Founded in 1978 in San Francisco, California, Community Awareness & Treatment Services (CATS) provides a network of seven programs designed to help financially challenged and homeless clients. Their oldest program, Golden Gate for Seniors (GGS) is a six-month residential treatment program for clients ages 55 and older that suffer from chemical dependency.
Accommodations and Food
Golden Gate for Seniors has an 18-bed capacity, which includes space for 14 men and four women. Men live in a single-family home, while the women reside in a cottage on the same property. The women’s house includes a fully equipped kitchen. Accommodations for men vary from quadruple to single-occupancy rooms. Amenities include a 65-inch Television and recreation rooms.
Residents are served three hot meals per day. Staff lives on the premises and typically, the cook prepares entrees from a planned menu, with the emphasis on weight-conscious and healthy food. Entrees include one starch, one meat, salad and bread. Coffee is provided.
Clients also receive catered food, which comes from the community program Food Runners. The organization uses volunteers who pick up excess food from various businesses, including restaurants, catered events, banquets and hotels. The food is delivered to neighborhood food programs and charities.
Treatment and Staff
Treatment length is typically six months. A potential client must be ages 55 and older. Other criteria includes the ability to walk up and down a flight of stairs, a 72 hour minimum of sobriety, eligibility for government assistance, the ability and desire to work on recovery from substance abuse and other addictions. Upon arrival, clients must produce the required certification, which includes a TB card or test results, driver’s license or state ID, financial documents providing proof of income, medical insurance card and doctor’s note outlining any special dietary needs.
Clients receive individualized treatment plans, which include a combo of individual and group therapy, case management, alcohol and drug education and attendance at off-site 12-step meetings. Residents meet with their therapist on a regular basis and participate in three or four daily group sessions, as well as attend two weekly 12-step meetings. Group topics include mindfulness, self-defeating behaviors, pathways to discovery, communal living, relapse prevention and coping skills. There is a women’s group, which focuses on gender-specific issues. At Golden Gate for Seniors, evidence-based modalities are used during therapy, including CBT and DBT.
Random drug and alcohol screening is conducted. At Golden Gate for Seniors, a zero tolerance policy is practiced. Relapsed clients are evicted from the premises. Lights out is at 10 pm seven days a week. The team includes support staff, technicians, LCSW case managers and LADCs.
Friday night is game night, where clients have fun in sobriety. Due to the abundance of catered food, many of the residents work out at the gym.
This is a unique program that targets homeless and financially challenged seniors who need help, but might not have the resources to get that assistance. Golden Gate for Seniors focuses on helping older adults stay clean and sober and gives them a second chance at a new life, proving it’s never too late to start over.
Community Awareness & Treatment Services, Inc.
Golden Gate for Seniors
637 S. Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110
Golden Gate for Seniors Cost: Sliding scale (30 days). Reach Golden Gate for Seniors by phone at (415) 626-7553 or by email at [email protected]. Find CATS Golden Gate for Seniors on Facebook, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn
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