Experience is the bridge between knowledge and wisdom.
Meet C.U.R.A.’s Dedicated Staff
Joseph Locaria, MA, LADC-CA
Joseph Biaggio Locaria is the President/CEO of C.U.R.A., Inc. located in the San Francisco Bay Area. A native San Franciscan, Joe has spent his career as a community organizer and advocate for those suffering the effects of substance abuse, poverty, incarceration, and homelessness. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from San Francisco State and his MA in Psychology from San Francisco State University. Joe has worked in the field for over 40 years and as an addiction and behavioral health treatment professional, he believes in community as method. He loves to travel and has presented numerous papers to the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities.
Rita Locaria, MA, LAADC-CA
Vice-President of Clinical Operations
For over 30 years Rita Locaria has played an integral part in the C.U.R.A. Family. In 1996 she got the Oakland House and its renovation completely donated. This facility now serves as C.U.R.A.’s Recovery Residence. Rita moved into the field of Drug Treatment after serving as one of the founding members of the Tri-City Homeless Coalition. With a Bachelor’s in Humanities and a Masters in Humanities and Leadership from San Francisco’s New College of California she holds firmly to the belief that self-actualization is at the core of the individual’s recovery. Rita’s goal and vision is to open a Sober Living Residence in South County to further support C.U.R.A.’s graduates on their path to recovery. “If we don’t evolve, we become dinosaurs.”
Joel Quillin, SUDCC II, MRAS
Joel A. Quillin serves as C.U.R.A.’s Clinical Director with 20 years of experience in the field of SUD treatment.
Joel received his first certification from Breining Institute on 12/28/2004 and credentials as a Registered Addiction specialist (RASII), Clinical Supervisor Credential (CSC), Certified Co-Occurring Disorder Counselor (CCDS), Forensic Addiction Counselor (FAC), Certified Women’s Treatment Specialist (CWTS), and Certified Addiction Treatment counselor (CATC) CMDE. Joel received his second certification from California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) on 5/8/2018, with credentials as a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor- Certified Addiction Specialist, going on to receive his third certification from California Association of DUI Treatment programs (CADTP) on 1/31/2020, with credentials as a Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor II-Advance Experience. He recently received his Masters Registered Addiction Specialist from Breining Institute. Joel lives in Fremont California and is from the city of Oakland. He attended McClymonds High School and studied Substance Abuse Counseling at Merritt College. Joel has been married to his wife Brenda for 17 years and has 20 years of sobriety. His pastimes include attending concerts, chess, boxing, fishing, watching basketball, and football. Therapeutic quote: “Trust the Process.”
Joel Porter, CADC-CAS, MRAS
Joel Porter is the Clinical Director of C.U.R.A., Inc. and is instrumental in the running and day-to-day operation of the Therapeutic Community. Joel works closely with the Alameda County Food Bank and oversees the food rescue program out of C.U.R.A. He recently acquired his Masters Registered Addiction Specialist from the Breining Institute and is a certified SUD Counselor California through the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals. Born in Fremont, California, Joel is a Native of the East Bay with strong ties to the Mission Peak Narcotics Anonymous Community. Joel has been with C.U.R.A. for over 20 years and holds that the strength of recovery lies in the members of the community that support each individual in their process. He is an avid runner and enjoys the outdoors. Along with his teammate Jim Bounds Joel holds the title of West Coast Divisional Leader of Handball Champions.
Jeffery Ponce, CADC-CAS
MRAS Senior SUD Counselor
Jefferey Ponce is a Senior Counselor at C.U.R.A., Inc. with 20 years of experience in SUD treatment. He received his first credential as a Registered Addiction Specialist from Breining Institute for SUD and Addictive Disorders in 2004. Jeff’s training in groups is Relapse Prevention, Anger Management, Criminal and Addictive Thinking, Thinking for a Change, Motivational Interviewing, and Seeking Safety/Trauma Informed. Jeff recently received the Masters Registered Addiction Specialist from Breining Institute and is certified through CCAPP as a CADC-CAS. He also attended Merritt College for 2 and 1/2 years for substance abuse counseling and social service. Jeff currently resides in the Fremont area. He is a second-generation Californian and has lived his entire life in the Bay Area. Jeff has over 22 years of sobriety and has been dedicated to the population that needs assistance and support to get better. Some of his interests and hobbies include weightlifting, playing handball and fishing in all the lakes and delta systems of the Bay Area.
Donte Thompson, CADC II
Senior SUD Counselor
Donte Thompson is a Senior Counselor with nine years’ experience working in field of SUD treatment. Donte initially gained SUD RAS certification 9/27/12 via the Breining Institute, and currently holds CADC-II certification with CCAPP. Donte has experience working in medical assisted detoxication and intensive outpatient modalities. He completed Merritt College’s SUD and Community Services C.O.S.E.R. course in 2013 as well as trainings for anger management, relapse prevention, and motivational interviewing.
