ABCCM Costello House

Mission Statement:

The mission of ABCCM-Costello House is to restore men to their family of faith, a work family, a civic/recovery family and a healthy family and home of their own.

The Costello House is a generous gift from the Costello Family Foundation. Its purpose, stated above, is to bring hope and share the gospel of Jesus Christ to homeless men and those suffering from addictions in the Asheville community. 

Our Christ centered “Celebrate Recovery Program” provides direction for men to guide them to learn new life skills and change old life habits. ABCCM Costello House will focus on the Celebrate Recovery program in conjuction with daily life skills classes, job skills training, and mental health counseling .

ABCCM-Costello House needs churches to come together again, as they have so many times, to solve an urgent need in our community. Please consider the following needs:

Current Volunteer Needs

3:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Our volunteers would be helping at the front desk greeting people as they enter, helping check clients in, helping in our laundry room as we wash linens and their laundry; helping serve dinner, and other general needs.

6 am to 10 am – Our volunteers would be helping get the breakfast food set out as a to-go meal, wiping down areas, washing/folding linens, and getting the house reset for the next time we use it.

Sign up for a week to care for the homeless as they did for Room in the Inn.

Be a volunteer on one of 3 shifts A,B or C: A) Shelter volunteers from 6-9pm & food: B) evening meal 5-7pm and C) morning from 7 to 9am

Be there for the 7 days and receive training from qualified ABCCM staff on serving the homeless.

Be a Day Shelter volunteer: two shifts from 9am-12:30 or 12:30-4:30.

Help with classes, activities, connect residents with community resources.

Provide financial support to pay for overnight staff; Peer Leaders; Case Manager.

Recommended giving level: $2000/month, or whatever additional giving that a congregation can give to Costello House – Open Door Shelter.

ABCCM needs 52 churches or a combination of partnering churches to cover each week of the year.

Food is supplied by a Cook Team or donated. ABCCM will provide meals out of the VRQ kitchen unless a Cook Team provides meal or food donated is adequate to prepare on site.

Supplies: toiletries, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies are essential. Purchasing these is expensive, so donations of any size is helpful, but we also need funds to buy in bulk to stretch dollars further.

Linens will need to be replaced periodically as well as a good supply of blankets.

Orientation and training will be provided as all volunteers join us with opportunities to increase skills and impact in the lives of our guests.

Thank you everyone for working together to care for these men in recovery & unhoused men on the code purple nights. Together we can keep everyone safe and from freezing on our streets. Please keep those prayers going Please go to the ABCCM.ORG website and learn more about all the ABCCM programs.

Pray Hard, look up, Jesus is Coming
Michael & Lisa Costello

A Story of Hope

After finishing my last paid work assignment with Seniors Helping Seniors, I was recovering from a car and bus accident. My pain took me back to the hospital and the rehabilitation. I had lived with a client for 2 1/2 years until his health deteriorated to the point of hospitalization, so now I faced the stark reality of finding a new place to live while planning for some much needed surgeries. First I looked at roommates and housemates, but the matches were not right for me. Then I began to search and apply through Homeward Bound for low-income housing.

One day walking around downtown, I met Blake who told me about a new overnight shelter nearby. Without an exact address and walking 2 miles and almost hours carrying heavy bags I stopped and asked a man who told me it is just four houses away.

When I arrived at Costello House on March 14th it was operating as a Code Purple shelter. We could stay inside all day or leave and come back that evening. I was warmly welcomed by the friendly staff and volunteers who showed me to my room.

I knew it would be an adventure so I looked forward to making the best of it. The first 60 days were difficult to say the least. In spite of it all, the beds were comfortable especially with the padded cots. Hearty meals were served by smiling staff and volunteers.

Through much Bible study, prayer and perseverance, I prevailed through many restless nights until June 1st when I was officially accepted into the Recovery Living Program. Now I was given a permanent bed, what a relief! My heart keeps rejoicing at God’s provisions.

Since June 1st I’ve gained kind friendships by working together, attending Bible studies, Life Skills classes and Celebrate Recovery. Best of all, my gracious case manager, Kris Rathbone, always finds time to hear my stories and share my photos.

-Christian Boehm, Age 73


When I called Pat Leahy, pastor of Asheville Bible Church, he was sitting in his parking lot waiting on a guy I will call Jason. Jason is a resident of ABCCM Recovery Living Ministry at Costello House, a clinical rehabilitation ministry. Recently, Jason started attending Asheville Bible Church with a couple of his friends from Costello House. Pastor Pat was thrilled that they were attending and had started bringing their families! He was even more excited to be sitting in the parking lot getting ready to spend some time with Jason.

