Executive Welcome

From the Desk ofOur President & CEO

I was recently at a store with my wife when a graduated client shared with enthusiasm the positive change that had taken place in her life. “I’m employed, sober, and doing so good!” Her final words to us were, “I almost forgot to tell you, after several years of battle, I have regained full custody of my children!” I was wearing some Set Free swag while driving through a coffee stand when a barista proudly told me that their dad was a graduate of Set Free and doing great! She thanked me with tears in her eyes. A man in Homer told me how his life had been transformed by the love of God and our staff. After hearing a message at a local church, he gave his life to Jesus and felt compelled to be baptized in Kachemak Bay. We have also celebrated with staff who have received certifications, master’s degrees, and promotions. Dreams coming true, hopes fulfilled, and lives transformed are the nature of our business. In 2022, business was good!

God is also in the business of changing lives! As we do our best to partner with Him, we are also being changed. His love flows through us to others, and the process is beautiful. As is the nature of life we have had our struggles, said goodbyes, and shed tears along the journey. Looking back, I am confident to declare it was all worth it! The good we have seen in people’s lives make it worthwhile. We come back every day and struggle through the challenges because they are worth it.

My heart is full of gratitude and awe in what we have accomplished together. Our board of directors has led with integrity, passion, and wisdom. Our staff have loved well and left it all on the field. Our community partners, donors, friends, and supporters have given us strength to run this race with endurance. Thank you all! You share in the fruit of these lives transformed.

Philip Licht | President & CEO

About Us


It is our goal that all Alaskans experience God’s love, lasting freedom, and abundant life.


Set Free Alaska is a Christian treatment center that uses a mind-body-spirit approach to recovery. Our multi-generational programs facilitate hope, healing, and resilience resulting in lasting change.


  • Pursue operational excellence
  • Maximize programmatic access and impact
  • Ensure long-term sustainability

Core Values

  • Bringing glory to God
  • Motivated by love
  • Walking in integrity
  • Pursuing excellence
  • Value for individuals
  • Cultivating innovation
  • Community centered

Clients Served in 2022




Intensive Outpatient / Outpatient (Mat-Su)


Intensive Outpatient / Outpatient (Homer)


Haven Children & Family


Valley Oaks Women’s Residential Treatment Center


Compass Men’s Residential Treatment Center


Peer Support


Heritage House Recovery Residence


Crisis Residential & Stabilization


Department of Corrections


total clients served

“I’ve learned how to cope with my emotions better, instead of turning to drugs. I’ve also learned ways to recognize and prevent a relapse. I think all the services here are amazing and have definitely helped me better my life.”

-Client Quote-

Program Highlights

Haven Children & Family Services

It is our mission to provide an early intervention program that addresses the behavioral health needs of children and adolescents by treating trauma, developing healthy coping skills, and enhancing family support and engagement. Our clients can expect to be valued and receive individualized care by combining clinical therapeutic techniques with a “mind-body-spirit” approach.

Driven by the belief that early intervention services will help us break the cycle of substance abuse and mitigate mental health symptoms, our clinicians use trauma informed practices and a variety of evidenced based treatment modalities. This last year we have added Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) to assist children in deeply processing experienced trauma, Facilitating Attuned Interactions (FAN) to support parental reunification with their children, and Strengthening Families to assist families in building healthier relationships. We have implemented the Drug Endangered Children (DEC) initiative to assist children and their families who have been affected by substance use.

In April 2022, Set Free Alaska signed A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 12 other disciplines to be the first Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) in Alaska to create and implement a coordinated response to children and families affected by substance abuse disorders. The mission of the Mat-Su Valley Drug Endangered Children MDT is to develop a collaboration among referral agencies that adequately addresses the needs of Drug Endangered Children (DEC, or “deck”) and their parents/caregivers. The role of the MDT is to coordinate systems interventions and to create a systematic response to children and families affected by substance misuse that reduces potential trauma while simultaneously preserving each agency’s ability to pursue its individual mandates. To date this pilot project has impacted 10 families in the Mat-Su Valley by bringing children in danger to safety.

By implementing groups for Christmas break and Spring break, with the purpose of promoting skill building, we have seen improvement in clients’ abilities to interact in social areas and to self-regulate. In addition to this, Haven was able to bless the entire program with gifts at Christmas time from private donations.

