Petoskey, Michigan is so far north it’s basically Canada. The big white house on Emmet Street that is Harbor Hall sits less than a mile from a bay that feeds into the Great Lakes. Originally conceived as a halfway house in the 70s, Harbor Hall was not the brainchild of a doctor, but rather a group of concerned local citizens. Today, Harbor Hall offers residential treatment and transitional care to adult men, in addition to outpatient services for men, women and adolescents.
Accommodations and Food
The name Harbor Hall calls to mind some Victorian mansion, when in fact the Hall is a sprawling house, covered in white siding and topped in small turrets. Across the street from a local church, there’s even an old-fashioned blue and white sign on the front lawn announcing Harbor Hall in all caps. Emmet Street is just a block away from Bear River Park and the river that runs through it. Also in walking distance are the post office, Chase Bank and local restaurants, including a cozy cafe called Grand Traverse Pie Company.
Thirty-eight men share bedrooms and bathrooms at Harbor Hall. A former residential client is now the cook at Harbor Hall, serving up meat and potatoes fare three times a day in the dining room.
Treatment and Staff
Harbor Hall doesn’t offer full medical detox, but they do have a sub-acute model of detox that can accommodate less serious withdrawal symptoms. After detox, clients begin the 28-day residential recovery program. In some cases, clients stay for two or three months, depending on an individualized treatment plan designed by the client and his primary therapist.
In the 1990s, Harbor Hall started contracting Recovery Dynamics to train its clinical staff. What this means is that Harbor Hall teaches the AA philosophy in depth and treatment is designed around the 12 steps. There is also a priest on staff who serves as spiritual director. A recreational therapist also organizes team building activities to further bond the group. The clinical care coordinator helps clients figure out their post-residential recovery plans, which often means continuing on to outpatient care.
Gender-specific outpatient services are offered to adult men and women as well as adolescents at two locations: Petoskey and Cheboygan. Outpatient clients have weekly groups that reinforce the 12-step methodology introduced in residential treatment. All but one of the counselors at the Petoskey outpatient location are Master’s-level educated, and all are either LPCs or CADCs. The Cheboygan outpatient location is smaller: there are only three full time staff members. Drug testing and Breathalyzers are used as measures of compliance in both programs.
There are 10 residential staff members on rotation throughout the week at Harbor Hall, including five counselors. Two of these counselors are Master’s-level educated and one is a PhD. The other three are CADCs with backgrounds in social work. The staff-to-client ratio at Harbor Hall is average for a facility of this size, hovering around one-to-seven.
As mentioned, transitional care is one of Harbor Hall’s services: clients have to find a sponsor and attend 12-step meetings, and are required to attend a weekly continuing care group for the 26 weeks they are participating in this program.
Harbor Hall believes that the 12 steps keep people sober, so much so that its programs are designed around AA philosophy. Clients are encouraged to be of service and to find a spiritual life. These principles have been keeping people sober since the ‘30s, so men in need of sobriety would do well to give Harbor Hall a shot.
704 Emmet St
Petoskey, MI 49770
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