Substance Abuse Help

New Beginnings Substance Abuse Program

In the course of its operations, New Beginnings encounters individuals whose substance abuse issues are a factor in their being homeless. In order to better serve both these individuals and the general public, we have developed a program that is proving to have significant impact on the client's ability to maintain a stable life once leaving New Beginnings housing and programs.

The program consists of these components:
1. Substance abuse assessments
2. Baseline and random drug testing
3. Pre-treatment classes
4. Peer to Pier mentors
5. Case Management for resources and life skills
6. Temporary housing
7. Transitional jobs

Substance Abuse Assessments
New Beginnings has partnered with the Substance Abuse Center of Kansas (SACK) to create an innovative way of combining new and existing substance abuse services. One of these services is substance abuse assessments. SACK is a RADAC or regional (they cover an eight county area) state authorized substance abuse evaluator. They produce assessments for courts, SRS, and others. It is their recommendations that allow people into state funded treatment when the testing indicates its necessity.  Their Hutchinson office is located at New Beginnings' Non-Profit center for Services along with First Call for Help and New Beginnings Emergency Housing Services. 

When an individual requests housing services from New Beginnings and their history and/or substance and/or court and corrections or testing indicates the presence or history of use and abuse they are referred to SACK for an assessment. Both the person and New Beginnings are then committed to the recommendations that come from the assessment and they become the foundation for the person's recovery.

Baseline and Random Drug Testing
New Beginnings does a drug screen test at the time of intake into our temporary housing for each adult. This establishes a base line of recent use. If the screen shows positive for any type of drug legal or prescribed with narcotic components, the individual is referred to SACK for an assessment. We continue to screen all individuals residing at our temporary housing on a weekly random basis. The purpose is twofold. First, there are some people who will not disclose their history of use and secondly, it monitors those who have already disclosed their abuse of substances.

If a person has a positive screen for drugs or alcohol that has not previously been detected they are given the option to participate in the substance abuse program at New Beginnings or leave.  If they decide to participate in the program they are referred to SACK for an assessment. If they are already in the program and have a positive screen the person meets with their SACK representative and their New Beginnings case manager to craft a provisional contract that addresses the issues related to their positive screen. The individual is given two times to address the re-use issues before they are asked to leave the program.

Pre-treatment Classes
After an assessment the individual is referred to a pre-treatment class provided by SACK at the temporary living facility. These classes are designed to help people understand the basics of recovery, the options available to them in the community and what the elements of treatment are. The classes are designed to keep people engaged while waiting for either outpatient treatment or inpatient treatment. They are held twice a week and the person is referred to the 12 step programs in the community for other support during the week.

Peer to Pier Counselor
In 2011 New Beginnings added the Peer to Pier Counseling program to the overall substance abuse program. This program is a new concept offered by SACK. Its purpose is to help individuals and families find and develop recovery resources. This program is especially developed to help with barriers people face in early recovery. Each trained mentor has been through the experiences facing the people in this program. They help the person find sponsors, learn about recovery based activities, and ways to live sober. Each person that is assigned to the pre-treatment classes will also be offered a peer mentor. This counselor will coordinate efforts with that of the case manager for the most effective outcomes for the person.

Case Management for Resources and Life skills
New Beginnings provides case management as part of its temporary housing. We use the "On the Road" process of goal discovery and attainment. The first phase is a complete needs assessment that evaluates the person's medical, dental, clothing, child care, identification, education, transportation, and work abilities. These are crafted into a plan that is reviewed and adapted weekly. The second phase deals with skill development so that the person can achieve their overall goals. There is a major emphasis on increasing personal or family income to a self sufficient level or to the lowest level of subsidy possible.

Life skill workshops and one on one work are provided both in house and referred out. New Beginnings provides a budgeting workshop with follow-up one on one development and monitoring of a personal budget. We also provide landlord-tenant rights and responsibilities with subsequent one on one work to find and acquire adequate and affordable housing. Parenting classes are made available at the temporary housing site but provided by other organizations within the community. Personal and housing hygiene are provided through volunteers and are on site. Work related skill development is provided through New Beginnings' transitional jobs program.

Temporary Housing
New Beginnings has 36 units of temporary transitional housing. We also provide emergency housing by placing people into local motels/hotels until there is room in temporary housing.  People applying for transitional housing must be homeless first. Each person or family is given a small apartment to reside in during the course of the program that is furnished. There are 16 units in one location and 20 in another. Included in the housing unit are 5 meals per week, access to a computer lab, a classroom for workshops, and a children's play area inside and out.

Transitional Jobs
New Beginnings has recently added a transitional jobs program. People who come to reside at our temporary housing that do not have employment are given the opportunity to be a part of the transitional jobs program. An initial assessment is done to discover the work history and barriers to employment. This program is designed to develop "going to work" skills and a credible work reference. Each individual is placed into an area of work that New Beginnings is engaged in. They work in their assigned areas for 20 hours a week with the other 20 hours left for their case management and substance abuse programs. The work coach meets with them once a week to evaluate their work performance and to work on any stumbling blocks they have to stability at work.

The following are the areas of work for the transitional jobs program:
1. New Beginnings commercial kitchen that prepares meals for people living in both the program apartments and the permanent affordable apartments across the way.
2. The Green Team Make Ready readies New Beginnings rental properties for re-renting and provides the same service to other property owners and managers.
3. The Green Team Commercial Carpet Cleaning cleans New Beginnings properties and advertises as a commercial service to the community at large. This has both transitional employment and permanent employment opportunities.
4. The Green Team Energy Efficiency Home Remodeling does energy audits, energy remodeling and lead based paint removal services. This program began with the remodeling of Neighborhood Stabilization Program housing for New Beginnings and now is available as a service within the community. This has both transitional and permanent employment opportunities.

Together these elements of the complete program will strive to achieve the following outcomes: 
  • The person is clean and sober
  • The person is connected into a recovery support system
  • The person's crisis and basic needs have the resources to address them
  • The person has a permanent job or they have the required subsidy locked into place that covers their financial needs 
  • They have adequate housing that is no more than 33% of their income