According to the Broward House website, every nine-and-a-half minutes someone in the US is infected with HIV. Support services for people suffering with HIV and AIDS are just as relevant today as they were in 1988, when a group of concerned citizens established Broward House. Though its original mission was merely to provide housing for those who needed it, services have expanded to include prevention, education, medical care, mental health and substance abuse treatment. Broward House provides both residential treatment and outpatient addiction treatment for those dealing with chemical dependency, co-occurring disorders and an HIV+ diagnosis.
Accommodations and Food
The Broward House residential facility is located on a tree-lined suburban street in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Treatment takes place in the front house on the property: the behavioral health building. This is where group therapy and individual therapy, grief work, HIV/AIDS awareness classes, job placement and substance abuse education take place.
Behind this is an apartment building with as many as 52 people in residence. Depending on the census, there are two to three clients per room with a shared bathroom. The rooms are modestly furnished but homey, with single beds, a shared dresser and closet. All linens are provided and laundered by Broward House staff. In addition to basic housekeeping, clients have access to nursing support staff if they need it. Licensed dieticians prepare three meals a day, which are served in the behavioral health facility dining area.
The inpatient substance abuse program is five months long and outpatient services are three months in duration. The residential program is reserved for people whose lives have been seriously disrupted and need around-the-clock care; people who are transitioning out of incarceration, homelessness, traumatic situations and chronic relapsers. The outpatient program is for those who have somewhere stable to go at the end of the day, both physically and emotionally. Clients with co-occurring disorders receive clinical support services.
Broward House says it provides a unique treatment program, allowing its clients to address all areas of life that impact their health, well-being and sobriety. The encapsulated environment provides a safe place to discuss the impact of HIV on their lives while getting substance abuse treatment, free of the social stigma that might plague them in another facility. Both day and residential clients attend six groups a day, together in the behavioral health center. There are four groups in the morning with a clinical focus, primarily facilitated by Master’s-level therapists. The two groups in the evening include social rehabilitation and a 12-step component.
Broward House also has an additional outpatient program called the Positive Healing Program. Positive Healing offers a supportive place for clients and their families to discuss the impact of living with HIV/AIDS and recognizes the link between mental well-being and immune system performance. Funded by a special grant from the Ryan White Foundation, the sessions at Positive Healing include treatment for depression, grief, anxiety, sexual identity, and GLBT issues.
All clients at Broward House receive 24-hour nursing supervision, medication administration and education, daily support groups, transportation and life skills in addition to mental health and substance abuse support. Case managers assist clients in applying for appropriate benefits, including Medicaid, food stamps, vouchers for the Independent Housing Program and reunification with family.
The Independent Housing Program consists of eight apartment complexes providing safe housing and social service support for individual and families where at least one person in the household is HIV+. Located in Wilton Manors, just a few miles away from Ft. Lauderdale, these 62 units are maintained by the Broward House Facilities team.
The stigma around an HIV+ diagnosis still exists. Broward House provides a supportive community for people who might otherwise not get the mental health and substance abuse treatment they need, because their primary diagnosis precludes everything else in their lives. At Broward House, clients get addiction and HIV/AIDS education as well as comprehensive medical treatment. Continuing care keeps clients in the safety of the therapeutic community, promoting long-term sobriety and as a result, general health. The only downside is that potential clients have to apply and qualify for a special grant in order to qualify for this program.
1726 SE 3rd Ave
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
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