a program specialist.

Leigh Belcher LPC-S

Administrator

Leigh Belcher has been working in the helping profession for over 20 years. She received an undergraduate degree from Samford University in Human Development and Family Studies and history in 1997 and a Masters in Counseling in 1999 for Georgia State University. Through various roles in the helping profession, she has developed a cognitive behavioral approach to address addiction and other co morbid diagnoses. Leigh is also trained in DBT, EMDR, trauma, and grief. She believes in the importance of meeting others where they are in their process and developing an individual plan strongly rooted in the 12 Steps and trauma-informed therapy to assist women through the process of navigating recovery. Her passion is to create and implement programs that assist others in being their healthiest self. Leigh believes that the Reprieve for Women is just such a program as it addresses all facets of a person as they begin to heal emotionally, physically and spiritually. Outside of work she is in love with her puppy, Tallulah Mae, and enjoys being outside, live music and a good book.

Leah Parker LPC

Therapist

Leah Parker is the therapist for A Reprieve for Women.  She received her master’s degree in counseling from the University of North Alabama in 2011 and has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for seven years.  She is passionate about bringing her training in various therapeutic treatment modalities (CBT, DBT, EMDR, trauma-informed, and grief informed) to the 12 step immersion process because she wholeheartedly believes that addressing both simultaneously is the key to helping women heal.  Leah desires to create a safe, inviting space where women can unpack the things that have occurred in their lives.  Many of these things have brought them to treatment and her desire to aid them in processing their trauma and guide them toward finding and creating a life that’s worth living.  She believes addiction impacts the whole family and enjoys working with family members to help heal the family system through the treatment process. We are blessed to have such a skilled clinician that also is acutely aware of the power of the 12 Step process.  Outside of work, Leah enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as engaging in her unending search for used books, vinyl records, and the perfect cup of coffee.

Jennifer Elebash

Patient Financial Representative

Bio needed

Brooke Burnett

Community Living Specialist

​Brooke Burnett is our Community Living specialist at A Reprieve for Women. Three years ago she was given her life back by working the 12 Steps. Brooke is currently obtaining a degree in Community Health and Human Services so she can continue to help others affected by addiction. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her daughter and playing with her 3 dogs.​

Lindsey Mcateer

Program Specialist

Lindsey Mcateer is a Program Specialist at a Reprieve for Women. She is currently in school working on her degree in Social Work. Lindsey has been sober for three years and is a native of Tuscaloosa. Her passion to help women find and maintain recovery is a driving force in her life. Lindsey wants others to obtain the freedom that she has through working the Twelve Steps. In her free time Lindsey enjoys, attending church, working out, and playing with her new kitty that she adopted while volunteering with the residents of A Reprieve for Women.

Shannon Polles

12 Step Program Coordinator

Shannon Polles is a Program Specialist at A Reprieve for Women.  She received her bachelors of science in elementary education from Belhaven University in Jackson Mississippi in 1997.  She taught first grade for several years before having children and becoming a stay at home mom.  After moving to Birmingham in 2015 and becoming active in the 12 step recovery community, she knew her purpose and passion was to help other women struggling with addiction.  Shannon joined our team at the Reprieve in 2018 and feels extremely blessed to be able to share her experiences, strength and hope with our residents.  The energy and passion that Shannon brings to her role is a vital part of residents’ experience at A Reprieve for Women.

Brittany Ward

Community Living and Life Skills Coordinator

Brittany Ward is a native of Bellamy, AL. She attended the University of Alabama where she received both a Bachelors and Masters degree of Social Work. After college, she worked in therapeutic foster care, non-profit community development, and eventually moved into sales. Brittany began working with the Women’s Reprieve in August 2017. She has served in several roles and is now the Community Living and Life Skills Coordinator. Brittany has a passion for helping others successfully transition back into the community and connecting them to resources that are available.  Her role with A Reprieve for Women is vital as it assists the residents in moving from the learning to the action stage of their recovery. Outside of work she actively works with other women for several philanthropic causes and enjoys cooking for herself and others frequently.

Lakinda Burrell

Lakinda Burrell has three passions, Alabama football, loving others and cooking.  Lakinda is able to access two of those passions daily as she ministers to the women at the Reprieve. She nourishes them both emotionally and physically through her cooking and involvement in their recovery.  Lakinda often says that “you eat with your eyes not just your mouth”.  She takes pride in cooking and serving locally grown produce and homemade lunches and dinner to help the women begin to heal and take note of the importance of putting healthy foods into their bodies.  As a native of Tuscaloosa, she feels passionate about her city and helping those in her community.  Lakinda is a vital part of our team at the Reprieve for Women.

Marisa A. Giggie, MD, MPAff

Marisa A. Giggie, MD, MPAff, is an associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa Campus at the College of Community Health Sciences (CCHS)

Jennifer Harper

Bio needed.

Tammy Lawrence

Bio needed.

Melissa Nippert

Bio needed.

Courtney Williamson

Bio needed.