Georgia's House, the Signature Initiative of
Georgia's Friends, Inc.
405 Ridge Street 
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 284-7817

We are now a

proud member and

an accredited residence of VARR (Virginia Association of recovery residences)

Dear Family and Friends,


Georgia’s Friends continues to monitor the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and we are doing everything here to create a safe environment for the women we serve, as well as our staff. ​ 

Our residents are attending in-house AA meetings on a regular basis; (the Saturday AA meeting has been temporarily closed to the public and will remain until further notice.) 

We are asking that if you want/need to come to the house and/or office, that you call first and get approval from staff before coming, (434) 284-7817 or (434) 284-0276. We hope you understand and we will continue to monitor this situation and will update this site as the information changes.

Mary Anne Grant

Executive Director

Our Mission

Georgia's Friends provides programs and services in the Charlottesville-Albemarle community to help women suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental health challenges. Georgia's House, the signature initiative, provides hope and healing through a safe,

therapeutic and structured home for women in the early stages of recovery.

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     Our Story 

    Jane Avary Barbour


    February 3, 1951 - June 8, 2006

    Georgia’s Friends came together in 2006 after their friend, Georgia, died in a jail cell following a long struggle with alcoholism. We believed that Georgia would be alive if she had a safe house in which to recover and heal from her disease. 


    We founded Georgia’s Friends, receiving non-profit 501(c)(3) status in 2010. Our vision, a healing house for women, providing them with a supportive living environment as they maintain sobriety and build a new life after treatment or incarceration. Community partners and friends formed a community council to launch Georgia’s Healing House.


    Georgia’s House, the signature initiative of Georgia's Friends opened its doors in September 2015 and continues to provide a safe, structured living environment assisting women in the early stages of recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction, from the wounds of trauma and mental health challenges, that often accompany such addictions. Women need a home to heal and become healthy, self-reliant and productive members of our community. Our house is built on evidence-based models for women in recovery and is providing this. 


    In 2018 we were thrilled to move into our new home on Ridge Street. Then in January 2019, our Board announced that Mary Anne Grant was joining the organization as Executive Director. Mary Anne has 30 years of experience in nonprofit development and management and actively volunteers with a number of local organizations. Now, Georgia’s Friends is focused on organizational development, management, and long-term strategic planning in sustaining its mission as a community resource for recovery from addiction.    

    A bit about Georgia...


    Jane, “Georgia” Alexander Avary Barbour, the daughter of Mary and Stephens Avary of Atlanta, GA. graduated from Randolph Macon Women’s College with degrees in Studio Art and English, she worked in the Gazit Kibbutz in Israel in the summer of 1972. Georgia traveled to Africa and served in the Peace Corps in 1973. She arrived at her assignment in Zaire after being freed from Idi Amin’s capture at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Originally from Atlanta, she acquired her nickname in the Peace Corps, where she was known by the name of her home state, Georgia.

    After the Peace Corps, Georgia spent a year traveling extensively by foot, hoof and vehicle throughout West Africa, crossed the Sahara and plied the Niger River to Timbuktu in a bateau. She lived with her sister in France while she recovered from illness and then returned to the US to reside in Charlottesville.

    Georgia earned a master’s degree in Education from the University of Virginia, then taught French and English in local schools. She served as curator for Africa Art at the Bayly Art Museum and worked as a docent for 26 years. She volunteered at the Salvation Army, Montpelier; local soup kitchens, and church missions to Mexico and Costa Rica. In 2000 Georgia and her husband returned to the small villages in Vietnam he knew from 1968. Some of her photographs of Vietnam are on display at the White Orchard Restaurant and also at Georgia’s House. Georgia loved creating artwork and inspired others with her photographs, batik paintings and pastels.

    Our Board

    We would like to welcome the newest members of our board: Charlotte Chapman; Tina Krall; Val Newcomb and Elaine Oakey.

    [Their respective background info will be posted soon.]

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    Karen Turner


    Karen is a graduate of the University of Virginia. She established her own business after graduation and now has 30 years’ experience operating KTK Design. Her primary focus and experience is design, drafting and project coordination of residential kitchens, bathrooms and specialized work spaces.  She has done considerable volunteer work in local schools, including a primary interest in teaching ArtPrint.  She has also done charitable design work for Live Arts, Habitat, Christ Episcopal Church and Elk Hill School. 

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    Gerri Carr, CPA


    Gerri joined Hantzmon Wiebel in 2003 and has 30 years of public accounting experience with particular expertise in individual and small business taxation. She earned a BA with Distinction, from the University of Virginia; and a BS with Honors at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Gerri is a member of Piedmont Master Gardeners.

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    Page Gilliam


    Page holds a BA in English from Wellesley College and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.  She served as Senior Legal Administrative Coordinator, Hunton & Williams/University of Virginia School of Law Pro Bono Partnership, as an Associate with the Hunton & Williams corporate and banking team in Richmond, and as an Associate with Scott Kroner.  Page has served on several local Boards including St. Anne’s-Belfield School Board of Trustees; Planned Parenthood of the Piedmont Community Board; and Virginia Lawyers Helping Lawyers State Board of Directors, a non-profit that assists lawyers, law students, and other members of the legal community who are dealing with substance abuse or mental health issues. 

