Justin’s Place is a coed, Christian-based residential substance abuse treatment center in Naples, Florida. The program operates out of St. Matthew’s House, a homeless shelter and feeding ministry. It was founded in 2010 as an all-male program and expanded in 2013 to include female clients. Justin’s Place serves not only clients who are suffering from substance abuse, but also homeless men and women hoping to get their lives back on track.
Accommodations and Food
The treatment program is divided into three separate phases. Male residents in the first and third phases stay in the Wolfe Apartments complex in Naples. Those in the second phase stay about 60 miles away at the Port LaBelle Inn in Labelle, Florida.
The Phase 1 accommodations at the Wolfe Apartments are dorm-style and sleep a total of 16 men in twin beds, but typically only 10 to 12 stay at a time. A mentor or intern—usually a graduate of Justin’s Place—stays overnight with the clients.
The Port Labelle Inn is a three-story hotel situated on a 40-acre plot of land. Although the building still functions as a hotel, the third floor is reserved for Justin’s Place clients to continue their treatment. Each room sleeps two to three clients, with the entire floor accommodating up to 50, and comes equipped with its own bathroom. The program uses hotel conference rooms to host group meetings, lectures and its family retreat.
The men can graduate to actual apartment-style living at the Wolfe Apartments once they transition into the third phase of recovery. The basic accommodations are one-bedroom apartments that typically house two to three clients at a time.
Female clients live on the St. Matthew’s campus, graduating after the first 30 days from a house with bunk beds to small houses with rooms that are shared between four women.
Justin’s Place provides three meals a day. For Wolfe residents, food is prepared by the St. Matthew’s kitchen staff, then delivered to the apartments where clients eat communally. The cooks use fresh meats, fruit and vegetables in every meal. While special diets are not accommodated, Justin’s Place does provide transportation to and from Walmart if clients wish to purchase additional food items.
Treatment and Staff
The treatment program lasts for 13 months and clients can expect to attend group therapy and lectures and to work the 12 steps. The first phase of treatment—the motivational track—lasts for four to six weeks and introduces clients to a rigorous schedule. Residents awake at 5 am and are expected to start their day by working out at the campus gym followed by breakfast at St. Matthew’s. At 8 am, clients have an hour-long bible study and devotion before beginning their group meetings at 9 am. The groups in this phase are relatively small with only 10 clients per meeting.
This phase also includes intensive lectures and group meetings—all based around the 12 steps—tackling one step at a time as a group. Clients are not allowed to leave the apartments at night and must always be with other members of the program.
During Phase 1, clients are also regularly involved in faith-based activities—including mandatory attendance at church services on Wednesdays and Sundays and a faith-to-faith AA/NA meeting on Thursdays. Justin’s Place also uses Celebrate Recovery to tie biblical lessons to recovery. While Justin’s Place is a Christian-based organization, they believe the purpose of faith in recovery is not necessarily conversion, but rather to teach clients to place their problems in the hands of a Higher Power.
The group meetings and lectures take place at both Wolfe Apartments and off campus at community AA/NA locations. Justin’s Place strongly emphasizes Motivational Interviewing (MI) during this phase and also uses CBT in the group meetings. Clients also regularly attend off-campus anger management group sessions. Transportation is provided to and from all outside meetings
The second phase of treatment is called the “discovery track” and lasts for six months. During this phase, clients continue with lectures and group meetings each morning. In the afternoon, they volunteer in the community at an organization of their choice. Approved volunteer options include the Guardian Dog Angel Program, where clients help train dogs for disabled veterans; the Echo Project, which involves the cultivation of vegetables and fruit; and Catalyst Kitchen, a local food bank. Clients can also help with hospitality and maintenance at the Port LaBelle Inn if they wish.
The third phase of treatment is the “transition track” and lasts from seven to eight months. Clients are given a part-time job at a St. Matthew’s-run thrift store to encourage responsibility and accountability.
Altogether, residents study and work for seven to eight steps over the entire course of their stay.
Upon graduation from Justin’s Place, clients can apply for the “recovery for life” program, which allows them to continue living at the Wolfe Apartments for another year. Justin’s Place believes that this program can help clients not only continue their recovery in a safe environment while transitioning into normal life but also become involved in the recovery of others who are just joining the program.
Although the Justin’s Place program is not dual diagnosis, clients with mental health issues and co-occurring disorders are referred to a local health center for additional treatment. Clients in need of detox are also referred out to a local health center or hospital.
Staff are a mix of interns, Justin’s Place graduates and some Master’s-level counselors. The number of staff members varies but the program aims for a one-to-four staff-to-client ratio.
While staying at both the Wolfe Apartments and the Port Labelle Inn, clients are regularly breathalyzed and drug tested.
Although Justin’s Place does not have a formal family program, they do host a yearly retreat for family members at the Port LaBelle Inn. The retreat lasts for three days and two nights and staff members educate family members about how to avoid enabling and co-dependent behavior throughout the client’s recovery.
St. Matthew’s operates a network of thrift stores that regularly employ Justin’s Place graduates. The stores also supply free and discounted clothes to clients.
Justin’s Place is an affordable treatment option for clients who are interested in rehab for substance abuse as well as learning life skills. Their three-phase treatment program requires a high level of commitment to recovery as clients are on a strict recovery schedule for well over a year.
4590 16th Place SW
Naples, FL 34116
Justin’s Place Cost: $800 (county residents, entire stay); $1,350 (non-county residents, entire stay). Reach Justin’s Place at (239) 774-0500 or email them at [email protected]. Find Justin’s Place on Facebook and YouTube
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