BCD Hoover Treatment Center, a Little Rock, Arkansas nonprofit that was started by Better Community Development, has been serving the disadvantaged and high crime area of downtown Little Rock since 1981. Over the years, Better Community Development has taken on Little Rock’s most intractable problems—from homelessness to poverty to unemployment—and this treatment facility is an extension of that mission. It’s therefore not surprising that 90% of Hoover Treatment Center’s residents are homeless, out-of-prison or court-ordered and receiving free care.
As a key component of the master plan to revitalize the neighborhood, The Hoover Treatment Center is a sanctuary: brand new, well built and easy on the eyes. It is housed within the EmPowerment Center, a long, butter-yellow clapboard-sided building with the feel of a modest traditional-style home (that just happens to be 19,000 square feet). The building is fronted by a grassy tree-dotted slope and lifted high above the street. A tidy iron-railed staircase leads to the sidewalk below, which makes catching public transit a breeze (just one of the reasons it received a LEED certification from the Green Building Council). The building’s front entrance is framed in warm and tasteful brick-red siding. Large windows with understated cross-shaped panes echo what you’ll find inside: recovery subtly but firmly rooted in the Christian faith.
Accommodations and Food
The complex, built in February of 2013, contains office, conference and classroom space for life skills training, career and technology training, community programs and other empowerment services. It includes men’s and women’s residential facilities and 15 apartment-style rooms for long-term aftercare. 30 and 60 day residents stay in one of two large single-sex dorm rooms with six bunk beds each, for a maximum of 24. Apart from a small locker for storing personal items and maybe a nightlight, there isn’t much else in the dorm rooms; no nightstands or lamps for late night reading. Some effort has been made to avoid a barren and institutional feel, though; there are couches, wall art, green plants and soothing green paint on the wall. Each gender has one large bathroom with three sinks and three toilets. Smokers beware: There is no smoking permitted anywhere on site. There’s a phone (with restricted calling hours) inside the general meeting hall (where meals are eaten and the co-ed group sessions are held).
Standard 20th-century American food (heavy on the pork chops, steak and chicken but easy on the vegetables) is served cafeteria-style. While cold breakfast is the name of the game on weekdays, hot breakfasts—which can include bacon, eggs, oatmeal, toast and grits—are served on Sunday mornings.
Treatment and Staff
The focus here is mindful, faith-based, holistic living. Treatment consists of group sessions three times daily, weekly individual sessions (more as needed) and family process group weekly. Basic life skills are emphasized for those needing to learn some of the basics many addicts miss along the way. No doctors or nurses are on staff, so clients must have completed detox before arrival. Dual diagnosis clients and anyone needing extra mental health services are referred to the Little Rock Community Health Center down the road. Counselors here do not adhere to the tenets of the 12 steps but clients are encouraged to find 12-step support groups and sponsors to complete the steps after treatment. Light daily chores are assigned to encourage residents to take ownership of the home environment.
Clients can expect a 6 am wake up call followed by cold breakfast. After 8:45 am morning meditation, the first group session runs from 9:30-11:30 am. Lunch is at noon, a second group meets from 1:30-3:30 pm and then residents get a break before dinner at 5 pm.. The last group of the day meets from 6:30-8 pm. Clean up and downtime runs until lights out at 10 pm. Weekends are a break from group sessions, when residents typically do laundry, clean and chill out. There are optional church and Sunday school services at Theressa Hoover United Methodist a block away.
BCD Hoover Treatment Center staff members are either CADCs, counselors-in-training or LSWs; the staff-to-patient ratio is one-to-12. Overnight, one male staff is assigned exclusively to the men and one female staff is on board for the ladies.
About the most exciting distraction from the hard work of recovery is television, with viewing times limited to evenings after dinner and group. Cell phones, computers and other electronic devices are strictly prohibited at all times. Visiting hours are Sundays from 3-5 pm.
Other than occasional Zumba or yoga classes, residents who want recreation will have to get creative. There is no gym, exercise facility or equipment. Occasional outings to parks for group therapy or walks are as much as can be expected. But at least laundry will be in great shape: machines are on site and detergent and bleach are provided.
BCD Hoover Treatment Center provides a valuable service to those with no other options. For people with not much in the pocket who are committed to change and need the wrap-around support of a caring staff and a faith community committed to neighborhood betterment, BCD Hoover Treatment can be a partner in recovery. They’re committed to clients for the long haul, offering free after care, transitional housing, and programs for life after rehab to end the cycle of addiction.
BCD Hoover Treatment Center
3604 West 12th St
Little Rock AR, 72204
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