In effort to continue serving our families with excellence, our Clinicians continue to obtain licensure and higher certifications. Our Children and Family services program currently serves 80 clients and their families and in the last year we have been a part of 3 reunifications of children with their parents.

Compass Men’s Residential

Compass, Men’s Residential Program in Homer has continued to see the lives of many men completely transformed. Men often come to the facility broken, jaded, and shamed from their past life experiences and become immersed into a non-judgmental culture of love and logic that promotes hope, healing, and resilience, resulting in lasting change.

With their self-worth restored, they leave Compass as husbands and fathers; equipped with the essential skills that increase their quality of life. Their renewed sense of value enables them to be productive members in their local communities and fuels their desire to give back in areas that have supported them on their journey of recovery.

While at Compass the guys join efforts with the community by serving at the weekly local food pantry on Mondays. They also contribute to special events like the Homer Community Connect, where they help facilitate set up and make baked goods to distribute to the homeless in the Homer area. This Thanksgiving they helped make holiday boxes that were distributed through Share the Spirit.

It is rewarding to see graduates participate in our Alumni Program and come back to serve as an inspiration to those who are just beginning such a journey. As they champion the faint of heart, they carry a genuine power of influence that’s impact cannot be produced by any other means. Their lived experience of fighting a battle and overcoming the grip of addiction in their own lives is their motivation! They now possess the keys to freedom that can help set other captives of addiction free, bringing hope of a healthier future to all Alaskans.

Valley Oaks Women’s Residential

We have much to be thankful for at Valley Oaks! During the last year Valley Oaks has been a refuge for 49 women to begin their journey of healing. Some of those clients were already in the process of reunification with their children, and there were an additional six child reunifications that happened after clients arrived at Valley Oaks.

One mom experienced her very first sober pregnancy and delivery of a healthy baby while at Valley Oaks. There is hope…recovery is real!

We love to celebrate at Valley Oaks!! Birthdays… celebrate! Sobriety milestones… celebrate! Holidays… celebrate! Clients are celebrated on special days, many of whom remark that they have never had a special birthday celebration before coming to Valley Oaks. They enjoy a special meal and cake of their choice prepared by our amazing kitchen coordinator, Ms. Joan, who catered for years and has made appearances on notable Food Network shows prior to joining the Valley Oaks team.

Speaking of celebrations, residents were absolutely spoiled on Christmas. Not only did we bless our residents and children with gifts, but they also enjoyed a world-class meal and began to develop their own new healthy family traditions.

We are so incredibly blessed! We have an amazing group of volunteers who teach Bible Studies, provide free haircuts, and serve as one-on-mentors to our residents. We have a need for many more volunteers to help our ladies experience healthy, connected relationships with those in our community. Please reach out if you are interested in being part of this amazing ministry opportunity!

Our therapy dog Clover has brought much joy as her fun, goofy personality, and calm serene presence in times of stress truly enriches the lives of the women here.

Lives are being transformed! We have enjoyed many successful graduations, with clients going on to complete outpatient treatment, reunify with their families, and find stable, fulfilling careers while others entered college or trade schools to help them achieve their dreams. Our graduates are productive, valued members of our community who give back to others, and experience success after success.

To God be the glory… great things He has done!!

Heritage House Recovery Residence

Heritage House has been a safe haven for those seeking the opportunity to build a healthy foundation of recovery while regaining independence and self-sufficiency in their life. This program has provided stable and sober housing for individuals engaged in Set Free’s Outpatient program since it’s inception in April of 2021. In 2022, the program served a total of 46 clients many of which transitioned directly from incarceration or residential treatment.

The focus of Heritage House is to not only assist individuals in breaking free from the chains of addiction, but to take a client centered approach to recovery through peer support, intensive case management services, and volunteer work. In conjunction with Outpatient treatment services, these areas of focus have offered our client’s the ability to achieve milestones such as full-time employment, reinstatement of driver’s licenses, regaining custody of their children, and finding long-term independent living.

One of our greatest accomplishments in 2022 was housing our first family at the Heritage House in December. During this time, we have allotted two cottages for the housing clients and their children. Our goal for the future is to continue to expand our capacities for families to better serve our clients and sow into the reunification of families in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.

With the launch of Set Free’s Crisis Residential Services in December 2022, Heritage House is now equipped to expand its capacity from 18 beds to 23 beds in the year 2023, helping us to further meet the needs of our community.