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    Tom Albro

    Board Member

    Tom has practiced law since 1972 after earning a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.  He also earned a BA cum laude from Cornell University.  Tom’s work focuses on Medical and Legal Malpractice Law, Motor Vehicle Collisions, Personal Injury Law, Defamation Law, and Civil Litigation.  He is Past President of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a former Councilman of the Charlottesville City Council, and member of Lawyers Helping Lawyers.  He is also a former member of the Albemarle Charlottesville Jail Board and served in the U.S. Navy as Capt. JAGC, Active Duty 1972-75 and reserve duty 1975-1993.

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    Amanda Norris Ames

    Board Member

    Amanda is an investigator in the Office for Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity at the University of Virginia.  She has previously served as a litigation and education law attorney in private practice and as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.  Amanda has assisted individuals and non-profits with projects aimed at improving women's health, reducing domestic violence, increasing civic engagement, and promoting access to justice.  She has a B.S. from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from Washington University          in St. Louis.

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    Diane Brownlee

    Board Member

    Diane studied at Furman University, the University of Northern Iowa, Georgia State University and the University of Virginia.  She holds a BA in Spanish, M.ED. in Reading Disserved and MA in special education.  Diane served in teaching and special education positions for more than 30 years in Charlottesville and Albemarle County schools. She served in numerous leadership positions, including as team leader in both the city and county and several other capacities.  Diane has been a dedicated volunteer in many community organizations, including First Presbyterian Church, as a CASA Volunteer, the Senior Center, and Martha’s Market Committee.


    Annie Sartori

    Board Member

    Annie serves on the Board of Directors of the Charlottesville Symphony. She founded Insiders Network to College, an advisory service for college bound students with learning disabilities. Annie has also served on several boards and has volunteered in organizations supporting scholarships for students.

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    Tim Sims

    Board Member

    Tim Sims was born in Charlottesville and was raised in western Albemarle County.  Tim attended George Mason University where he majored in German.  Upon returning to Charlottesville, he worked at Crutchfield for 10 years before beginning a career in the financial industry.  Tim is currently employed with Virginia National Bank as a commercial lender.  Tim successfully completed course work and achieved the Certified Treasury Professional certification issued by The Association for Financial Professionals.  Tim has served on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville and has volunteered for numerous other non-profits in our Community.

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    Dorothy Tompkins, MD

    Past President, Founder and Board Member

    Dorothy earned an MD from the University of Virginia and BA from the College of William and Mary.  She is certified by and a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Cardiology.  She was co-founder and retired Medical Director of Blue Ridge First Step; Retired Associate Professor at the UVA School of Medicine, Founder of Pantops Methadone Clinic and Past Associate Medical Director of The Farley Institute.  She is a Master Gardener, Master Naturalist and Tree Steward.  Dorothy has served on numerous community non-profit boards and is the Founder of Georgia’s Friends, Inc., the parent organization of Georgia’s Healing House.

    Our Advisors
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    Carol Wise


    (Background info coming soon.)

    Executive Director
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    Mary Anne Grant

    Executive Director

    Mary Anne has extensive experience in international education and non-profit management and development.  She served as President and CEO of ISEP, an international membership organization of more than 300 colleges and universities in the United States and 50 other countries.  ISEP facilitates student exchanges and study abroad programs.  She has also served on several non-profit boards including as President of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and Chair of the Board of the Forum on Education Abroad. Mary Anne holds a BA in French from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, French language certificates from the University of Paris, completed graduate study in French at the University of Virginia and earned an MA in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University.

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    Laura Pettit

    Program Consultant

    Laura is an educator with 10 years’ teaching experience and has served as Founder and Director of a school in Missoula, Montana, where she created curriculum and philosophy and maintained all aspects of the school.  She has served as a behavioral specialist and counselor for behaviorally challenged youth and worked with developmentally disabled adults.  Laura holds a BA in psychology and French from the University of Denver, BA in Education and Art from the University of Montana and is a certified elementary teacher in art education and French.  She also studied in Aix-en-Provence France.

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    Kimberly Wilson

    Office Administrator

    Kimberly has nearly 20 years’ experience in administrative positions in government, corporations and the non-profit sector.  She has served as Distance Learning Administrator for the School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School, Executive Assistant for the San Diego Humane Society, and Senior Traffic Service Representative-Logistics at Nucor Steel. She also is skilled in producing creative culinary delights.  Kimberly earned an AA with honors in Business from the American Intercontinental University. 


    We received our nonprofit status in Novmeber 2010.

    Our Determination Letter.



    View a copy of our 2016 990-EZ



    View a copy of our 2017 990-EZ



    View a copy of our 2018 990

    2018 Annual Report


    Our Capacity

    We are a 12-bed residence and (as of March 2020) have provided more than 14,500 bed nights to women in our community fighting addiction one day at a time.


    We are currently accepting applications.

    Please contact us if you would like an application or have questions about residency. Thank you.

    Updates coming soon.

    2019 Inaugural Annual
    Celebrating Georgia's Friends
    We would like to especially thank our event hosts:
    Jay and Betsy Swett
    Bill and Dorothy Tompkins
    Our endless thanks for the facility, on-going support and continued
    kindness by:
    St. Paul's (Ivy) Episcopal Church
    A heartfelt thank you for an incredible music contribution by:
    Kate Tamarkin
    Our  gratitude for an amazing buffet donated, prepared and presented by:
    Phyllis Ripper
    ML Coolidge