Beyond Sober Living
The Stable Environment Model is the future of recovery. Our goal is to provide housing for those who choose sobriety, who need a place to decompress, who need a break in life.
Affordability is key to reducing stress
Affordable housing plays a critical role in recovery from substance use disorders. Those who cannot pay rent or face the threat of losing their homes also face the stress that triggers substance misuse and relapse. It is difficult, while homeless, to address substance use without a safe place to decompress because the use of alcohol or drugs is often the go-to-tool for coping with the dangers of life on the streets.
Most residents at Access Foundation will attest to their need for safe and supportive living conditions to promote their long-term recovery, their health and wellness, and guides their reunification with family.
Our evidence-based supported employment services, peer recovery mentors, and coordinated community services are incorporated with our affordable housing. The result – high percentages of individuals recovering in our homes are still housed and employed one year later.
Learning by Living
Our clients are literally living the learning process, they are immersed in it. The practical application of daily activities is a powerful instructor. But the processing of daily events may have to be engineered in such a way that the client is unaware he is learning, and therefore does not get derailed or lose focus or enthusiasm.
The Silent Partner
The architecture and social flow of a recovery residence is often referred to as the “silent partner” in recovery. The setting can significantly support or hinder the recovery of residents attempting to establish social connections and can shape the reactions to a sober living home in an ordinary neighborhood.
We Believe in Outcomes
We contribute to stable employment and wellness. We provide support to enhance long-term recovery. We promote lives of dignity and maximum independence. The Stable Environment Model is a phenomenon in recovery, producing results not seen elsewhere.
What's worth learning
Finances are a problem in every stage of recovery. Substance use disorders are expensive, a steady income is difficult, and legal fees and other costs tied to choices made under the influence do not help. For most, all of this requires going deeply into debt. So the first few months of recovery can feel overwhelming, dealing with the debt that has accrued while also learning how to manage the daily bills that just come with life and living is priority number one. Our residents start with a budget. At some point, they will open a bank account, start saving, pay down debt and learn to live debt free. We help them improve their poor credit by reporting on-time rent payments to the credit bureaus.
Many who come through The Stable Environment Model will have opportunities to serve in a Leadership capacity as a House Manager, Assistant Manager, a House Accountant, or Chore Advisor. We provide Policies & Procedures that give direction and support to the leadership team. Mentoring takes on a priority role, while participants learn to own their mistakes, to not judge others, to practice acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude.
The leadership team contributes to house culture, administers drug tests, completes incident reports, attends to other tenant’s needs. They conduct weekly meetings, report to Access management, perform inspections, review applicant qualifications, interview prospective new residents, and participate in weekly house training sessions. Access shadow leadership turns decisions and problems back onto the house leadership team for solving and helps process skills learned through the practical application of their responsibilities.
Emotional intelligence, at a minimum, refers to how well people read, understand and communicate with others, as well as how effectively they control their emotions. Substance abuse has prevented individuals from appropriately accessing their emotions — and from developing an honest self-awareness. Emotional management has been outside their grasp for as long as they have been using. Access helps those recovering from habitual and harmful physical behavior through an ongoing process of nurturing emotional fortitude. They benefit greatly from developing self-awareness, self-regard, and positive self-expression; they learn trust, empathy, and social responsibility; they learn to adapt to unpredictable and unfamiliar situations; and they learn how to solve problems and control impulses. Emotional Intelligence greatly increases a person’s potential for success in their relationships, recovery, and career moving forward. It positively influences their physical and mental health as well. And the EQ assessment is the single best known indicator of future success.
Most of those recovering from addiction have neglected basic responsibilities for so long, they have forgotten how to care for themselves. Many have missed out on certain milestones and life’s important lessons. Access Foundation helps participants reacquire lost or forgotten skills such as doing laundry, meal planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, even making a bed and personal hygiene.
People struggling with addiction typically get older but the don’t “grow up”. Access helps participants stay on task and learn to navigate these responsibilities effortlessly.
Creating, building, and maintaining trust
Access Foundation works to create, build, and maintain mutually trusting relationships to help improve recovery outcomes. Trust is the bridge that connects people and contributes to a successful recovery.
The relationship comes first, people matter. When residents feel we care about them, they won’t sense being misunderstood or under-appreciated as we navigate awkward or uncomfortable times. At Access Foundation, we work with clients through rent payment difficulties, we hold a space for them if they relapse. We do this because people need support in tough times, and we really do care about them.
This starts in the first 30 days of residency. We look for signs that a person is committed to recovery and to a trusting relationship. This is a time of uncertainty, and both Access Foundation and the client are looking for assurance that things are under control. The investment in relationships begins with effective communication and a secure connection to the truth.
More about the "Silent Partner"
“The setting is the service” says it all when it comes to the importance of the social-physical atmosphere for people recovering from alcohol and drug problems. The architecture, both inside and out of the residential recovery settings is an important silent partner.
BELONGING VS INCLUDED
Far more than just being included
Belonging is far different than just feeling included. The house culture encourages the idea that residents can be themselves and feel like part of the community, rather than only being included, which suggests a focus on the numbers – meetings attended, days of continuous sobriety, labels.
Belonging is a crucial missing ingredient in many so-called Sober Living environments and institutional type programs. Belonging is something people instinctively crave. At Access Foundation, the Stable Environment Model provides residents with a sense of acceptance for who they are.
House structure, by its nature, will provide the concrete policies and practices that make up “inclusion.” But culture is harder to define, and therefore, difficult to fake or mask. We work very hard at Access Foundation to encourage recovery for the long-term. Often, that includes improved self-esteem, confidence, and just being yourself.
WHY HOUSING IS ESSENTIAL
The Importance of Connection
Connection, not sobriety, is the opposite of addiction. Connecting in healthy ways with other human beings replaces the pleasurable effects of substances. Human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. Isolation is the enemy of recovery.
Connection-oriented behavior encourages other essential dynamics in the House such as self-directed accountability and individual recovery planning. Prospective Clients meet with current Clients and are interviewed during a House Meeting to determine “fit”. If a positive ”connection” is made, the prospect is admitted into the house.
Efforts are made to avoid disruption of these connections in Homes. Violent offenders or sex offenders are exclusionary and are not considered for residency. In homes where no positive connections are made, there is high probability of relapse or arrest.
The Safety of Home
The Stable Environment Model views housing and mental health services as separate needs, not bundled together. It is important to separate landlord functions from the service delivery roles. Both tend to be more effective when provided in partnership with each other. Mental health and substance abuse services are provided by community resources and are based on an individual’s needs and desires where residents have a central role in the planning process. Housing planning is separate but closely linked to the supports that people need for recovery.
Home is more a place of decompression, with no one looking over your shoulder. In sober living, there is safety in numbers. Residents look to each other for support, for an employment network, and for a social life distanced from their old acquaintances that produce triggers.