CaringWorks was founded in 2002 to “reduce homelessness and empower the marginalized by providing access to housing and services that foster dignity, self-sufficiency and well-being.” It runs several transitional housing programs as well as Hope House, a 70-bed facility in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, which provides residential treatment for men. In addition to housing and inpatient care, CaringWorks also provides outpatient treatment and permanent and emergency housing services.
Accommodations and Food
Men can stay at Hope House for up to two years. Most men are accommodated in a dorm room sleeping six, though for an additional fee double occupancy rooms are also available. Many residents transition to a single roommate in the later stages of treatment.
The facility has a TV area where clients can enjoy their downtime and exercise equipment to maintain physical health. Hope House employs a kitchen staff to prepare cafeteria-style meals with traditional American fare, but residents who are interested in improving their cooking skills may help out in the kitchen.
Treatment and Staff
Intensive substance abuse treatment lasts for the first six months of the resident’s stay. Clients are required to attend 56 hours of treatment each week consisting primarily of group and individual therapy along with education classes and in-house 12-step meetings. Groups usually have five-12 clients and utilize CBT and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Classes include Criminal Thinking and the Harm Reduction Model. Clinicians at Hope House include Master’s- Level Social Workers (MSWs), LCSWs, LPCs and Level-two Certified Addictions Counselors (CACIIs) who are trained to support clients with dual-diagnosis.
After the first six months the focus shifts from addiction treatment to improving employability. Residents continue to attend therapy and 12-step meetings, but also begin intensive vocational training in the community.
Cell phone and computer use is allowed throughout the resident’s stay, as are family visits. Family members must attend an orientation and meet with the client’s counselor before visiting in order to make sure they’re willing and able to support his recovery.
After their time at Hope House, most men receive referrals to permanent housing through other programs at CaringWorks. CaringWorks has recently begun outpatient services which clients can take advantage of by stepping down after residential treatment.
CaringWorks claims an impressive 98% success rate of its clients remaining in stable housing one year after completing its programs. By making sure former clients have opportunities to remain in the care of their counselors following treatment and to volunteer as alumni with new clients, Hope House fosters a community of dignity and support that gives over a hundred men a fresh start each year.
CaringWorks: Hope House
275 Washington St
Atlanta, GA 30303
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Photo courtesy of Mike (Flickr: DSC_6831_2_3_tonemapped) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons