Van Ness Recovery House Philosophy
The Van Ness Recovery House opened a 20-bed facility on Beachwood Drive in 1973 and became aware of serving its first HIV-infected resident in 1984. The program has since served 1,632 HIV-infected residents. In the past five years, 61% of transgendered clients entering the program have been HIV-infected, 80% of all residents have been HIV-infected and over 86% of the residents have been homeless, having had little or no reportable income of the previous year. Over 2500 men and women have been given a new start in life thanks to a community that cares.
Areas of Specialization
Residential treatment programs provide housing (food and meals) in addition to treatment for substance abuse. Some facilities offer only short-term residential treatment, some offer only long-term treatment and others offer both, ranging from a few days to many months, based on patient needs.
The term “12 Step Program” describes a way to recover from addiction that is based on the model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers base their treatment on 12 steps – the first three of which are situational, the next four addressing the practical issues created by the addiction, followed by two steps focused on making amends for hurting others. Steps 10 and 11 involve a deeper examination of the previous steps and the final step is focused on helping others avoid and recover from addiction.
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ABOUT VAN NESS RECOVERY HOUSE IN LOS ANGELES, CA
Located in Los Angeles, Calif., Van Ness Recovery House provides day treatment, residential treatment, sober living, and education to men and women struggling with addiction. The center doesn’t turn clients away for either their inability to pay or HIV status. Detox is available.
The center’s website states Van Ness Recovery House’s mission “is to meet the critical and expanding needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community for alcohol and drug addiction recovery." The program also accepts incarcerated clients.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
According to Van Ness Recovery House’s website, the center’s residential program runs between four to six months, with an average 88 hours of treatment per week. While clients are in the program, the center’s staff provides them with intense structure and support to address the problems that may have led to their addiction.
Clients on the center's waiting list often wait one to three weeks before enrollment. While on the waiting list, clients are asked to stay sober and to attend 12-Step meetings daily. Incarcerated clients have a separate waiting list.
The first step of treatment is an assessment, which is used to create an individualized treatment plan. Most plans include group sessions, assessments, 12-Step meetings, and therapy. The center’s program has multiple phases. The final phase includes becoming employed, moving to a sober home, working with a sponsor, and a support group. Van Ness also has a variety of house meetings every week such as CMA Panel, Alumni Meetings, OA Meetings, and AA meetings.
Staff include HIV/STD counselors, sponsors, therapists and psychiatrists. Staff are trained to help clients deal with issues such as internalized homophobia, childhood sexual abuse, repeated incarcerations, acceptance of HIV, and both diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health disorders.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
According to Van Ness Recovery House’s website, smoking is not permitted at the facility. Activities include walks, art therapy, movie viewings, Big Book groups, and meditation. Clients also search for jobs during treatment and begin paying bills after finding employment.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
The three alumni polled by Rehabs.com to date gave Van Ness Recovery House two positive reviews and one negative. One alum rated the center mostly four and five out of five stars across the board including when asked if they would recommend Van Ness Recovery. A second alum gave the center four stars across the board including for treatment effectiveness, but a third alum rated the facility only two stars in treatment effectiveness and three stars for meals and nutrition, though they did rate the center four stars in accommodations and amenities.
Alum E.B., though mostly positive in their review, rated the center one star for holistic offerings. They wrote: “The staff at this facility are the most loving and caring people I've ever me in my life...This place will always be my home it's we're I learned about honesty, integrity and how to be a friend.” Alum B.C. was critical about the therapy's confrontational tone, writing: "I need a more gentle approach, leading to me wanting to know more about addiction and feelings than simply doing something because I'm afraid to be yelled at."
On third-party sites, Van Ness received mostly positive reviews to date. Google, ten reviewers rated Van Ness an average four out of five stars, with one negative review, three mixed, and six positive. On the center's Facebook page, which the facility can manage, 53 reviewers rated Van Ness an average 4.6 out of five stars, with 47 positive reviews, two mixed, and four negative.
Alumni and loved ones mostly praised the center's compassionate staff and LGBT-focused programming, though a few felt therapy was too confrontational. Alum Anthony wrote: "This isn't just tough love, it's bricks of love. Sometimes you have to have a couple through at you. These women have been through it and are great examples of what sobriety can bring to your life."
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
The sole loved one polled by Rehabs.com to date left no ratings for Van Ness Recovery House but did write negative commentary about the facility: "A big part of me does feel like it's all for the money...They destroy families. This isn't right and I'm furious.”
According to Van Ness's website, treatment is available to anyone regardless on their ability to pay. After receiving jobs, clients pay a minimum of $100 per week toward their house bill, which is $750 per month.
Published on November 2017
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