Founded in 1987 as the Marietta-Cobb Winter Shelter in Marietta, Georgia, The Extension was originally a season homeless shelter, until it became a drug rehab in the early 1900’s, after staff realized that chemical dependency was the real issue, and that homelessness was just a symptom. Today The Extension provides long-term residential treatment to homeless men and women suffering from chemical dependency. Besides substance abuse treatment, clients receive life skills and educational opportunities, so that they can rebuild and smoothly transition back into society.
Accommodations and Food
The Extension accommodates 47 men, and 20 women in gender-specific facilities. Initially, the men reside in an open dorm, where beds are separated by a partition. Each cubicle includes a bed with storage cubbies. After 100 days, clients graduate to double-occupancy furnished rooms in a separate building. The women share triple-occupancy furnished rooms in a building that was once a funeral home.
Each building has a dining area, and clients are served breakfast, including coffee. Breakfast is typically donated. Sack lunches and dinners are prepared by a group of volunteers. Amenities include house computers, common areas with cable TV and Wi-Fi. Staff lives on the premises.
Treatment and Staff
Prior to arrival, clients must have undergone detox, and be medically stable. Treatment length is typically six months, but some people stay at The Extension for up to 11 months, depending on their progress in the program. Upon arrival, clients undergo a comprehensive intake, which includes signing paperwork and a case management assessment. Each person receives individualized treatment plans.
Treatment is gender-specific. During the first 30 days, the clients participate in Recovery 101, which includes group and individual therapy, case management and psychoeducational classes, as well as daily attendance at 12-step meetings. Group topics include the disease concept of addiction, triggers, denial, feelings, anger management, life skills, Big Book and step study and CODA. At The Extension, evidence-based practices including the Matrix Model, DBT and CBT are employed. Additionally, Gorksi’s relapse prevention plan is utilized during treatment.
After the completion of Recovery 101, residents are assisted with finding jobs in the local community. They continue to attend meetings and participate in a daily reflection group that meets Mondays through Fridays. They also attend a daily DBT group that focuses on life skills including toxic relationships, money management, effective communication, physical health and employment. Clients also participate in small groups facilitated by Extension alumnis who share their own experiences as well as answer questions, and address concerns. Other requirements include being at the house meeting, and attending daily 8 pm 12-step meetings. Residents are expected to acquire and actively complete their step work with a sponsor. All step work is monitored.
Residents are required to put a certain amount of money in the bank, which teaches them accountability. Additionally, they are provided with support in dealing with debt, child support and fines. After they reach certain levels, they are allowed to use cell phones and cars. Typically, clients work during the day, and return to The Extension by 6 pm, so that they can be back for their meetings.
Staff includes CADCs, a Bachelor’s-level outreach coordinator and two case managers, including one who is a Bachelor’s-level certified addiction recovery empowerment specialist.
Aftercare includes continued attendance at 12-step meetings, and group and individual therapy. Clients leaving treatment are provided with housing assistance.
There is no charge until clients get their first paycheck, and the fee for men is 20 to 30 percent of their income, and for women, the fee is 20 percent of their income.
The Extension is a great resource for many financially challenged clients who face homelessness as a result of substance abuse and addiction. This program offers clients a second chance at a brand new life, as well as opportunities to be of service to newcomers once they have gained a foundation in their own recovery.
1507 Church St, Ext NW
Marietta, GA 30060
130 Holiday St
Marietta, GA 30060
The Extension Cost: Sliding scale (30 days). Reach The Extension by phone at (770) 590-9075 (men’s), (770) 528-4852 (women’s), or by email at [email protected] (men’s), [email protected] (women’s). Find The Extension, Inc. at Facebook, LinkedIn and Vimeo
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