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.

Dawn Desjardins, Recovery Coach, CRSW

Dawn started volunteering at Hope for New Hampshire recovery in January 2016 and devoted herself to Hope’s mission for which was the direction of Dawn’s career goals as well as personal growth in her own recovery. Dawn saw the impact of helping others like herself. As a person in recovery she experienced firsthand the challenges and triumphs of those who live with Mental Health and substance use disorders. Soon after she pursued her CRSW, accomplished her goal and then became employed at Hope for New Hampshire recovery.

Ashley Papatola, Peer Support