At a previous encounter, Jason had mentioned that he and another one of the guys at Costello House were diabetic and it was hard to find healthy food because so much of it is donated and often not healthy for diabetics. So Pastor Pat took him to an organic grocery store and treated him to the hot bar. As Jason ate, Pastor Leahy approached the manager and asked if they knew of Costello House and the manager said they did. The pastor asked the store to help Jason and his friend. The manager committed to a gift card, each week, for both men, so they could buy the food they needed.

Food is also donated regularly by another member of Asheville Bible Church travels to various locations to put together a weekly food delivery to Costello House. So many other members are just great at loving people which makes for the CH residents to feel welcome and accepted. Pastor Pat is so proud of how well members have made so many efforts to minister to the men at the Costello House.

On Saturday, Pastor Pat sent pictures of a Pancake Breakfast at the church that was organized by a member who is a retired Army Colonel. Several other members organized some table activities that included giving gifts to the participants. Another member who is training for ministry gave an excellent gospel presentation to all of the men. The church hosted 30 residents and staff members from Costello House that came for the pancake breakfast. Pastor Pat is invigorated by this new  opportunity to preach the gospel and show the love of Jesus to men who just need a second chance. A couple of the men are growing in their understanding of Scripture and flourishing in their walk with God. It is our continued privilege and joy to minister in various ways to the men at Costello House.

ABCCM is a ministry of the 300+ member churches in Buncombe County. We are proud to minister alongside of people like Pastor Pat Leahy and Asheville Bible Church.

—Reverend Nick Honerkamp, Church Development Director

Recovery Living Ministry at Costello House

A testimony from Don, a resident at Costello House

Stay in the Lane and Keep Up the Good Work

In 2010 December the 26th a Sunday, I stopped using and drinking with the help of treatment and other helpful resources. I stayed clean and sober for 9 years. During this period of my clean time I became a peer support specialist but when COVID-19 hit in 2019 I relapsed. During the time that I was clean I acquired a beautiful family. A beautiful daughter named June and her amazing mother that was very supportive in all areas. Then COVID-19 hit and during that time the town was on a curfew, I wasn’t able to attend meetings and I also didn’t have a plan B. To make it short, I relapsed in 2020 and I ended up being homeless due to my actions of using around the home.

I put my daughter and her mom in harm’s way. My drug use continued over the next couple of years. Stopping for a month or two and then the use continued. I was broken mentally and spiritually. I was just lost. I let my daughter down, but mostly I let myself down. I ended up getting help and moved into a recovery house where individuals were still using, which wasn’t good for me and I ended up doing the same things. I so wanted to live a normal life and enjoy life without the use of drugs. But I was missing the whole picture about how to do so. I ended up in Copestone in 2022 due to myself. Tired of living the life I was living. I wanted to live because I had a daughter, but I was defeated.

I remember I called my aunt and she was having a conversation with me, she was encouraging me. She told me God had a plan for me and didn’t want to give up on me. After our conversation I was going through a treatment list and saw the Costello House- a treatment center for men. This was August 7th that I called and I was interviewed. I told the staff about the process of my life from the clean time I had to where I ended up in a psych ward. They heard my story, heard my cry and heard my determination. I was accepted to the Costello House on August 9th, 2022.

God leads you in the right direction when you pray and have faith. I wanted better for myself and needed direction. I’m so blessed and grateful for the Costello House and staff. Since being here at the Costello House for now over 6 months I have hope and I have peace. I’m happy on the inside. I have confidence now. My mental health is stable, I’m able to do recovery meetings, bible studies and I’m able to talk about my problems. The Costello House and the staff are such amazing, godly people. I’m able to have conversations with each one that is part of the program. The program has taught me to be responsible and has also taught me to be in tune with my feelings. How to express myself in a positive way and to live life on life’s terms. Since being here I’ve learned accountability, structure and mostly learning my faith. I have always believed in God but since being here I have learned through bible studies to learn and understand the process of the bible. It has taught me how to be a better father and is helping restore my family. I have continued to learn how to be a man and to be responsible.

Recovery Living Ministry at Costello House

A testimony from Kevin Ledford

My name is Kevin Ledford. I’m 43 years old and grew up in the Asheville area. Before an injury on the job, back in 2005, I had never been interested in drinking or using drugs. The doctor prescribed pain killers and from the first pill, my life would never be the same. When the prescriptions were abruptly cut off, I found myself looking for relief in street drugs. When I finally got clean, I thought I had addiction beat. I married and we had two beautiful children.