Crisis Residential Stabilization

We have recently launched our new Crisis Residential Stabilization Services. Within a safe home-like environment of 24/7 monitored care we are now providing medically necessary behavioral health services to individuals in direct response to a crisis. These services are limited in scope and duration. The crisis hotline number is open and available for calls anytime, 907-521-5239. Crisis services are offered at our Christopher Walden House of Hope property on Trunk Road in Palmer.

As they are assessed, clients receive support for medical and psychiatric evaluations, nursing services, case management and peer support. Additionally, treatment plans and referral services are offered for their next phase of recovery. In the first month of services, Crisis Residential served 16 clients, 13 of which were successfully stabilized. This program is the first of its kind in the state of Alaska and in this very short period has proven to be a need within our community.

Outpatient Treatment

2022 continued to bless both the Mat-Su and Homer Outpatient programs. Mat-Su Outpatient added a new group, called S.A.F.E., with a focus on domestic violence prevention. Peer support services and case management have also been incorporated into both Mat-Su and Homer programs, with Homer being provided telehealth options to connect. The Mat-Su Outpatient program has seen an increase in referrals from the community therapeutic court programs and continues to work closely to provide full wrap around services to those clients involved.

Our DOC Community Intensive Outpatient Program continued to see a steady flow of clients and subsequent successful graduations. Our staff has been trained to begin the Community Outpatient Program as a step down in level of care from the Community Intensive Outpatient Program and will begin in 2023.

Outpatient treatment providers worked diligently throughout the year on continuing education goals, completing several training hours focusing on early childhood attachment, specialty treatment involving EMDR therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Trauma focused treatment, to name a few. Additionally, we saw another two counselors graduate with their master’s degrees in 2022.

The year also brought about amazing client success! We saw a Valley Oaks Residential Treatment graduate move successfully through our Intensive Outpatient and Outpatient Treatment programs, and complete RADACT training in pursuit of becoming a peer support specialist. We were also blessed with seeing a Wellness Court client graduate not only our Outpatient programs successfully, but also graduating the Wellness Court program successfully. This client was chosen to give his testimony at two fundraising events held by Set Free Alaska, providing hope to so many in the community.

Department of Corrections RSAT

Set Free Alaska has now been providing RSAT, Residential Substance Abuse Treatment, level 3.5 High-Intensity programming within Palmer Correctional Center for 10 months. During that time, we have served 59 inmates, resulting in 31 successful graduations! Several of them have been released from custody to community supervision and returned to their families with new insight to their criminal and addictive patterns.

The development of the therapeutic community within the treatment house in PCC has been established and grows mostly from the consistent efforts of our clients. Their desire to better their own living environment, daily habits, and offer each other mentorship, accountability, and peer support has turned rival gang members into brothers and friends.

Men have been willing to be vulnerable in group therapy settings and this has forged trust with one another in ways that previously was unimaginable. As a result, they have been able to address their trauma, substance abuse, and criminality which enables them to face their personal decisions and actions that led them to prison.

Many of our clients will not be released from custody soon after participating in RSAT, and some may serve another 5-30 years in prison. Substance abuse by the incarcerated population is an ever-present problem, and the decision must be made by everyone to choose freedom from their addiction despite their current environment and the unique challenges it presents. Working in the prison has shown us the true definition of freedom from addiction lies within each person and is not defined by their status as an inmate or member of our community.

Our desire is that upon completion of the RSAT program and future release from prison, these men will return to their families and society completely restored, transformed, and thriving in every area of their lives. We believe that our recent graduates are the first fruits of a reformation of the criminal justice system and that hope, healing and resilience is possible for those currently in incarceration.


Set Free Alaska is partnering with the Palmer Wellness Court in a collaborative effort to bring intensive substance treatment and community supervision to support participants’ abstinence and recovery. Our partnership helps felony defendants who want to overcome a serious addiction. And we are doing just that right now!

There are not enough words to describe it…I thank Set Free every day for this. Without this opportunity I would probably not be here.
John Ahearn | Set Free Alaska Graduate

Set Free Alaska and Christopher Walden House of Hope have joined together with a successful therapeutic program that brings freedom from addiction and hope for each client’s future. Saving lives is both of our missions. It has been Set Free’s honor and inspiration to work alongside in this successful venture toward recovery for our local communities.

