Onala is a non-profit organization that was established in a downtown storefront in 1952 as a place where a small group of recovering men, who shared a common goal of staying sober, could gather. Its name derived from the abbreviation of Alcoholics Anonymous (Al Ano) spelled backward. This was done to protect the anonymity of its members.
Over six plus decades, Onala transformed from a small supportive gathering place to the Onala Recovery Center, and expanded its mission to provide men and women from all walks of life with a facility that offers an environment of recovery from alcohol, drug and other addictions through education, social interaction and fellowship. Through its evolution, Onala performed multiple upgrades and added numerous services responsive to the needs of the community. Despite all the changes over the years, Onala never diverted from its primary purpose of “one alcoholic helping another stay sober.”
Although located in the heart of Pittsburgh, Onala has become a valuable community resource for the entire tri-state area. Those in need are being referred to the Onala Recovery Center by rehabilitation and detox centers, schools, churches, community centers, courts, probation officers and “word of mouth” of thousands of recovering people. For each member whose life is changed with the support of Onala, dozens of others are affected, as members begin to contribute to society once again, families stay together, the quality of children’s lives improves and the social fabric of which we are all a part is strengthened. The Onala Recovery Center provides a mental health clinic, medical clinic, and outreach program, and currently hosts 55 meetings each week of various 12 Step Programs including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous and Overcomer’s Outreach. This incredible facility needs the help and support of companies like CountywidePetroleum and BP, without them Onala’s reach and productivity would be severely limited.