Standing United’s mission is to assist those who are suffering from addiction and homelessness to overcome what brought them there so they can confidently reintegrate back into society.
Danny Lansdale spent most of his life walking through the revolving door of prison, all because he couldn’t conquer his addictions alone. At 42-years-old and ashamed at how his life turned out, he finally surrendered and sought help. The prospect of being a disappointment to his family was too much for him to bear.
He has been sober for eight years and is now a drug and alcohol counselor, as well as an interventionist.
Lansdale is no longer compelled to change the way he feels inside because he’s proud of the man he is today. His mission is to inspire hope and offer tried and true solutions to those who have traversed a similar tumultuous path. In doing so, other recovering addicts can bear witness to his path to recovery and realize they’re able to alter their trajectory as well.
“Nobody wants a miserable life,” Lansdale said, “nobody wants to be filled with fear and doubt. Everyone needs some compassion, some assistance, some support and some love.”
Lansdale’s ambiton is to pay the generosity others gave to him during his recovery forward. His dedication to Standing United has armed him with the necessary resources to assist others in overcoming immense obstacles.
The countless people who have been helped by Standing United are eternally grateful.
“They’ll often say ‘I’ll pay you back,’ but they owe us nothing,” Lansdale said, “The only thing they owe us is an honest attempt at walking this path.”
The people of Standing United step in when those suffering from homelessness and addiction have nowhere else to go. Those typically affected have struggled with addiction and homelessness, but many have recently been released from prison with no support from their families.
“It turns out – the secret to life – is helping other people get happy,” exclaimed Lansdale.
Standing United co-founder, Tyler Hauser, met Lansdale in prison and has a similar story. Having been an all-star athlete and successful business owner, his life was too busy to allow him to focus on his issues of low self-esteem. He dealt with them by drinking heavily, which eventually led to the use of other drugs with crime to fund them. He racked up 15 years in prison before getting help and eventually realized the key to maintaining his sobriety is to assist others in doing the same.
“We started helping people out of our own pockets,” said Hauser, “but we couldn’t help everybody like we wanted to.”
Their mission is to be an advocate for anyone who raises their hand in search for guidance.
Public-speaking and fundraising opportunities are the best way to get the word out about the existence of Standing United and what their mission is. They recently hosted a Mike Tyson Celebrity Golf Tournament at Monarch Beach in Dana Point – a spectacle which brought the former Heavyweight Champion to South Orange County.
Tyson, too, has had his struggles with addiction and bouts with the law. He has also experienced periodic episodes of homelessness, which explains why Standing United’s mission resonates with him.
Lansdale and Hauser’s ultimate goal for Standing United is to build a rehab facility which can house addicts on the road to recovery at no cost to them or their families. Current no-cost rehabilitation centers, such as The Salvation Army and Delancey Street, have such inordinately long waiting lists that people with limited means don’t stand a chance of getting the help they need in time.
“We’ve had people on waiting lists to get into an insurance or county based program and that window of opportunity is so small,” said Lansdale. “An individual recently died in his van waiting to get into a program and his pregnant wife found him.”
These all-too-common scenarios have spring-loaded Lansdale into action and he’s now in the process of designing a two-story, 80,000 square foot rehab facility which will house 300 people on the road to recovery. It will have a theater, gym and a large outdoor patio for socializing. All – at no cost.
“Together we can make a difference,” said Lansdale, “We can’t help everybody, but everybody can help somebody.”
Together, Lansdale and Hauser believe everyone deserves a fair chance at a second one. Their motto is, “No one of us is as strong as all of us.”
This is why they created Standing United – to be there as a strong arm to lift anyone up who reaches out for help and genuinely desires it.