Donte is a Bay Area native born and raised in Berkeley, CA., an active member in the area’s Narcotics Anonymous 12-step community, and volunteers to help support local youth football and basketball teams.
Raymond Douglas, CADC II
Senior SUD Counselor
Raymond Douglas is an enrolled member of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe in South Dakota (Dakota Tribe). He is a first generation urban American Indian. Both of his parents were a part of the Relocation Act of 1956 where they moved from their reservations to Oakland, California. Raymond has served as an SUD Counselor for over 10 years working for the Native American Health Center in Oakland and more recently at C.U.R.A. Inc. in Fremont. He currently holds his certification in SUD Counseling from CCAPP with a specialty in Relapse Prevention and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. He received his AA from Chabot College in Human Development and is currently pursuing his BA in Social Services at Cal-State East Bay. Raymond has 22 years of sobriety and enjoys running, hiking, cooking and traveling. His favorite quote is “Walk slow; drink lots of water.”
Laura Muschietti, CADC-CAS
Laura Muschietti has been a primary counselor with C.U.R.A., Inc. since 2013 and received her SUD certification in 2018. Her areas of interest are working with women to achieve their treatment goals and clients who have experienced trauma.
She is an avid gardener and shares this passion with the C.U.R.A. community. Laura has over 12 years in recovery and is very involved in the local 12-step AA fellowship.
Douglas Poechhacker, CADC II
Douglas Poechhacker started his clean and sober journey the day he walked through C.U.R.A.’s doors on July 8th, 2013. In December of that year, he began working as a weekend night guard and by January 2014 had become the full-time night guard. Doug served as the C.U.R.A. North SLE manager in 2015, moving on to graduate from the program on October 5, 2015. He then graduated from Dr. Love’s COSER program at Merritt College in May 2018. Doug became a RADT-T (CCAPP) intern Counselor for C.U.R.A. in November 2018 and completed SUD Counselor certification through CCAPP as a CADC II & ICADC International Drug and Alcohol Counselor on February 6, 2020, and is currently certified thru 2024. He specializes in Anger Management and Criminal Addictive Thinking. Doug’s favorite quote is, “If nothing changes … nothing changes.” He changed his life and now his hobby is changing others.
Tamara De Santo, CADC I
Tamara De Santo is a counselor at C.U.R.A., Inc. with 5 years of experience in the field of SUD treatment. Tamara received her certification as a CADC-I on 6/3/2021. Tamara has been a resident in the Bay Area for 22 years and has 6 years of sobriety. Her passion is working with individuals who have lost their children due to their addiction.
Jeryl Lindhurst is the Office Manager at CURA, Inc. where he handles the data and billing. Jeryl is a lifelong Bay Area resident. Before coming to C.U.R.A., Inc. Jeryl worked as a grocery store manager as well as a Veterinary Technician. His passions include animals and cars.
Lora Renee Douglas has a diverse background in non-profit work throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Her early career included over 20 years of experience working as a Music Director for various parishes throughout the Diocese of Oakland. As her children grew, she moved on to work as the Center Coordinator at Mandana Recovery Center then as the Office Manager of FESCO the Family Shelter in Hayward, CA. She also has a background as a Risk Analyst/Underwriter. In 2016 she received her BA in Liberal Arts from Holy Names University. Lora is proud to be a part of the diverse and dedicated staff of C.U.R.A., Inc. and marvels at the miracles that come out of the Therapeutic Community. Her passions include yoga, Mindful Recovery, writing poetry and spending time with her husband and 3 children. Her favorite quote is from Leonard Cohen: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
C.U.R.A., Inc. began over 50 years ago by heroin addicts who lived in the Decoto area of Union City. There was a generational problem concerning heroin in this area. As you may know, the most popular way to use heroin is to inject it. Injecting drugs is called “fixing”. The people living in Decoto at the time were, for all intents and purposes, Hispanic. Fix in Espanol is “Cura”. So our savvy ancestors turned a negative into a positive and used the derogatory term to create the acronym C.U.R.A. C.U.R.A. stands for Canales Unidos Reformando Adictos, Brothers United to Reform Addicts. Although, Carnales is a Spanish term for “Brothers” or “Bro”, twenty years later we replaced “Brothers” with “Partners” because it better suited the program since we treat women as well as men.
At first, C.U.R.A. was a resource for addicts to find a way out of their addictions. As time went on, they found that homelessness was a huge problem. C.U.R.A. became a residential therapeutic community so that addicts could stay in a safe place to address all of the problems that accompany addiction and criminality. Over our fifty-three years of operation, C.U.R.A. has expanded its program to include a 51 bed co-ed Residential Therapeutic Community, a 40 bed Recovery Residence (All Male).