REAL LIFE prides it self on providing comprehensive services in house, as to ensure clients have the highest chance at reaching a thriving life. Through our comprehensive approach and use of a validated criminogenic risk assessment, we are able to identify services each Lifers needs in order to decrease their individual risk factors of re-offending, re-using substance(s), or re-engaging in unhealthy behaviors.
Our program is available at no cost, which includes moving into our recovery transitional house. As a program that uses a holistic, evidence-based, person-centered, trauma-informed, and behavior modification approach, we aim to help the whole person, not just one part. This process establishes the mutual rapport between the Lifer and Pathway Navigator, or case manager, to ensure this path becomes a way of real life.
The process begins the moment the Lifer (client) steps into REAL LIFE’s Community Center (RLCC) and begins filling out an intake form, which is structured as a criminogenic risk-needs assessment. Through this assessment we are able to determine the Lifer’s risk for reoffending and returning to substance use and understand personal needs that may contribute to the risk.
Once this assessment has been reviewed and discussed, the Pathway Navigator creates a personal plan for the Lifer that outlines specific tasks that would best address identified risk and needs factors. As these factors are addressed, individuals have a greater chance of overcoming their adverse circumstances to achieve the Thriving Life desired.
After completing the risk-needs assessment, Lifers begin with a “stabilization period” by being present at the Center and attending all groups every day for two-weeks. They continue in this period until they find work, in the meantime they are provided with extra assistance in building resumes, acquiring necessary paperwork, applying for jobs, sorting out medical needs, custody situations, and alike.
REAL LIFE delivers services through 4 core programs:
REAL LIFE Community Center
Expectant Mother Program
Recovery Transitional Housing
All delivery of service is done through one of RL’s pillars of service. By integrating the Pillars into all areas of REAL LIFE’s work, we help prepare Lifers to overcome personal and community barriers to thriving. Success in life requires the skills to face daily struggles and unexpected challenges, while staying on the pathway to a Thriving Life! That is the focus of REAL LIFE.
A Thriving Life begins with sustained sobriety. The result is a consistent daily walk with a rational, clear, and controlled state of mind. Without sobriety, the other pillars cannot be truly experienced.
Obtain and keep employment that provides a pathway to financial independence for the participant and their family. As one applies their skills in a job, the result is restoring personal dignity while serving others.
Reunite, rebuild, strengthen or develop a functioning family that provides a safe and nurturing environment. A functioning family can have several forms, but it should always provides an emotionally safe environment that fosters open communication to express any opinion, thought, or feeling.)
Interacting with others in a way that leads to mutually beneficial outcomes. This encompasses the recovery term “living life on life’s terms,” behavior modification, and trauma informed care. All lead to appropriate interactions with others and within the community.
Classes, Groups, and Services at the Center
While Lifers will have a personal plan that outlines what they should engage in to overcome their greatest risk and needs factors, they also qualify for all services of the center. This includes weekly classes on topic such as: anger management, bible study, parenting (motherhood/fatherhood/co-parenting), financial literacy/budgeting, job preparation, trauma, mental health first aid, writing for resiliency, and alike. Additionally, two times a year, we offer Jobs for Life, which is a 12-course, 6-week intensive job preparation program. The Jobs for Life Program prepares participants to gain meaningful work through honest relationships, mentoring, work-force development training, and an ongoing community of support.
Clothes Closet and Computer Lab
At the REAL LIFE Community Center, we have a clothes closet with casual and business clothes. We also have a computer lab that is accessible for resume writing, job searching, homework, and computer classes. Both the clothes closet and computer lab are available only to active clients of the Center.
One of our ‘flagship’ (and first) services of REAL LIFE is our weekly “alumni” meetings, which is a means of keeping a network of recovering individuals from our program together, as well as provide a plethora of meeting topics, such as 12 steps, obtaining a driver’s license, budgeting, cooking, raising children, or anger management. We also engage in weekly community service projects, such as community walks through section eight housing communities.