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 client needs in order to decrease their individual risk factors of re-offending, re-using substance(s), or re-engaging in unhealthy behaviors.
REAL LIFE Community Center
The REAL LIFE Community Center is the newest offering of REAL LIFE. The Center opened as a response to a need in the community for men and women exiting incarceration, as well as those in the community needing assistance to overcome substance use disorders, homelessness, or other barriers that hinder success. Whatever situation individuals find themselves in, REAL LIFE is able to help through intensive case management in the Center, as well as a wide variety of classes, services, meetings and groups at the Center. All services are provided free of charge to enrolled participants.
Expectant Mother Program
The REAL Life Community Center’s Expectant Mother Program’s purpose is to not only provide traditional case management, but also educational, emotional and everyday support specifically for pregnant and new mothers. Expectant mothers desiring services will go through an intake with the expectant mother case manager, which will include a risk assessment that will examine risk factors regarding her addiction, social concerns, and the pregnancy. Medical attention will be coordinated and arranged with local health facilities that will provide general and prenatal care. One-on-one counseling services will include counseling services with a psychologist and professional counselor. Parenting Support Groups that utilize evidence-based parenting support groups will be provided as the woman prepares for child birth and may also include other family members for navigation and co-parenting services. Other sessions will also be offered including domestic violence, anger management, recovery, 12-step programming, job preparation, bible study and religious opportunities, trauma, and budgeting and finance. All services are provided free of charge to enrolled participants.
The REAL House, located in South Richmond, was opened as a response to the growing need for affordable housing for those exiting incarceration. The house is a six-month sober living home, which utilizes a behavior modification model through the Center to prepare individuals for independent living upon discharge from the House.
Classes, Groups, and Services at the Center
While clients of REAL LIFE 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 16-course, 8-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.