History of Sunrise


Creating community through shared lived experience focused on whole person wellness through education, resource navigation and authentic peer support for ALL.

Value Statements:

  • We believe in the value and worth of every single human being.
  • We believe that recovery is unique for every individual.
  • We believe that substance use challenges are solvable.
  • We believe that we are successful as an organization when one individual takes one step forward on the journey to wellness.


In 2016, the local nonprofit, Mountain Council Recovery Coalition transitioned to peer leadership and became Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness, following several years of recovery advocacy and organizing work done by the organization’s founding members who recognized the value of peer support specialists in supporting individuals navigating their personal recoveries. 

Sunrise was founded for the purpose of providing individuals and the community with accessible, cost-free peer support services for those in recovery or for those seeking recovery from substance use and mental health challenges.

We have grown from a small, volunteer-driven, peer-led network of individuals operating out of an 800 square-foot space into a successful and expanding regional non-profit organization with a staff of 30+ full-and part-time Certified Peer Support Specialists earning above Living Wage. 

Since its inception, Sunrise has been a vocal advocate for the utilization of peer support as an adjunct service to clinical supports within the continuum of behavioral health services; for the creation of peer support resources to address gaps in services; and to help community members seeking recovery navigate, identify and engage with available services and resources.


Sunrise  was established to provide additional community-embedded access to peer support for those in recovery and seeking recovery. Sunrise provides advocacy for recovery, education to community partners on the value of peer support and continuing education and training for those working as Certified Peer Support Specialists within our system of care. Founding members of the organization include peer support specialists, individuals in recovery and recovery allies working within our communities and behavioral health systems to create a recovery oriented system of care.

In 2022, Sunrise provided over 30,000 episodes of peer support, training and recovery advocacy- more than twice the number of interactions than our first three years of operation. 

We are continuing to grow and expand our vital services throughout Buncombe County and surrounding rural areas, where needs are high and resources are scarce.

Find out more about our free services, programs and training opportunities.

If you would like to learn more about Sunrise and how our peer support, education and resource navigation are making an impact in our community, sign up for Tour of Hope, a one-hour overview of our work, community and impact.  

Sunrise is recognized by SAMHSA & NC Department of Health and Human Services as a regional Recovery Community Organization (RCO) for the central to west region, spanning from Charlotte to Cherokee. 


Descriptive blurb for Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness:

Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness is a non-profit staffed entirely by Certified Peer Support Specialists who have managed and overcome substance use and mental wellness challenges. Our team provides free services, resource navigation, education, and authentic peer support to individuals struggling with trauma that often leads to houselessness, substance use, mental health issues, and/or justice involvement.

Not only do we offer direct services, but we also serve as a valuable source of education and training for our community. We believe in building a strong support network through lived experiences, and we provide a pathway to a career as a Certified Peer Support Specialist.