Why He’s Interesting: Creating a haven for an oft-marginalized population, Correa is the founder of B. Riley Sober House — one of only two sober living facilities in the country catering specifically to the LGBTQ community.
Small Fires: The spark for B. Riley lit from interactions Correa witnessed when he was in recovery for substance abuse. A transgender woman, still in transition, was told she needed to dress as a man. Eventually, the woman left treatment and relapsed. “She couldn’t be her authentic self, and I watched her regress. It was on my heart to open up something like this.”
Maternal Mark: The name B. Riley is a testament to Correa’s mother, Bridget Riley, who struggled for years with heroin addiction. She eventually got sober and rebuilt her life. But she’d contracted HIV during her battle with addiction and died from complications with AIDS in 2012. “As a way to honor my mother, and as a personal amends, I named it after her.”
Happy Home: B. Riley’s flagship location includes a residential program where a client might come after detox, an inpatient treatment program or a hospital or shelter. Correa wanted to be sure he included photos of happy, thriving LGBTQ families on the walls. “We want our residents to understand you can be happy in life.”
Hope Rises: Correa hosts a number of festive awareness events such as a rave complete with cookies, glow sticks and professional DJs. “Before the party, we have a 15-minute lead. An individual with working knowledge of the 12 steps comes up to share their experience, strength and hope.”
Three and Out:
What piece of advice would you give your teenage self?
It’s going to get better.
What’s your most treasured item?
My mom’s urn. She’s in the house [that’s named for her].
What’s the one thing people don’t know about you?
I am an introvert. People always think because I’m outgoing, that I don’t have social anxiety. But I’d rather just be at home or reading a book, sitting by the fire and just being with myself.
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