Then in February of 2022, I lost my youngest brother to a very tragic suicide. I relapsed the night of his funeral and spent the next six months on a suicide mission of my own. My marriage of 18 years ended, ultimately because of my addiction, and my relationship with my children became rocky. Finally, in August of that year, on the brink of losing my life, I checked myself into the hospital. On the morning I was to be discharged and back on the street, a janitor there happened to tell me about a place called the Costello House. With no other options but homelessness and more of the same, I started calling. Within two days, I had a place there and unlike other programs, Costello House would support me in my maintenance at the methadone clinic. For the first thirty days, staff took me there and back every day. I’m happy to say that now I go only once a week, and that is because I’ve had the support and structure to do what I’m supposed to do!

Before I found Costello House, I thought I’d tried every way there was to stay clean.  I had never had faith before, not in anything. Now I was around men of faith and exposed to classes and community that focused on the grace of God and a truly new way to live. In our weekly Bible study, I found a mentor that I truly believe God put in my path. He has been so instrumental in helping me get on my feet again, hiring me to work on his properties and finding a vehicle I could afford. Now I’m nine months clean and I’m a carpenter again. I’ve repaired relationships with my family and I’m in the best headspace I’ve ever been. My life is going in the right direction, and I feel forever grateful to the Costello House and the people I’ve met there.

Recovery Living Ministry at Costello House

At Recovery Living Ministry, volunteers are committed to providing men with a Christian principled safe place to heal, develop life skills including recovery living strategies, good education and living wage jobs that lead to a permanent home. The Costello House campus offers a model of intentional community that brings transformation through spiritual formation with best practices in healthy emotional and recovery processes.

A testimony from Justin Breedlove

I grew up in Canton, NC. I have a brother that is seven years older and we witnessed a lot of arguments and altercations between our parents growing up. They got divorced when I was in third grade. My brother and I lived with my mom, which was a struggle for my mom, being alone and raising two boys. She made sure we didn’t go without and pushed us academically, but she couldn’t be around as much. My brother became my sort of role model, but after a couple of years he moved in with my dad which caused some resentment for a while.

At this point, I just didn’t have a lot of guidance at home and I felt like the only attention I got was when I acted out in school. My dad would take me to baseball games and practice because I was excelling in that area, but I was still raising myself to an extent. I never really learned how to express my emotions and it seemed like I was just angry all the time.

When I was around 14 or 15, my mom was in a car accident and prescribed pain medication. I knew from the kids I was around that you could get high on that, and I started stealing her pills and cigarettes. I would go to my friend’s house on the weekends and we would take pills, smoke weed and drink. We thought we were cool, and the older kids accepted us. When my mom realized what was happening, she took everything out of the house and hasn’t smoked or anything else since. So I moved in with my dad who had remarried, and I now had four stepsisters to compete with for attention. We fought, I kept smoking and drinking every chance I got, but it seemed like the only attention I got was in sports. Then I was injured, and I lost that form of attention, and of course, after surgery, I had more pain pills at my disposal. I loved the feeling they gave me.

I was now getting kicked out of schools, getting arrested for drugs and got my second DUI on my eighteenth birthday. Shortly after, I moved to Orlando with my best friend and we did everything we could get our hands on every single day. Still, I didn’t realize it was a real problem for me. I moved back to NC to go to college but predictably, I dropped out and started selling drugs to pay for my habit. My friend came back to NC to visit, and the night before he would return to Orlando, he overdosed. This was three days before his twenty-first birthday. I found him the next morning dead on the couch. I became extremely depressed and tried to take my own life, with drugs and other things.

Still struggling to pay for my habit, I found a legitimate job that led to more poor decisions and I got locked up again. From there, I was sent to my first detox and rehab, which I visited three times in a six month period. I kept thinking I could smoke weed and do other things as long as I stayed away from my DOC (drug of choice). I violated my probation, got more drug charges and was sent to federal prison at 27. I got high the whole time I was there and found my “new best friend,” fentanyl, when I was released. I continued using and getting arrested more frequently. At 30, I had a seizure and ended up in the hospital. I was told I had a brain tumor and of course was prescribed pain pills yet again, and even more after surgery. I continued using fentanyl and my seizures got worse. I overdosed four or five times in a four to six month period.

