Substance Abuse Recovery Residence For Women in Hickory, NC


In 1998, at the age of 34, Owen Shoup, by all outward appearances looked as though he was doing good; working seventy plus hours a week as a shipping clerk, with a small real-estate business on the side. However, on February 17, 1998 sitting at his kitchen table, he hit bottom, realizing that all the overtime he was working, along with the extra earnings from his real-estate was not enough money to support his addiction to alcohol. He made a decision to give up the high cost of low living, quit drinking, and start life a new.

Owen entered a program of recovery, applied the principles he learned. Two years later, his sister came into the program, followed by his father, at the age of seventy one. Owen says, living a sober life is not always easy, but a lot better than looking for the next drink or running to the bottle to try and solve problems. During the course of his sobriety, Mr. Shoup has had many blessings. One of which is achieving custody of his son, whom he has raised since he was six months old.  A victim of this terrible disease, Mr. Shoup stayed sober, where as, his son's mother could not.

Owen was told early on in recovery, if you put forth one tenth the effort into sobriety that you put toward your drinking, you’ll do just fine. Mr. Shoup feels that seems to be working. In his years in recovery and working with others, he listened to people talk of the high cost of staying at other recovery houses, as well as, being charged for transportation. In 2005, he saw the need for an all women's recovery house. After speaking with several people and the death of his father, a house became available for him. At first, he hesitated, but knew there was a need. He made up his mind and proceeded to seek donations to start the facility. With the help of the late Murray Tate, of the Law Firm of Anthony & Tate, the Angel of Hope organization was forged as a non-profit organization. Mr. Shoup is hopeful to someday get his hands on some of the local grants that flow through Catawba County, however, as of yet, has not received any due to the rubber stamping of other programs already established. Mr. Shoup and his staff work solely as volunteers believing in placing recovery first. However, adopting a child out of the disease of addiction he says getting a salary would be nice. The Angel of Hope organization recently opened Angel of Hope Thrift Store at 2412 North Center Street, Hickory, NC. All proceeds from the store are donated to the Angel of Hope House.

Owen laughed and stated he was now at the proverbial glass ceiling as a male. He explained the glass ceiling that most women face so frequently in the job market was now on him, being president and CEO, starting an all women’s house isn’t much different. Mr. Shoup said, “I now fully understand how gender profiling can really affect a company, as well as its mission.” Mr. Shoup has always pushed the women staff of Angel of Hope to the front seeking no fame for himself. He simply wants every one to have the best chance at what God has offered him. You can’t put a price tag on that.

Through public awareness and community support, we can do it. Mr. Shoup emphasizes, he’s not giving them a hand-out, but a hand-up. The women need to learn to be accountable and responsible, through taking action and attitude.

Since the doors of Angel of Hope have been opened, the organization has helped women to recover from their addictions through the Twelve-Step Program, gain self-esteem, employment, get their children, and go back to school. All a part of living life on life’s terms, without drinking or drugging. In the past ten years Mr. Shoup has watched all twenty-seven detox facilities closed in Hickory, NC.

It is through community support that will enable Mr. Shoup to grow and serve. There is a lot more that we can do, but we need the support of grants and the community. Mr. Shoup wants to take Angel of Hope to the next level. He won’t discuss his plans, however, he knows what is needed for Catawba County and the surrounding area, as far as substance abuse, and he, as well as his staff, are ready for the CHALLENGE.