As LifeHouse Group expanded its target demographics to include adult males with substance abuse issues, management came to realize that many individuals who did not need housing could still benefit from case management, recovery coaches, life skills classes and job placement assistance. LifeHouse Recovery Organization, a charitable organization specializing in education and job readiness programs, was formed in 2020 to augment LifeHouse Group’s efforts by providing wraparound services to an expanded population. While LifeHouse Residential Recovery Services’ efforts are targeted to those living in our Dixmoor facility, LifeHouse Recovery Organization’s programs are designed to meet the needs of LifeHouse Residential Recovery Services’ residents as well as individuals who either do not require housing or are not geographically close to Dixmoor, IL.
LifeHouse Recovery Organization coordinates a substance use assessment, mental health assessment, medical assessment, skills assessment and needs assessment for each participant within the first week of our program, and our Program Manager uses the results to create Individual Recovery Plans. The plans are turned over to Case Managers who create short- and long-term goals for each participant. Case Managers regularly check in with participants to evaluate whether their plans need editing, moving long-term goals to the forefront as progress is made. Recovery Coaches work alongside Case Managers to focus on sobriety and positivity in each participant’s recovery process, and the Recovery Coaches often stay engaged with participants even after they leave our program. Most of our Recovery Coaches are program graduates, which provides current residents with excellent mentorship opportunities and support.
LifeHouse Recovery Organization pays particular attention to violence prevention, often a key factor in relapsed behavior. We reduce vulnerability among our participants by addressing the factors that placed these individuals at a higher risk for violence in the first place, and we increase resiliency by introducing programs and services that teach these individuals how to protect themselves in dangerous situations.
LifeHouse Recovery Organization works with participants on their financial well-being. Our life skills classes, offered by our partner, 2nd Opportunity, include financial literacy programs, and to incentivize participants to open bank accounts and begin saving. Other course offerings include life skills classes designed to educate participants on topics including Cooking, Understanding Credit, Expungements, Resume Writing, and several others.
LifeHouse Recovery Organization also offers educational programs to match employment needs within the community, focusing on high demand trades in the current job market. In January 2022, our educational program became sponsored through the USDA’s SNAP to Success program. Through this program, we provide intensive educational and wraparound services to assist participants improve participant skillsets targeted to gain meaningful and sustainable career pathways. Our Case Managers continuously seek employment opportunities within the local community and connect trained candidates with employers facing specific labor needs. In a matter of weeks, participants have the opportunity to enter various employment fields and receive support throughout their education, job search, and job placement. Once employed, we continue to provide wraparound services to promote stability, recovery, and sustainable success.
From a housing standpoint, LifeHouse Recovery Organization emphasizes family reunification to reduce the impact of substance abuse and incarceration on the family unit. Our Case Managers provide reliable housing alternatives locally and throughout Illinois to accommodate the needs of participants with family in other areas of the state.
We believe that meaningful employment and sustainable housing are two of the most important needs for those going through a recovery process. We also understand, however, that local communities may be concerned that our participants will not be positive contributing residents of the towns and cities in which they live. LifeHouse Recovery Organization has several programs directed at improving the acceptability of our participants to the general community. Our staff organizes career fairs and “de-stigmatization” events specifically designed to encourage employers to consider hiring individuals with criminal backgrounds and in recovery from substance use disorders who have displayed stability. In a similar fashion, our Case Managers communicate with landlords to allay their concerns about housing our populations.
We have also found that self-help groups are a great way to connect our participants with the community, and we invite our neighbors to join our self-help, AA, and NA groups, building connections into the community and developing community involvement strategies for our participants to use even after they leave our programs. We also sponsor activities that allow our participants to be involved in their communities in a positive way, including neighborhood cleanup and gardening projects. And lastly, our victim impact education programs humanize the violence experienced by our participants and inspire empathy and acceptance within the broader community. In essence, we use these activities to turn populations historically caught in cycles of recidivism and substance abuse into symbols of hope and inspiration within the very communities they’re looking to join. Importantly, LifeHouse Recovery Organization continues to provide services to program graduates, reducing the risk of destabilization in the lives of participants who have left the program.
You can learn more about our programs on the Services and Partners page of our website.