GLIDE’s Janean Reed Celebrates 25 Years in Recovery!

by Clarissa Mendiola, Donor Cultivation Coordinator

Janean Reed, GLIDE Health Services Substance Abuse Case Manager, is celebrating her 25thanniversary in recovery this week, an accomplishment beyond her own imagination. “I never thought I would get to 25 years in recovery because I have always focused on living one day at a time.”

Janean (2nd from left) with GLIDE Recovery Program

When Janean Reed came to San Francisco in 1987, she had no idea she was an addict. “I just thought I was having a good time.” But as her drug addiction progressed, and she became more and more absent from the lives of her two young daughters, a supportive family member had to step in. Janean’s uncle brought her kids to a safe place where he knew they would be welcomed, loved, and supported – GLIDE. In a reflective moment, Janean describes addiction as “a demon that does not want you to have any values.” And while she was out using, GLIDE was taking care of her children.

Folks in recovery sometimes speak of a moment of clarity, a pivotal moment in their addiction that ignites a spiritual awakening. For Janean, that moment occurred the day she asked her mother to loan her twenty dollars. Janean had played the situation out in her mind, “If my mom said yes, great. If she said no, I decided I would rob her. I would physically hurt her and rob her.” When her mother agreed and handed her the money, Janean broke down. “I could not believe I had considered hurting my own mother for my addiction.” This was the start of Janean’s decision to leave her life of drugs behind, and begin a new life in recovery.

Later, when Janean graduated from a month-long recovery program, her mother stood in the audience in support of her rediscovered strength. “When I saw my mother walk through those doors, that was all I needed.” Knowing that she needed more support as she navigated the next phase of her recovery, Janean entered another program and made a promise to herself: if she was able to successfully complete this program, she would come back to GLIDE to give back to the community.

Throughout her program, she attended GLIDE Sunday Celebrations and continued after graduation. Then she began participating in GLIDE’s open mic night (now known as SpeakOut), and when GLIDE began offering recovery circles, she joined those, too. Eventually, Rev. Cecil Williams noticed Janean’s commitment to recovery and to the community and asked her to lead an open mic. The rest is history.

Today, Janean leads GLIDE’s Recovery Circles, offers one on one recovery support services and case management, and is the face of recovery at GLIDE.

As she celebrates this profound milestone, 25 years in recovery, she remains grateful to her GLIDE family, “GLIDE did something for me that can’t be paid in money. GLIDE saved my babies, GLIDE saved my life. If I had not come to GLIDE and received the love that I had been yearning for since I was a little girl, I would not be here today.”

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13 comments on “GLIDE’s Janean Reed Celebrates 25 Years in Recovery!
  1. Lisa Wiseman says:

    Big big congrats Janean! It was such a pleasure meeting you recently!

  2. Curtis says:

    Congrats and happy birthday JANEAN you are an inspiration and amazing mentor.

  3. Laurie Handelman says:

    Janean your story is an inspiration. My sister Kasse and my brother Jeff never recovered and eventually both fatally overdosed. Now my sixteen year old son is in recovery and has 11 months of sobriety. I am so grateful and credit my brother and sister for saving his life. If not for their suffering I would not have known the signs and intervened so early. We live in Chicago but visit SF twice a year to see family. We always attend Glide on Sunday for a dose of spirtual awakening during our visit. Thank you so much for all you do for those suffering from this disease. There is hope for everyone, EVERYONE!. God bless you….Laurie Handelman, Naperville, Illinois

  4. Mr. Yes Sir ! says:

    Congratulations ! Yes Sir !

  5. This is a beautiful, beautiful story….Congrats to you Janean! This milestone is because of years of hard work and I find your determination truly inspirational as well as Glide’s offering of love….Thanks for posting this!

  6. Charlotte Rose says:

    My darling niece, I am so proud of you. I know your mom would be brimming over with joy for you. You are truly an inspiration. Love you.

