NUWAY Alliance History

What began as one of America's first halfway houses has grown into Minnesota's largest nonprofit extended behavioral healthcare organizations. NUWAY continues supporting its original mission of accessible safe housing for people seeking recovery while delivering comprehensive integrated behavioral healthcare services.


NUWAY I — a vision realized

  • Nu – Way House (NUWAY®) is established as a non-profit by members of the 2218 Alano Society to serve homeless men experiencing alcohol use disorder.
  • NUWAY was one of America's first halfway houses and would become a model emulated nationwide.
Views about alcohol use disorder begin to shift from moral to medical as studies indicate a genetic component.


NUWAY opens a second halfway house, NUWAY II in 1970 to meet the intense need for halfway house services making post treatment recovery supportive housing more accessible in the Twin Cities.

Controlled Substance Act (CSA) passes to help the federal government fight drug abuse.

Outpatient Service Expansion

In the mid-90’s, NUWAY purchased 3Rs Counseling Center, and established outpatient addiction treatment clinic located in northeast Minneapolis adding outpatient treatment to its offerings. The 3Rs in the program’s name represent the founders of 3Rs, all named Robert. Later, some added more definition to the 3Rs as Recognition, Rehabilitation, and Recovery.

America's crack cocaine epidemic rages on while heroin becomes more potent and available

Rate Reform Implementation

The implementation of Rate Reform in Minnesota ceases reimbursement for halfway houses as the state moved to high, medium, and low intensity residential treatment per diem reimbursement. NUWAY I and II become medium intensity residential treatment programs remaining focused on providing extended care for those in need of more time to establish their foundation in recovery following primary addiction treatment.

The prescription opioid epidemic results in increasing rates of addition and overdose deaths.

R.I.S.E. Model

  • The NUWAY R.I.S.E. (Recovery In Supportive Environments) model is born.
  • NUWAY's second Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) opens in south Minneapolis.
Heroin overdoses and deaths increase dramatically.

Celebrating 50 years

NUWAY® celebrates 50 years of providing extended care.

NUWAY co-founder Dick Giles helped celebrate the momentous anniversary.

St. Paul

St. Paul NUWAY Counseling Center is established offering IOP with recovery residence support (R.I.S.E. model). For the first time, NUWAY establishes a location outside of Minneapolis. 

The U.S. declares a public health emergency as the CDC records 70,237 overdose deaths.

NUWAY Recovery Foundation

  • The NUWAY Recovery Foundation was launched with a mission of supporting recovery resources through recovery housing access. It maintains relationships with independently owned and operated recovery residences and provides quality standards to ensure recovery-supportive environments are available to those in need before, during, and following engagement with treatment services.
  • A robust practicum/internship program is established providing workforce development support and guidance.
While the rate of overdose deaths declined slightly, the trend foreshadowed a precipitous increase.

NUWAY Alliance is Born

  • NUWAY® assumes management of Cochran Recovery Services.
  • NUWAY Alliance is formed as a nonprofit umbrella organization managing NUWAY®, Cochran Recovery Services and the NUWAY Recovery Foundation.
  • NUWAY® opens intensive outpatient treatment counseling centers in Rochester, Duluth and a second location in St. Paul (University).
  • NUWAY® programs are accredited by The Joint Commission and are second non-hospital-based substance use disorder treatment provider in Minnesota to do so.
  • The University of Minnesota’s Center for Practice Transformation launches a longitudinal study on outcomes related to recovery residence utilization during intensive outpatient treatment.
NUWAY Alliance entities treat 4,135 clients in 2019.

Residential and Outpatient Expansion

  • NUWAY III residential opens treating individuals identifying as women.
  • NUWAY Alliance purchases The Gables, a long-standing women’s residential program in Rochester, MN.
  • St. Paul NUWAY Counseling Center converts from intensive outpatient to outpatient treatment adding to the continuum of care offered through NUWAY Alliance treatment services.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic shifts the delivery of care in the intensive outpatient setting to telehealth delivery to ensure individuals get the addiction care needed.
Overdose deaths increased over 14 percent from 2020 to 2021.

