Keith Howard, Executive Director

Keith Howard used to be a homeless drunk. He used to be addicted to heroin. Thanks to recovery, he is neither homeless nor in active addiction. Howard grew up in Durham, New Hampshire, joined the Army at 17 and devoted the next 30 years of his life to “better living through chemistry,” until he finally had the chance to drink the way he’d always wanted to, which is to say without control, without brakes and without an escape plan. In 2007, while waiting for a bus to take him to where he was to begin his suicide, Howard had a moment of clarity, walked into the Manchester Veterans Administration Medical Center and said, “Hi. My name’s Keith Howard and I don’t want to be alive any more.” Since that day, thanks to hundreds of folks in recovery and devotion to a program of recovery, Howard has not taken a drink of alcohol or used any mind-altering substances.

Howard’s career path has veered over the last 45 years, including stints as a newspaper reporter, radio news director, bill collector, second-grade teacher, junior high English teacher, Baptist minister, principal of various alternative schools, improvisational theater director, novelist, director of a home for formerly homeless veterans and hermit. This last role he played for a year in Pittsburg, NH, five miles from the Canadian border, living alone in a converted motorcycle trailer. His time there, and a number of recent updates, are recorded at his website,

Howard has been director at Hope since September, 2018. He currently lives in a log cabin in the woods with his dog, Lucy, and whichever of his children needs a place to stay.

Karla Gallagher, Operations Manager

Karla first became involved with Friends of Recovery-New Hampshire, now HOPE for NH- Recovery, in 2012. She is a Graduate of Quincy College with a degree in Computer Science and has worked in Peer-to-Peer Support for 25+ years for an International organization whose focus is behavior change and weight-loss.

Karla is a Certified Recovery Support Worker (CRSW) and comes from a family with a history of substance use disorders. She is passionate about changing people’s perception of addiction and giving back to the community to promote recovery.

Dave Cote, Media, Information, Data, Art

Dave has been living in long-term recovery since 1990.  He is a husband, a dad, and attributes the success of his relationships to his recovery. After a few decades in photography, he enrolled in college and earned a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media in 2015. Along with his early struggles with substance misuse, he has overcome many serious health issues. As a recovery coach, he draws from his experiences to help others find their own recovery path.

Dave is also a life-long artist. ( In between his other duties as Hope’s media/information, data, IT person, you can find him encouraging members to paint, draw, or create something. When it comes to art, the joy (and often the healing) is in the journey, not the outcome.

Bob Mortimer, Recovery Coach, CRSW

Bob is a person in long term recovery with a passion spanning decades of helping others to recover from alcoholism and drug addiction. This has been accomplished through peer support, individual and group educational presentations about the illness, and advocating for individuals when required.

Ashley Papatola, Peer Support

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ashley.jpgAshley found her recovery in 2015 shortly before learning she would be a mother for the first time. After losing her own mother to substance abuse four days after the news of her new baby Ashley knew that her passion in life was to help others in recovery. She is now in the process of obtaining her CRSW and raising her four-year-old son. Another passion of hers is to offer more recovery support to the prison population. In her spare time, she enjoys sport shooting and hopes to one day shoot competitively.

Cindy Leavitt, Support Staff

Nick Simons, Support Staff