Who We Are

New Life is waiting – are you ready for change?
Our Story
For nearly 50 years, New Life Community Services in Santa Cruz has helped thousands find recovery from addiction. Our twelve-step social model includes individualized treatment planning, group therapy, and educational classes tailored to meet the unique needs of each client. Integrating the Twelve Steps from a Biblical perspective, we believe faith is central to recovery for those willing to embrace it. Our approach allows individuals to recover in the context of culture, respecting and incorporating their personal backgrounds and beliefs.

Licensed by the California Department of Health Care Services (License # 440010AN), we are a private, non-profit organization offering comprehensive treatment for both residential and aftercare clients. Our experienced staff develops personalized treatment plans, guiding clients through their recovery journey with accountability and support, ensuring they achieve lasting success.
Get Involved
Support our mission by making a donation. Your generosity helps us provide vital services to those in need, fostering lasting recovery and transformation.
Join our team as a volunteer and make a direct impact on the lives of individuals in recovery. Apply today to start making a difference.
Gain valuable experience while contributing to a meaningful cause. Apply for an internship with us and help support our programs and services.
Meet Our Leadership
Dr. Joel Stiles is a licensed clinical psychologist who currently serves as the Clinical Director of New Life. He began his career at New Life in 2001 as an addiction therapist and later completed his Bachelors at Bethany College. He obtained a Masters in Marital and Family Therapy from Western Seminary, and completed a masters in Clinical Psychology and a Ph.D. with an emphasis in Forensic Psychology at Palo Alto University.

As a Clinical Psychologist Joel previously worked for Santa Cruz County Integrated Behavioral Health delivering services in a primary care setting and providing consultation with medical providers. He previously worked for Monterey County Children’s Behavioral Health where he provided evaluations and reports for the Dependency Court. In 2013 he worked with the Juvenile Court system evaluating and treating youth charged with sex offenses.
Stacey Palau brings year of experience in non-profit leadership and administration and currently serves as the CEO of New Life, where she has worked since 2018. Formerly, Stacey served as the Director of the Salvation Army Transitional Housing Program in Watsonville. In 2004, Stacey and her husband founded Grace Children’s Home orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico where they served as the Directors for 10 years.

Stacey possesses a Master of Arts in Education and has taught in the Addiction Studies program at William Jessup University, where she also completed the Addiction Studies program. Additionally, she brings bilingual and bi-cultural expertise to support the participants of New Life.
Our Board of Directors

Laura Davis, Treasurer

Laura holds an MBA in finance, with over 38 years in Corporate America and serving as the Finance Manager. She completed the Addiction Studies program and currently serves as the Clinical Director at a recovery program in San Jose. Laura has over 35 years of continuous sobriety and a passion for helping those struggling with addiction, as well as using her strong business skills to support New Life. 

Rita Chapman, Board Member

Rita Chapman is recently retired from 35 years of cross cultural work in the DR Congo as a Global Servant. Teaching, serving in administrative roles and as a technical advisor in rural Africa, she was instrumental in creating opportunities for transformation and wholeness in those in whose communities she served. 

Maria Marinos, Chairperson

Maria holds a Master of Divinity from the King’s University and a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Santa Cruz. Her career encompasses a number of senior administrative and executive roles across several entities such as the County of Santa Clara, Valley Transportation Authority, Kings Seminary, and Santa Cruz Metro. She currently serves as Executive Pastor of Operations at Tradewinds Church.

Dr. Steve Stiles, Secretary

Dr. Steve Stiles is a professor emeritus of Bethany University, and a past faculty member of William Jessup University and Western Seminary where he taught addiction studies.  Dr. Stiles has served for 50 years at New Life Community Services and has lectured throughout Asia and Europe on addiction topics. He is a graduate of the American Baptist Seminary of the West and maintains counselor certification through the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CADCII).

Wilson Cheh, Board Member

Wilson is a multi-licensed mental health professional, a consultant, and an advocate for wellness.  He had a decade of tech and corporate experience in Bay Area as an engineer and another decade+  in the behavioral and mental health clinical services and leadership roles.  He has served as an adjunct professor at William Jessup University, and is a certified minister of an trauma healing approach called HeartSync while supporting a mental health startup as the clinical director. 

Joe Esposito, Board Member

Joe is a long time supporter of NLCS, having interned as part of his Addiction Studies curriculum in 2008-2009. He is also a board member of Addictive Behavioral Ministries International (ABMI), an organization that aims to direct addiction recovery resources globally.  His interests center around topics involving wellness initiatives and technology.

Gary Quan, Board Member

Gary Quan is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 16 years of experience working to support a variety of couples, families, and groups across cultural and socioeconomic spectra in private practice, community mental health, Intensive Outpatient settings, acute psychiatric hospitals, and varied correctional settings.  Gary serves as Adjunct Faculty at the Master’s level for University of San Francisco, California Institute of Integral Studies, and Western Seminary.   Gary advocates for more attention to mental wellness in the AAPI community in religious and secular settings. 

Join The Team
Are you passionate about making a difference in the lives of those in recovery? Explore our current job listings and discover the rewarding opportunities available at New Life Santa Cruz. We are always looking for dedicated individuals to join our team and contribute to our mission of fostering lasting recovery and transformation.
View Jobs
We Work With The Best Partners
At New Life Santa Cruz, we are proud to collaborate with some of the most respected local companies in our community. These partnerships enhance our ability to provide comprehensive support and resources to those in recovery. Together, we are committed to fostering lasting change and building a stronger, healthier community.
This agency is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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