Geographic Expansion

  • NUWAY® responds to community needs in St. Cloud and Mankato by opening intensive outpatient counseling centers in those locations.
  • Utilization of telehealth, hybrid telehealth, and in person delivery of addiction treatment continues as needed in response to the COVID -19 pandemic.
  • NUWAY® is recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota as a Blue Distinction® Center for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery.
More than 100,000 overdose deaths recorded nationally for the first time.

Continuum Expansion

  • NUWAY® receives recognition from UCare for housing support innovation in mental health and addiction recovery.
  • Cochran Recovery Services expands the number of residential beds increasing treatment capacity and access.
Over 5,500 NUWAY client volunteers enrolled in University of Minnesota study.

Service and Capacity Growth

  • NUWAY Mental Health Clinic is licensed.
  • NUWAY Alliance through the NUWAY Recovery Foundation acquires Arrigoni East and West Housing Support.
  • Cochran Recovery Services is relocated to a significantly larger facility in Maplewood, doubling its potential treatment capacity.
  • Both NUWAY – Rochester and St. Cloud Counseling Centers move to larger facilities related to growth.
  • The Gables celebrates 40 years of providing substance use disorder treatment for women in the Rochester, Minnesota community.
  • University of Minnesota’s Center for Practice Transformation enters its fourth year of its longitudinal study.
NUWAY Alliance treats nearly 8,000 individuals across the state of Minnesota.

NUWAY® Alliance History

Pursuing the mission of Recovery in Supportive Environments since 1966

NUWAY House, Inc. (NUWAY®) was founded as a nonprofit on May 10, 1966, as one of the first halfway houses in Minnesota and the country.  NUWAY® began out of the grassroots efforts of members of  2218 Alano Society of Minneapolis (2218) in response to individuals leaving treatment in the early and mid-1960s housing insecure. 2218 members believed extended time in a safe, sober environment, based in the community, would help individuals establish long-term recovery. With success at the first halfway house (NUWAY I), a second halfway house (NUWAY II) was established in 1970.  NUWAY® operated as two halfway houses for adult men from 1970 until the mid-1990’s when it purchased an existing outpatient counseling center in northeast Minneapolis called 3R’s Counseling Center. 3R’s Counseling Center provided traditional outpatient treatment services in the evenings for adults.

With the implementation of rate reform in 2011, many providers of halfway house/extended care addiction treatment services opted to become high-intensity residential treatment leaving a gap in extended care services. Recognizing this shift and understanding that demand for extended care services still existed, NUWAY® became medium-intensity residential treatment and continued to fulfill its original goal of providing extended care for those in need of more time to establish and sustain their recovery.  With decreased extended care providers, NUWAY I & II were full and found that there were few places to safely discharge our extended care clients.  As a result, many were discharged to the street only to return to use and start the cycle of use, admission, discharge all over again. 

Interest in disrupting this cycle was paramount. NUWAY®’s R.I.S.E. (Recovery In Supportive Environments) model was born! R.I.S.E. pairs intensive-outpatient treatment with recovery residence support for clients deemed in need of a safe recovery environment per the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s Dimension Six. R.I.S.E. as a concept was not new as several providers in Minnesota had been pairing treatment with safe, sober living since the 1970s however, R.I.S.E. is unique in that NUWAY® partners with independently owned and operated recovery residences in the community, providing clients choice in which communities they live and the opportunity to remain in recovery residences beyond their treatment experience.

NUWAY®’s R.I.S.E. model began filling the service gap and interrupting the cycle of use, treatment, discharge, use, re-admission, etc. As a result, communities across Minnesota saw the value of the model and began requesting NUWAY® open R.I.S.E. programs in their communities.

NUWAY®’s adherence to excellent practice has earned the organization accreditation by the Joint Commission (2019), and NUWAY® has been designated Blue Distinction® Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (2021).