Davida Coady, a physician activist and humanitarian, attended Northbrae Church as a young girl. Her work on behalf of the disadvantaged took her all over the world but she ended up back in Oakland where she founded Options Recovery Services for Addictions. One of the people who she rehabilitated after many years of living on the streets was Tom Gorham, who ultimately became her husband, and then the Director of Options Services. They were married for 20 years.
When Davida was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she and Tom investigated Northbrae’s columbarium and both purchased niches as their final resting places. Davida died in May of 2018, and her beautiful memorial service took place at Northbrae Church. She was interred in the columbarium at the far end of our Sacred Hoop Garden.
Tom now felt a real connection with Northbrae and started to attend church. Little by little we learned more about the wonderful work of Options Recovery Services.
Later that year, California saw tragic times with the Paradise fire and other loss of homes. With this great need in mind, Northbrae decided to ask that members of the congregation each fill a Christmas box for someone they did not know who needed to be remembered at the Holiday. We looked around, and there was Santa’s perfect elf, Tom Gorham, sitting in the pew! He would deliver these boxes to those at Options Recovery residences who had no place else to go for the holiday.
Northbrae began to take great interest in the work of Options. The increasing number of homeless persons on our streets and the need for shelters convinced us even more that Options Recovery Services was the place we wanted to support.
This will be the third year that our congregants will pack a Christmas box or bag for someone at Options. We have also sponsored one of their graduations and follow their wonderful, inspiring work through Tom. We are impressed by the work of Options and the clients who work so hard for recovery.