Recovery doesn’t happen in 30 days. The opportunity has got to be there for people to stay or go back…but it has to be long-term.
Dar Walden | CWHOH President

Human Resources

From the Desk ofOur HR Officer

Looking back at 2022, I am once again amazed with the team we have working at Set Free. Amid labor shortages and other workforce challenges we have been able to develop our staff, improve existing programs and simultaneously launch new ones.

How are we able to consistently do this? By hiring the best and getting out of their way! We have seen many team members promoted into new leadership roles and thriving in them as if they had been there all along.

This year our teams completed over 2,000 hours of in-house training, not counting the continuing education and external training courses that furthered their development as experts in their individual fields.

We had three team members complete the Triple Impact Leadership Development course, nine team members achieve their Chemical Dependency Counselor I (CDC I) Certification, and three team members achieve their CDC II. Additionally, one team member achieved their CDC-S, one team member received their Peer Support Professional I (PSP I) certification, and three team members completed their Master of Counseling. We hire passion and train skill with excellence so that our clients receive the highest levels of care!

These are just a few of the major accomplishments by our staff in 2022. We are consistently inspired by their passion to serve those in need and their desire to create a healthy future for our Alaskan families!

Carl Dulinsky | HR Officer

Carl Dulinsky

Board of Directors

Jeremy Creech headshot

Board Chair

Jeremy Creech

Gregory Heath headshot

Vice Chair

Hon. Gregory Heath

Joshua & Elizabeth Garvey headshot


Elizabeth Garvey

Treasurer | Secretary

Joshua Garvey

Ryan Ray headshot


Dr. Ryan Ray

Tom Stein headshot

Director Emeritus

Tom Stein

Linda Hendrickson headshot


Linda Hendrickson

Einar & Krista Gonder headshot


Krista Gonder


Einar Gonder

Rachelle Creech headshot


Rachelle Creech

Derek Alley headshot


Derek Alley

From the Desk ofOur Board Chair

In reflecting on Set Free Alaska’s 2022, I find myself in awe at the power of partnership and purpose. It has been a delight to witness the ongoing collaboration and generosity that Set Free Alaska enjoys with the Alaskan community. By your support, Set Free Alaska has become among the best treatment centers because of its comprehensive, faith-centered, evidence-based, and holistic approach to addiction recovery.

In fact, because of the successes made possible through the faithful stewardship of the resources offered by this community, Set Free Alaska is experiencing recognition as a thought leader on a global scale in substance abuse treatment and recidivism reduction.

As someone who is passionate about Alaska’s prosperity, Set Free Alaska represents one of the greatest investment opportunities with a focus on Alaska’s greatest natural resource… the incredible worth and value of its people.

I am quite excited for the future; I feel things are just getting started!

Jeremy Creech | Board Chair


2022 Revenues

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2022 Expenses

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Our Vision for 2023

Looking back at the past

Imagine with me what it would look like if “all Alaskans experience God’s love, lasting freedom, and abundant life.” This is our vision at Set Free Alaska. This is the dream that keeps us up at night, our purpose, the WHY we exist. We accomplish this by running a treatment center that uses a mind-body-spirit approach to recovery. We facilitate hope, healing, and resilience resulting in lasting change. As I dream about our future, this is what I long for. A state where the hurt, pain, and impact of substance misuse and mental health problems are overcome. A place where people are loved, valued, and safe at their biggest time of need. A people coming together to stand with others helping them find new hope for their future.

What will this practically look like in 2023? Here are a few examples of what we are building this year to that end. We just launched a crisis residential center with eight beds at our Mat-Su location. This program will provide a safe and sober place for people to receive stabilization services. Whether it be from incarceration, the streets, or an unstable home, community members will have a place to land while receiving support towards their next step. We have also expanded our recovery residence beds to better serve the growing demand. This long-term program supports individuals as they seek employment, build healthy connections, and walk out their newfound freedom.

To succeed in the future

A powerful client testimony shared with Senator Murkowski led to her support in securing $5,000,000 in federal grant funds for Set Free. This money will be used to expand facilities and capacity supporting our recidivism, reduction, and recovery campus model. We are also excited and privileged to present this new model at the European Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health.

In addition to these exciting opportunities, we will continue to love and serve our clients and communities. Working together with our partners to ensure that people have the approptriate help in their time of need. Thank you so much for your belief, prayers, and partnership. We look forward to continued growth, expansion, and lives transformed!

Philip Licht | President & CEO