In 1983, Jose E. Hernandez opened Agape Family Ministries (AFM), which began as a residential treatment program to help those with substance use and mental health disorders in Florida’s Miami-Dade County. More than 30 years since its inception, Hernandez’s vision has expanded and AFM is now a fully comprehensive community health facility with both residential and outpatient programs for recovering addicts, young mothers and current or former inmates. The residential program for women is completely free to all clients. The Agape Network includes AFM as well as South Florida Jail Ministries, a program where 20 chaplains and hundreds of volunteers provide education services for county inmates. AFM’s programming is faith-based and non-denominational, with spirituality serving as a cornerstone of treatment.
Accommodations and Food
The residential program at AFM is situated on seven acres in South Dade and serves women only. All clients in the program can expect to share a room with at least one other person. Three meals are provided a day with rotating menus and specific clean-up times scheduled. Currently AFM’s residential program can only accommodate pregnant and postpartum women. On the campus there is a gym and outside recreational space for residents to use freely, as well as a serenity garden to enjoy quiet moments and an orchid greenhouse where clients can garden.
Treatment and Staff
The substance abuse recovery program for adults at AFM focuses on incorporating the 12 steps and cultivating a spiritual life. Though the inpatient program is only for women, AFM’s outpatient program is co-ed.
In the residential program, clients’ lives are very structured. Residents agree to stay a minimum of 60 days and are supervised or chaperoned by staff all the time, even for court appearances and doctor’s appointments. Clients are assigned a primary therapist who they see weekly for individual therapy, though the bulk of treatment consists of group therapy. In group sessions, clients discuss and learn about 12-step methodology as well as life skills. Residents are also given free time to exercise, meditate and garden, all of which teach balance and relaxation.
Those in the outpatient program begin treatment with an intake evaluation. After intake, clients are matched with a therapist. Group and individual therapy sessions vary by client though the average is one hour of either per week for between three and six months. Clients sometimes attend outpatient for a year or more.
Some clients are assigned to the Mommy and Me track, a program for mothers recovering from addiction that helps them reunite with their children. Mothers are able to retain custody of their kids while receiving treatment to keep their children from entering the foster care system. Women in this program receive the standard treatment for female addicts in addition to parenting training education.
The clinical staff at AFM are certified substance abuse counselors, LCSWs and counselors with Master’s-level degrees in psychology. The Medical Director at AFM is a licensed psychiatrist.
The Agape Children of Inmates Program run through the facility by The Children’s Trust helps children whose parents are incarcerated. Agape also works to accommodate Spanish speakers.
Agape is aptly titled a family ministry. Those seeking treatment at Agape—whether outpatient or inpatient—received the benefit of more than 30 years of experience. Participants should prepare to work a traditional, 12-step recovery program. The major limitation of this facility is that it is mainly limited to Miami-Dade County residents. Still, Agape offers reliable, affordable treatment to those in the area.
Agape Family Ministries
22790 SW 112 Ave
Miami, FL 33170
Agape Family Ministries Cost: Free (residential); sliding scale (outpatient). Reach Agape Family Ministries by phone at (305) 235-2616. Find Agape Family Ministries on Facebook
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