Still, I kept using. I went to rehab twice to avoid prison but would use again as soon as I was in the parking lot of the place! I ended up back in prison again. The first week I was there, the chaplain gave me a Bible, asked me to read and then talk with her on Sunday. While I questioned everything about it, she had answers, she prayed with me and showed me something I had been missing all along…God. I continued reading, going to meetings and staying sober while I was there. I stated seeing a significant change in my view of life and of myself. I finally had hope.

I was lucky enough to hear about the Costello House and came straight here the day I was released. Being here has continued to open my eyes to what I had been doing to myself, why I had done these things, and that I now had every opportunity to build a better life. The structure, guidance and patience they have shown me has been truly amazing. I now go to school part-time, work part-time and have the safe place I need to continue growing. I’m working on my goals and becoming a better me. I have been clean since January 21, 2023 and I could never have done this without God and the support from the Costello House.

My name is Daylon Hooper

I’m 31 years old and a recovering addict. I grew up with mostly just a mother figure in my life who worked and did what she needed to do to support my sister and me. My father stayed in prison most of my life and any memory I have of him is nothing you would want to remember. According to my mother, my father was an addict who started using drugs at the age of 15. He has spent a total of 17 years of my 30 year life in prison. When I was in 4th grade at West Buncombe Elementary, they wanted to skip me to the 6th grade. My mother decided not to let that happen. I sometimes wonder if that had happened if my life would have been any different. But to be completely honest I am glad that I have experienced everything I have because I feel like it has made me the person I am today and also makes me super grateful for the little things in life.

I do know that most of my life my mother smoked marijuana, but she was still responsible and a hard-working wonderful mother. I would say that is probably why my drug use started at an early age. A lot of times I would get out of school and go home to an unsupervised house for us to pretty much do whatever we wanted, only because my mother was working late hours to support us. About 6th grade is when I tried marijuana. My best friend and I got into my mother’s stash, and from then on it became pretty much continuous. Around 16, one of my friends called and asked if he could borrow my bike to ride across town. When he got back he wanted to smoke with me, and I said sure. Come to find out he had methamphetamine, and I tried it. Within 2 weeks I was skipping school and breaking into houses. I continued using meth and around 17 about to be 18 I started doing it through IV. From this point on I do not really remember much of my life except that I became super paranoid and thought even my best friends were against me.

During the next 10 years I stayed in the worst cycle of drugs, prison and addiction-related behavior. That led to countless trips to jail, a total of 5 trips to prison, the label of convicted felon and broken hearts of the ones close to me. In 2019 I landed myself in the Haywood County jail where I was very well known, basically as a career criminal. I was there a little over a month before transferring to Jackson County jail for a charge there. The best way to describe the things and feelings that happened during that short duration is definitely the presence of God speaking directly to me. Here are a few of the many things that happened: I had a roommate that only had a 30-day sentence and it was almost like he was trying to hold me down and smother me with the presence of God. I enjoy drawing, so you put the two of us together and we ended up with a drawing of a giant cross on our wall reading Psalms 23:2. This was the most significant verse from the Bible for me during that time. That’s exactly what Jesus was doing for me at that time, restoring me and allowing me to get plentiful rest, plentiful nourishment and He was leading me to green pastures.

The sheriff came in to do rounds, and I could hear him telling almost every room to “get that writing off the wall,” “get that drawing off the wall!” I knew for sure he was about to say the same words to my cellmate and me. I saw his face appear at the window, look into our room, not say anything and move on to the next room. It may seem silly, but you would just have to have been in my shoes at the time to truly understand. I knew right then that everything I had experienced during that stay was the Father trying to get through to me. Like I said, that was one little thing compared to the many I experienced that jail visit. That’s when I knew that I needed to give my life over to Jesus Christ, and so I did.

The night I got arrested before I became closer to the Father is the last time I used a needle. After being released from jail, I was staying with my grandma and my sister offered to come get me and let me live with her in Weaverville. She said she would help me get a job where she was working with a vacation rental company. My sister said she came and got me to help get me out of addiction, but when I moved in she actually gave me drugs daily. While staying with her and working, I started talking to a girl who is now my fiancée and child’s mother. She actually ended up moving in with me at my sister’s house. When I returned her late to her mother’s house one night, her mother kicked her out because we were on drugs. A couple of months went by until we got tired of how my sister was treating us and some of the things she was doing. We managed to get our own trailer in Leicester, which was great because we are both from Haywood County and were excited to get away from all the people we used drugs with over there. We were trying to live a good, clean life. For about a year we did just that. We enjoyed our place and worked to keep what we had going. We were still dabbling here and there with meth. We were both prescribed suboxone, and I would say for the most part it was helping. That’s when we started to get bored, which is hard to admit but honest. We were doing the same thing every day, working, cooking dinner and watching tv. We had our own place, we each had a car and between the two of us we were making right at 1,400 a week. Now I understand that’s actually a good life. We prayed to have a baby and tried for several months, then came to the conclusion that we couldn’t.

