La Hacienda's Treatment and Recovery Blog

Janet Blackburn, Steve Layton and Sherri Layton

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Photo: Steve Layton, center, with Clinical Services Director Janet Blackburn (left) and Outpatient Services Administrator Sherri Layton (right).

La Hacienda has a reputation for long-serving staff but even the most-dedicated counselors, nurses, doctors, and others eventually feel the need to “get their cake” and retire.

On the afternoon of March 12, co-workers filled the Upper Dining Room to share Intern Supervisor Steve Layton’s cake, thank him for 21 years of service and fellowship, and sing a verse of “I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together.”

As with most goodbyes, it was emotional.

“You have repeatedly been there for me,” said Clinical Services Director Janet Blackburn. “You have a bigger servant’s heart than I have ever seen displayed. You are always about connecting people and helping them believe in themselves.”

“Sometimes in this work we have to make hard decisions, and you know that certain people will hold you up during those times. You have been that person for me,” she told Steve.

Advice for the Future

Collegiate Case Manager Carol McCarrick added words of advice such as she gives to those who come here for recovery.

“It’s hard to say goodbye, but we’re going to send you back. We’re going to tell you that you got to get up and you got to put your feet on the floor. You’ve got to ask God every day what you should do, and then you have to tell Him ‘thank you’ every night.”

“If you do that, the world is a better place.”

Needed Something Different

When Kroger closed all its stories in the San Antonio area in the early 1990s, Steve took a buyout after 26 years in the grocery industry. He came to La Hacienda “looking for something different.”

He recalled that the treatment center was going through a transition with new owners and management. Nevertheless, they helped him find his something different.

“They told me they would help me get my education and get my CI, and I could become licensed,” he said. “They’ve done so much more than that through the years. They took care of me. They went above and beyond.”

Two Decades of Service

After earning his license in 1996, Steve served La Hacienda in case management, working with the Collegiate Program. He also served with the Therapeutic Activities Department on the ROPES course.

Steve Layton and Allison Moyer
Steve and Allison Moyer, with whom he worked on the ROPES Course.

 In 2010 he took on supervision of the Intern Program, overseeing people, who—like he did two decades earlier—want to earn counseling licenses and work with those suffering from substance use disorders.

Steve took a break in 1998 to operate a coffee shop in Boerne but returned to La Hacienda after two years.

Literally Found Family

“I’ve been blessed by working with a lot of great people—some gone, and this group here. I raised a few of you, maybe. And that’s been a blessing as well.”

Our staff often refer to each other in familial terms, but Steve literally found family here. He met Sherri Davenport (now Outpatient Services Administrator Sherri Layton), and they were married in 1996.

What’s Next?

In retirement, Steve said he will probably volunteer with Hill Country Daily Bread, a Boerne-based Christian ministry that provides food, resources, and training necessary to persons living poverty in an eight-county region.

And he promised to return to visit.

“It’s time to go, I’m ready for that,” he told the reception crowd. “But I’m not ready to let you guys go.”

“It’s an understatement to say that his was the best thing that ever happened to me. So many new chapters of my life have been written here. They were not always good; some of them had tears in them. But they were chapters that needed to be written. They are part of my life and part of my book.”

And for the future, “As Carol said, I’m going to ask God to show me [what’s next] and shut up and listen.”