BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Turning pain into purpose.

That’s the mission of the Will Bright Foundation, named for the son of Bill and Lisa Bright, a Trussville couple who lost their son to a drug overdose in 2012. But they’re determined to make his legacy one of hope for others who struggle with addiction.

“We always start with how we can help parents not get that phone call about their child having lost their life to an overdose,” Lisa Bright said. “So my elevator pitch is how we can help in this opioid crisis, addiction crisis, break barriers to the road to recovery.”

Bright said that last year, there were over 90,000 drug overdose deaths across the country.

“I think it’s almost a forgotten pandemic,” she said. “It’s the pandemic within the pandemic.”

For several years, the Will Bright Foundation has operated a “next step” recovery program in Fayette.

“They may not have a job, may not have a bank account,” she said. “They probably don’t have a driver’s license. That’s where we come in and help. We provide housing, transportation, job readiness skills, and job placement.”

Bright said those are just some of the aspects often forgotten about in addiction treatment and recovery.

“They can reside with us up to 18 months. which we’re seeing that the longer we stay in recovery, two to three years total, is a good amount of time to resent that brain and get people back on track,” she said.

The Brights have turned that pain of losing their son into the lifelong purpose of helping others.

“When things were so bad with will, we didn’t have a lot of that. it was more oh well you’re a bad parent, because your child is doing drugs. and we like to try to remove that,” she said.

This year, the Will Bright Foundation received a grant of over $355,000 dollars from the Appalachian Regional Commission that will help them expand restoration springs, and their mission of giving more people a better chance at recovery.