After that I tried fentanyl for the first time. This is when I truly became the definition of an addict and became addicted far worse than with meth. The withdrawals were like having the flu times 20. To this day I get excited knowing that I don’t have to feel like that or wake up and worry about how I’m going to get drugs ever again. Bam, the next thing I knew we found out she was pregnant right in the middle of fentanyl and we could not get off of it. Instead of reaching out for help, we tried acting like everything was normal. We were addicted to fentanyl and somehow managed to get it every day for two years. In December of 2022, we were expecting a baby in a month and receiving an eviction notice at the same time. December 27, 2022 my baby boy “Asher” was born and tested positive for fentanyl, methamphetamine, and marijuana. We were addicted so bad that we were in the hospital bathroom consuming drugs after the birth. When I think about this situation I start tearing up with tears of sadness that turn into tears of joy because it doesn’t have to be like that anymore. My son was born with a genetic disease called Hirschsprung’s Disease. This is when there are missing nerve cells in the muscles of part or all of the large intestine. I truly believe this was the work of the Lord to give us time to get ourselves together for him. Honestly though, his birth wasn’t enough at the time to make us snap out of the fentanyl-induced smog that we were living in.

It took my other half’s mother showing up at our house unannounced and driving her to A.D.A.C.T. I rode with them, then her mother dropped me back off at our house and said “The best thing you could do now is get in your truck and go get treatment yourself.” That DID NOT happen. About a week went by and it literally took the same for me, my mother and sister showing up at my house unannounced, calling mobile crisis and packing my things in their vehicles at the same time as the eviction. I completed a week at Neil Dobbins and was released to my mother’s house. I had done a puny week of detox and thought I was ready to take on the world. I lasted about two weeks at my mother’s and then took off and relapsed. I went right back to living my old ways and wasting my life for the next month.

Throughout this time my son was in the NICU at Mission. I knew he was in good hands. My other half, after completing detox, was accepted into the Mary Benson House. That month without my girl or my son was what it took to realize I didn’t want to live like that any longer. The beginning of it started with me saying I’m going to go get high and party without my girl and see how much fun I can have. That was the most depressing month ever. I periodically talked with her and the whole time she was trying to talk sense into me. I finally submitted and let her and my mother take me to detox. My girl was able to get herself situated and on the right track so that when my son was released from NICU he was able to go straight her.

Again, that is why I think our baby being born with that curable disease was God’s work. This time I went to A.D.A.C.T and knew I needed to participate in the rehab side of the program as well. At the house my girl got into there was another girl there that had a boyfriend in the “Costello House.” So from the time I checked into detox, I immediately mentioned it and started trying to get to Costello. I honestly didn’t know much about it, but I knew it was close to her and our baby, and I knew it was a faith-based program.

April 19, 2023 I checked into the Costello House. Not going to lie, the first few weeks were rough and honestly I was questioning my success with the program. I have been here now for almost 8 months and it was probably the best place I could have found. At the beginning of this journey I would have never guessed I would be in the position that I currently am. I have been able to successfully participate and complete S.T.A.R.T (sobriety treatment and recovery team) with D.S.S, I.O.P (intensive outpatient program) with October Road, currently in Early Recovery at October Road, and currently 2 weeks away from finishing my first semester at AB-Tech pursuing an Associate’s Degree in welding. For about 3 months I have also had the honor of taking my son to daycare every day, watching him by myself every other weekend, and I was able to be present at his surgery. This is the longest I have ever been sober aside from incarceration. Costello House has given me a safe space and knowledge and time to do what I need to live a great life and be a great dad to my son. It is just one more way I see God working in my life. He led me to a place where there is love, encouragement and hope. We can rarely see it in our addiction, when it feels like God has abandoned us or we are not worthy, but He was there all the time, waiting for us to let him work in our hearts and lives.


Costello House

141 Hillside St.
Asheville, NC 28801

Ian Bradley, Volunteer Coordinator