New Life Community Services of Santa Cruz

707 Fair Avenue, Santa Cruz, California, 95060



Avg. score from 1 reviews


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About New Life Community Services of Santa Cruz

Reviewed by Our Contributors


Located blocks from the beach in Santa Cruz, Calif., New Life Community Services (NLCS) is a Christian faith-based non-profit organization that operates a flexible, long-term residential program designed for adults struggling with the effects of substance use disorders.

NLCS is also one of the 921 (70.3 percent) of treatment facilities in California to offer outpatient services. Additionally, NLCS has a gender-specific treatment program called Gemma that includes a day program, continuing care, and a transitional living home for women.


According to the NLCS's website, upon admission clients participate in a psychosocial assessment to help the staff determine an individualized treatment plan. Clients typically remain in the program for six months or longer, as reported by the facility on its Yelp page.

With a strong emphasis on vocational rehabilitation, the program’s therapeutic model is based on 12-step principles and participation. This makes it one of the 604 (46.1 percent) of rehab facilities in California to offer employment services.

NLCS represents its approach to the 12-Steps as bringing a “biblical perspective.” In addition to studying 12-step material, residents participate in individual and group counseling, life skills training, and relapse prevention and other educational sessions. Services also include medication management.

Vocational and transitional activities are prioritized to promote reality-based treatment. According to the program’s Yelp content, residents are required to complete a weekly minimum of 35 hours of working, volunteering, or attending school.

Graduates of the long-term residential program are encouraged to enroll into its outpatient program, Stratton Counseling, as an aftercare service.


Both NLCS'c CEO and director, according to the facility’s website, are clinical psychologists, one with experience in the juvenile justice system. Two of the staff are faculty at a local university and two are ordained Christian ministers. One has experience consulting for California Tribal Programs. The organization also employs a master’s-level certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor and works with interns.


NLCS’s residential facility supports 38 beds for clients, with additional space for their children, up to 17 years old. According to a 2017 SAMHSA survey, 63 (4.8 percent) of California treatment facilities allow client’s children to reside with them at the center.

Photographs on the center’s website reflect a relaxed setting in a residential neighborhood, with a sunny deck, surfboards for residents’ use, a playground, weight-training and exercise equipment, and an on-site chapel. Meals are provided by a master chef.

The women's transitional living home can accommodate up to six women at a time.


Feedback from former clients of New Life Community Services at the time of this writing tended to be highly favorable, emphasizing the program's practical or “real life” benefits.

The one alum polled by to date indicated that they would recommend NLCS to others. “This is the real deal. They don’t play around with addiction,” they wrote. This reviewer gave five of five stars for the staff’s level of training and experience, quality of individual counseling, and extracurricular activities.

On Google, six reviewers contributed to an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars.[1] "They turned my life around...I owe my life to them," wrote Patricia in a representative review. On the facility’s official Facebook page, which its staff may monitor, there is one four-star review.[2] Three reviewers on Yelp gave the facility a mixed five-star, three-star, and one-star rating.[3]


Though specific prices are not published, the NLCS website touts an affordable program. Clients are expected to contribute a portion of their income for treatment and lodging, though fees are on a sliding scale based on income. NLCS also relies on donations to offset the cost of treatment.

[1] GoogleReviews

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1 Reviews

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  • Anonymous
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    I've been to a couple other treatment programs, before this one and also a couple years ago - and never have I encountered individuals who KNEW WHAT ADDICTION WAS like these counselors did at this facility. They really got it in a way that most people, even addicts, don't .... and they just made it okay to be struggling, and taught us how to cope with that fact, instead of trying to just "make it all better" when it wasn't going to be better for awhile. It's a good program, and I could use one. Interesting that this was the survey I received today, I was just thinking for the first time in a couple years that maybe I should actually consider going to rehab again .... They're not codependent and won't buy into your BS and let you manipulate the program and the staff, like most programs will. They actually work to treat addiction, not just to get through the day as an addiction counselor. It was dirt cheap, for one thing. Less than 800 a month, for room and board and treatment costs. It's a program where you have to work really hard to succeed, but by the time you leave, if you make it, you know that you want to be sober more than anything else you've ever wanted in the world, and would do anything to stay that way. We all worked full-time and paid for our expenses that way (except for the prison-funded people) I stayed clean for 3 years .... I just stopped doing what I learned to do .... I felt like I was ready to be back out in the world, I had been there 4 1/2 months and was transitioning to a sober living house about a mile away. I continued to go to meetings, and had a sponsor, a local job, was going to school, and was working the 12 Steps. I was in treatment voluntarily, so didn't have to "finish" the program for any particular reason, so I just transitioned smoothly out when it seemed right to.