In 1967, inmates at the Colorado State Penitentiary founded Cenikor. The concept was based on group help and peer identification principals. The inmates were committed to breaking the cycle of substance abuse and the criminal behavior that supports their addictions. With little funding, they were determined to reverse lives caught up in the cycle of addiction and develop a program that would show others how to become productive and responsible citizens.
In 1972, Cenikor opened a treatment facility in Houston, TX at 1101 Elder in the historic Jefferson Davis Hospital.Cenikor moved their treatment facility to the William Penn Hotel in downtown Houston, TX in the late 1970s.In 1977, Cenikor signed a year-round contract with the Astrodomain Corporation, establishing the Cenikor Astrodome Task Force, to handle painting, maintenance, field changeovers, and event set-ups at theAstrodome, the Astrohall, and the Astroarena complexes.For many years, Cenikor residents also provided the manpower for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
After two years of operating an in-take facility in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.donated two 100,000 square feet buildings in Fort Worth in January 1979 to help Cenikor establish a north Texas treatment facility.Cenikor residents did the work converting the warehouse and two office buildings into a livable facility that could house 180 residents. The first resident entered the facility for treatment on New Year's Eve 1979.
In 1983, Cenikor received national recognition from the President of the United States,Ronald Reagan, when he visited the Houston facility on April 29. President Reagan commended Cenikor for its ability to operate without government funding, and for its success in enlisting support from the private sector. Nancy Reagan visited the Lakewood, Colorado facility on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 1983 during the national anti-drug campaign.Nancy Reagan also visited the Fort Worth facility in 1986 alongside Texas Governor-elect Bill Clements as she handed out diplomas to 11 graduates.
In 1994, Cenikor's Houston facility moved from downtown Houston to Deer Park, a suburb in southeast Houston. The new facility, located in the former Deer Park Hospital, is on almost 20 acres of land and 80,000 square feet in size, housing 180 residents.In 1995, Cenikor opened an outreach office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in a space provided by the city. This location referred over 150 to the Texas facilities each year.
2007 marked 40 years of providing supportive residential therapeutic treatment services. Cenikor has impacted more than 40,000 lives and in 2007 had more than 500 residents in three long-term treatment facilities located in Deer Park, TX;Fort Worth, TX; and Baton Rouge, LA. In 2007, residents began attending college and vocational training programs in an effort to improve their quality of life while getting treatment at Cenikor.
In 2010, Cenikor formed a strategic alliance with Odyssey House Texas to provide therapeutic community treatment services to adolescents. In February 2011, Cenikor began serving Lake Charles residents in the former state-run Joseph R. Briscoe facility. The 34-bed short-term residential unit maintains a high occupancy rate. The 12-bed medically supported detoxification unit continues to receive referrals from across the state.
On July 10, 2012 a ribbon cutting and open house was held for the new short-term residential facility in Waco. More than 200 people attended the event including Texas State Representative Charles "Doc" Anderson, Waco Mayor Malcolm Duncan, Waco District Attorney Abel Reyna, city councilmen, representatives from Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center executive staff and other community members. The facility began accepting clients on Monday, July 16 for short-term residential and Monday, July 23 for detoxification.
In July 2013, Cenikor opened an outpatient facility, Care Counseling Services, in Jennings, Louisiana. The facility, formerly the Jeff Davis Addictive Disorders clinic, is located at 221 East Academy.