Daniela Paez was elected to the Stella Maris, Inc. board of directors in June of 2017, and is excited to be a part of the organization’s efforts to respond to the growing regional problem of addiction. Stella Maris’ mission is to provide quality chemical dependency treatment and mental health services to the Cleveland community regardless of race, sex, religion or ability to pay. Stella Maris strives to make services available to all those seeking treatment based on presenting need and available treatment capacity, and works with other community resources to improve the availability of appropriate services for the treatment of alcoholism and other addictions.
Stella Maris opened its doors on November 16, 1948. Fr. Otis Winchester, a young priest at the neighboring St. Malachi’s Church, and seven members of a relatively new organization, Alcoholic Anonymous, recognized the need for a facility to house alcoholic men through the process of recovery. Stella Maris, founded to help the “poorest of the poor,” was the first independent rehabilitation center and halfway house services in Cuyahoga County to provide detoxification services to the alcohol and drug addicted. Over the past sixty-three years, Stella Maris’ facility and programs have grown, without losing sight of Stella Maris’ mission and commitment to serving the truly needy in our community. Currently, Stella Maris’ board, staff, partners, alumni and volunteers are working hard to address the challenges of responding to the worsening opioid epidemic and corresponding greater demand for Stella Maris’ services, while maintaining Stella Maris’ high quality of care.