"If you stabilize them, they will find jobs"
The Founders, Directors and Supporters of the newly established Strategic Recovery Institute (SRI) are pleased to announce their vision toward treating those that are chronically homeless (the 10% "outliers" and most difficult cases) by helping them reclaim their lives!
Eradicating Chronic Homelessness
Chronic Homelessness Presently Viewed as a Mystery
(Moral Justification Focuses on Fairness = Ineffective Solution)
The Strategic Recovery Institute (SRI) intends to treat the chronically homeless situation – a problem that has become endemic in America. Compared to existing models of treating the homeless, SRI is unique in that we don't simply treat the symptoms; put a band-aid on the situation to get them off the street. In some large cities, it is estimated that the cost of not treating chronic homelessness is $150,000.00 per homeless person per year. The bulk of the cost is in emergency medical treatment, maintaining temporary shelters and food kitchens.
The SRI model is not a philanthropic "feel good program" providing temporary relief in the form of food and shelter – which actually maintains the status quo. Present social programs are oriented to "manage the problem, not fix it. Viewed as a mystery (all homeless people are the same - normal distribution) the data appears as a standard bell curve. This maintains continued "individualism" and isolation by offering shelters and soup kitchens in order to treat everyone a little bit equally – this produces dismal long term results.
Viewing Chronic Homelessness as a Puzzle
(Practical and Efficient = Effective Solution)
We firmly believe that the SRI model of recovery will allow the majority of the chronically homeless to be rehabilitated, return to work, become productive & contributing citizens - even paying taxes once again. This requires creating a social and political mindset oriented toward fixing the problem. Rather than using a normal distribution model (bell curve) a Power Law Distribution model reveals data in the shape of a hockey stick that allows us to isolate the problem and be more specific in treating the "outliers". The SRI model is focused on community based living rather than individualism – a team approach that produces relationship and accountability – essential factors in creating lasting change.
Our plan begins by networking with local police departments to indentify and nominate specific candidates to participate in the SRI life reclamation program. We know that peace officers have a personal relationship with the homeless – they see them and interact with them every day. Another referral source for SRI candidacy will be the local Emergency Rooms and Out Patient Urgent Care Centers that treat the homeless in a revolving door fashion. Current estimates show that the power distribution average of the chronically homeless person (defined by being more than 1 month homeless – in and out of shelters) seeks medical treatment more than 10 times per year at an average cost of over $10,000 per visit. They are typically being treated for pneumonia, infection, skin diseases and physical injury (accidents). Referral sources in touch with the homeless can most effectively assist us in identifying those most in need and those most likely to complete our robust program. Life reclamation will require persistence, resourcefulness and an intense will to survive the process of change.
The SRI Campus
"From now on, any definition of a successful life, must include serving others."
- George Bush
The SRI recovery model consists of a 1 year onsite, live-in program, involving a boot camp style structure of diet, exercise, chores and group therapy. Phase 1 of the SRI recovery model includes diagnosing and treating any existing brain dysfunction (mental illness) by using Brain Imaging and then prescribing appropriate psychotropic medications or dietary supplements to facilitate neurogenisis (new brain cell growth) as needed / case by case. Other forms of creating effective brain health will include DLP Light Therapy, Deep Brain Stimulation, Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), EMDR Trauma Recovery Therapy, Acupuncture, and teaching Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).
Following detox, diagnosis and implementing neurogenisis, Phase 2 of the SRI model begins by providing Occupational Training. Participants in the SRI life reclamation project will explore their occupational interests by being exposed to the variety of skills building venues that SRI offers. Some will choose more traditional masculine job opportunities such as automotive repair, janitorial services, farming, welding and carpentry, while others will orient themselves toward the culinary arts, animal care, garden and nursery, graphic arts, data entry, producing arts and crafts for retail sales. Essentially, every skill set required to operate the SRI facility will provide an opportunity for attendees to learn and then seek employment with new and needed skills to serve the community they go to.
Graduates of the program will leave with certified employable training in the areas of welding, engine repair, data entry, carpentry, culinary skills, creative arts design, garden & nursery and animal husbandry. SRI will network with existing job placement programs and employment agencies to ensure opportunities for gainful work are available so graduates can reacclimatize into society gaining a sense of competence and confidence regarding the ability to be more self supportive.
Phase 3 focuses on building relationships, community and accountability while continuing to attend occupational training, group & individual therapy and out-placement orientation / visits. Former graduates of the SRI program will serves as mentors or "sponsors" similar to the way 12 step recovery programs operate. Attendees of the program will not graduate without having a mentor. Graduates will be accountable to their social workers and to SRI to maintain their mentorship status.
Many communities have found that providing permanent housing and managed after care are vital to maintaining sobriety, employment and overall productivity. The cost of not doing so, far out reaches the cost of efficiency. Directing graduates of SRI toward existing social and community programs and resources will accomplish this required end state. Some cities, such as Denver have found that housing the chronically homeless can be achieved for six thousand dollars per year, per person. SRI graduates will be expected to off-set their personal housing costs as they begin to build their lives by becoming less dependent on aid while working toward inter-dependency.
Treating the hard cases with a lot of resources produces maximum results
The SRI approach is to show that it can be done, and done well – not to do the entire job by ourselves. Once we demonstrate the model, it can be replicated by existing programs with existing resources in other communities. We hope, over time, to be involved in teaching other program managers the SRI process and we may even supervise other facilities in other cities, states and countries as this approach catches on.
In our current world view, we have begun to focus on correcting social wrongs, Slavery, Communism, Genocide – now it's time to abolish chronic homelessness. Given the proper environment and right length of time with effective interventions and treatment protocols, the chronically homeless population will shrink dramatically. The present resources spent on this problem will also shrink. The remaining resources will be better spent on an effective process of addressing the increasing long term problem with an efficient long term solution.
To contact us for additional information about SRI or to get involved and support the project, visit: www.strategicrecoveryinstitute.org