Falmouth Hero: An 'Exceptional Human' Helps Women During Crisis

Jimmy Bentley

FALMOUTH, MA — When times are tough, heroes emerge. We all know someone who's making a difference right now as we live through unprecedented times. Here at Patch, we've launched an initiative to help recognize these everyday heroes.

This submission comes from Ann Jarosiewicz, who nominated Bill Dougherty, who founded the nonprofit Recovery Without Walls. Recovery Without Walls helps women with substance abuse issues transition from in-patient facilities to back into the community.

But amid the new coronavirus crisis, Jarosiewicz said Dougherty has ramped up his efforts in helping these women pay for rent, groceries and anything else they might need on Cape Cod and in the Portland, Maine area. Jarosiewicz applauded Dougherty as "an exceptional human being."

Learn more about what Jarosiewicz had to say below, and to nominate a hero, click here.

Where the person who nominated the hero lives:


Name of the nominee:
Bill Dougherty

Name of the person who nominated the hero:
Ann Jarosiewicz

Is the nominee considered an “essential worker”?:

What does the nominee do for work?:
Bill founded Recovery Without Walls in 2006. Since then, he has personally helped hundreds of women transition from inpatient substance treatment into the community. During the early phases of recovery in which women are most vulnerable to relapse, Recovery Without Walls provides a critical case management support to help create a structured, safe, supportive and stable environment that fosters sobriety and healthy recovery skills. Services are free and there are no paid staff; Recovery Without Walls asks only for clients to assist with special events an office management, and in so doing develop new skills and a greater connection to the broader community. Services offered include support with housing, jobs, education, mentoring and most recently an innovative acupuncture program to help with relapse prevention and craving.

Why do you believe the nominee should be recognized or honored?
When the coronavirus began affecting the community, women in recovery were frantically reaching out to Recovery Without Walls to see if it could help them with rent, groceries and cash cards after being laid off. Many live in sober houses which charge $200-250 per week. Many have small children to feed. Bill began writing checks for rent, gift cards for food and other necessities (over $7000) and has helped nearly 60 women(on the Cape and in Portland, ME where Recovery Without Walls also offers support through this crisis. Now that unemployment payments are being received, the pace has slowed down, but still there are women in recovery calling for assistance. Bill is still writing checks and helping where he can.

What’s one thing you want everyone to know about your hero?:
Bill has committed the last 14+ years of his life to helping make a difference to women following substance abuse treatment. He does not get paid but works tirelessly to find creative and real answers to successful recovery. There is no other post treatment resource that is available free to someone who wants help. Bill believes that addiction to drugs and alcohol does not mean a life sentence of shame and struggle. Like treating any chronic illness (cancer, heart disease, diabetes), addiction can be successfully managed by encouraging honest and responsible life decisions, supported by 12-step recovery and other professional resources as well as fostering community involvement and connection through volunteering and helping others. He is an exceptional human being.

This article originally appeared on the Falmouth Patch