Amity Foundation Amistad de Los Angeles is a men’s residential treatment center in downtown Los Angeles, California. AFALA is the flagship member of the Amity Foundation network of therapeutic communities in California, New Mexico and Arizona. Built 11 years ago, AFALA provides long-term substance abuse treatment for men who have been referred to the program by their parole officers.
The Amity Foundation is “dedicated to the inclusion and rehabilitation of individuals, children, and families marginalized by homelessness, poverty, addiction, crime, racism, sexism, trauma, and violence.” It began in 1969 to combat the new wave of substance abuse spurred by the nation’s cultural shifts. Founded by teachers and families, Amity Foundation was one of the first treatment centers that believed lasting change would come from treating not only the addict, but also his or her entire family. In the decades since, its programs have impacted substance abuse treatment policy in Washington, DC and have inspired other treatment facilities world-wide.
Accommodations and Food
The Los Angeles facility houses up to 180 men in dorm-like rooms with two to five men in each with bathrooms shared between several rooms. There is an exercise room and TV is available in the facility common areas.
Staff prepare food in a large modern kitchen that was designed as a communal center for all residents.
Treatment and Staff
Men stay in the program anywhere from six months to a year, depending on their progress and their parole officer’s requirements.
Days are long, beginning with chore assignments and then a full schedule of group therapy, education classes and motivational seminars. Groups are usually kept to 20 participants or less, and each resident has weekly individual counseling. Groups, which are led by addiction counselors, are not 12-step oriented but residents can attend community 12-step meetings on their own. The program does not have a service requirement, but residents are encouraged to find volunteer activities in the community.
The first six months of treatment are spent focusing on addiction recovery and life skills. Writing skills are also emphasized in education classes. Once residents have built a strong foundation of sobriety, they shift their focus to vocational training and job search for the final six months of treatment. Upon successful completion of the year-long program, many parole officers choose to transition their clients to a sober living facility.
Cell phones are not permitted, but men can use house phones to call family. On weekends staff takes the men on recreational trips and families are given visitation hours on Sundays. After several months of successful treatment, residents can apply for weekend passes to visit family nearby.
Amity Foundation has therapeutic communities in Lancaster, Soledad, Blyth and North San Diego County, CA. It runs Almas de Amistad, a therapeutic teaching community for women in New Mexico, and Circle Tree Ranch—a therapeutic community for men and women and families in Arizona. Amity Foundation also provides on-site prison services and teaches its therapeutic community curriculum nation-wide.
While Amity Foundation Amistad de Los Angeles has been in existence for only a decade, the Foundation’s long history and proven methods make sure that no time is wasted transitioning men from incarceration to independent living. “Just navigating the basics — getting an ID, health insurance — can be tough,” said Mark Faucette, Amity’s director of community relations, in an interview with The New York Times last winter. “Re-entry means so much more. There’s a lot of emotional work. They’re moving from a number to a name.”
The Amity Foundation accepts clients by parole officer referral and is committed to transforming the lives of an often under-served community of men.
Amity Foundation Amistad de Los Angeles
3745 S. Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Amity Foundation Amistad de Los Angeles Cost: Residents must be on parole and are treated free of charge. Reach Amity Foundation Amistad de Los Angeles at (213) 741-2276. Find Amity Foundation Amistad de Los Angeles on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
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