Dr. Ronald Simmons, co-founder, and executive director of “Free N One,” a nationally recognized faith-based drug and alcohol program, is transforming the lives of individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction.
Free N One stands for “Free from drugs and alcohol, and one with Christ.” Free N One specializes in training churches and organizations to conduct successful faith-based drug and alcohol recovery programs. Simmons points out the importance of the 12 steps program, and how this vital program started in the church.
Born and raised on the streets of Los Angeles, Simmons knows that it was his praying family that covered him while he participated in gangs, sold drugs, and maintained an $800-a-day crack cocaine habit. Clean and sober for the past 41 years, he dedicates his life to being of service to others, asserting, “God could take nothing and turn it into something, just by being of service to God’s people.” And that is just what he has been doing since his own recovery.
In 1985, Simmons co-founded “Free N One” with Rev. Ron Wright and Rev. Rene Whitehead. He has been married to Yolanda Yvette Young Simmons for 37 years where she heads the Tough love Family support component of Free N One.
Dr. Ron is an author, public speaker, ordained minister, husband, father, and grandfather who is uniquely qualified to help individuals and families affected by addictions. Simmons is the author “Recovery Nuggets,” which is his fourth book about recovery. “Recovery Nuggets” is a collection of unique quotes that take recovery to the next level by challenging each reader to examine themselves and their own walk through the process of recovery.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Counseling, from Central Christian University in Lexington, North Carolina, and a Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies, and Counseling from UCLA. In 1992, Dr. Ron received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the California School of Divinity (Los Angeles, California). In 2006, he received an Honorary Doctorate degree in Theology from Next Dimension University.
Dr. Simmons is an ordained elder and a longtime member of West Angeles Church of God in Christ led by Presiding Bishop Emeritus Charles E. Blake, Sr., and Co-Pastor Charles E. Blake II. He currently oversees the Drug and Alcohol Department for West Angeles COGIC.
His past positions include serving for over 15 years, as the executive director of Transition House (T-House), a men’s rehabilitation and residential recovery program, which was the first of its kind, sponsored by the First Jurisdiction of Southern California, COGIC. Also, he served on the staff at Palms Residential Care HIV Facility, taught four years at a UCLA Extension Program and counseled dual-diagnosed incarcerated women at the Los Angeles County Century Regional Detention Facility.
Dr. Ron stated, “The main problem in working with addicts and alcoholics, is the family members. When the family members refuse to learn how to effectively help their loved ones, they often cause more harm than good.”
Simmons continued, “It’s just like the Bible says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6 KJV.