  7. Nichole P. says:

    Congrats Janean! This is your little sister Nichole! I’m very proud of you for the perseverance and courage it takes to recover. You have kept the door open for other recovering addicts like myself and continue to send the message of hope to the addict who still suffers. Your hard work along with your colleagues, helps plant the seeds to those whom are considered the pickle that will never be a cucumber again. Your believing in the process and actual example of the process of recovery, gives our population the encouragement to give those seeds the water and sunshine it takes to grow and of their own merit! Your experience, strength and hope is invaluable! I’m proud to be your sister and HONORED that your prayers have help me as well! You always told me that the work it take to recover is the work that separates the women from the girls. Today as a result of your teachings, I’m doing the inner work of a woman, while valuing the fears of my little girl inside. THANK YOU! I LOVE YOU! MUMMY IS PROUD!!!!!

    • Hi Nichole,
      I’m proud of you also, I understand that once you open that door of addiction; and how hard it is to shut it closed for good. And you shut that door with a passion to move forward; and I’m happy that YOU DID THAT!! I did pray for you day & night and you answered the call; and because of this you have enriched the process of recovery. It was Mummy’s love that began my turning point; think about this, “I got clean 8 days after her birthday”. And I cherish that to this day, and I cherish having a sister clean & sober more then you’ll ever know.
      your big sister,

      • Nichole P. says:

        TEARS!!!! I love you!! Keep up the “WORK THAT SEPARATES THE GIRLS FROM THE WOMAN” and keep taking care of the little girl in you! Love Nichole

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GLIDE Instagram
Join GLIDE at the SF @marchforourlives this Saturday to support young people in demanding #GunControlNow! We'll meet at GLIDE at noon and walk to Civic Center together. Where your GLIDE gear if you have it, and click the link in our profile to read more about why gun control is a priority advocacy issue at GLIDE.
#marchforourlives #parkland #enough #IWillMarch @momsdemand @bradybuzz @sfmagazine @sfchronicle @theonj3 @angelabrown17 @sf_interfaith Today, GLIDE Harm Reduction partnered with @sfaidsfound, SFDPH and SF Homeless Outreach Team to conduct a health care pop-up at a homeless encampment. It was a great community effort and the Harm Redux crew reports that the residents of the camp really appreciated that we were there for them. GLIDE provided HIV/Hep C Testing and counseling. In spite of the rain, 21 people used our testing services, and many more just came to us to talk about their drug use and receive harm reduction counseling.
We're grateful to this crew! Left to right: Paul Harkin, Amber Taylor, Bill Buehlman and Jason Norelli. #rainorshine #harmreduction #healthcareisahumanright #gettested #healthcareforall GLIDE Church invites you to stand up for smart, sensible gun control laws at the San Francisco March For Our Lives Rally on Saturday, March 24!
WHO: GLIDE Church. And YOU!
WHAT: SF March For Our Lives
WHERE: We will meet at GLIDE at noon and then walk over to Civic Center Plaza together as a group.
WHY: Our children should not have to live in fear of gun violence AT ALL, much less at school. Our teachers should not have to add "taking a bullet" to their job descriptions. We raise our voices in solidarity and demand a safer, more peaceful future for our children, our teachers and our country.
WHEN: Saturday, March 24. The rally starts at 1:00 pm, but we will meet at GLIDE at noon!
Additionally, we will make posters for the rally THIS SUNDAY on March 18 after the 11:00 am Celebration.
If you have any questions, please contact our beloved Rev. Angela Brown at
#ENOUGH #Guncontrol #gunsense #safeschools #parkland #columbine #LasVegas #marchforourlives  @womensmarch @womensmarchbayarea @momsdemand @gabbygiffords @100daysaction @bayresistance @glidefycc @kaye_foster @everytown On Wednesday, the children & teachers from GLIDE's Family, Youth & Childcare Center (FYCC) joined thousands of other students across the nation in the #NationalSchoolWalkout. Our FYCC teachers stress the importance of being community-minded thinkers and global citizens. Demanding #GunControlNow and safety in our schools is an important lesson for our kids, as well as a compassionate and powerful act of solidarity with the #Parklandhighschool students & all victims of school shootings.
Gun control is also a crucial advocacy issue for GLIDE — fighting for our children's education, well-being and their very lives is a direct application of our values and one of the most meaningful efforts to get involved in today.

Much love and support to FYCC and to all the young people across the country who raised their fists in defiance, resistance and mourning. We are with you.
@glidefycc @bayresistance @momsdemand @cityhallsf @100daysaction #keepchildrensafe #safeschools #banassaultweapons #forthekids #ENOUGH #rainorshine

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