One Day at a Time (ODAAT) relies on the work of skilled volunteers and the social model of recovery to help underprivileged men between the ages of 18 and 60 struggling with substance abuse in London. The International Churches of Christ founded its parent company, Hope Worldwide UK, in 1991 in the hopes of finding a solution to the crisis of poverty. At ODAAT, the men graduating from the program are trained and educated to guide their brothers through recovery.
Accommodations and Food
There are two residential treatment facilities in the South London borough of Lambeth, each dedicated to clients in different stages of treatment. New clients share a house with seven other men. There is little privacy here—shared rooms and bathrooms; everyone is closely monitored by a full time staff member and a team of post-graduate residents. The Second Stage residents have a little more freedom—there are only five members in the household and each has his own room. Clients in both stages are expected to assume personal and individual responsibility for their recovery; chores, meal prep, laundry. Group meetings happen on site, but ODAAT also takes advantage of the beautiful and historic St. Mark’s Kennington Anglican church, when possible.
Treatment and Staff
Medical detox is offered through partner facility. Men entering the program must be willing to make a six-month commitment. Clients either come from detox or directly into the pre-admission process, which could last anywhere from two to 21 days. During this time, staff members assess client suitability and payment arrangements are made, but there is also a daily schedule with counseling sessions, attendance at AA/NA meetings, help with paperwork and medical and other assessments. ODAAT doesn’t offer dual diagnosis support—clients must have low level needs in this respect.
Upon beginning residential treatment, each man is registered with a local doctor and dentist and assigned a counselor. An intensively structured regime characterizes the first three months of treatment, known as the First Stage. This includes individual and group therapy, working the 12-step recovery method, compulsory attendance at a minimum of five AA/NA meetings per week, support planning sessions with staff, attendance at anger management, relapse prevention, life skills and peer support groups, social and sporting activities.
Clients move into the Second Stage (and its house) for the final three months. Life is less closely managed and it is here that clients learn to build a bridge between the intensive regime of First Stage and gradual re-integration into society. Individuals explore education, training or voluntary work in which they are interested. Clients take on an AA or NA sponsor and are encouraged to volunteer for service commitments at meetings.
Graduates are offered continued aftercare support from eight weeks of participation on. This can take the form of sober living quarters, supported housing for the homeless, therapeutic structure for the week and extension of support networks. Social and sporting activities of ODAAT are open to these men. At the end of six months, graduates can take 12 weeks of aftercare and then access a work-training program that can lead to National Vocational Qualification in Health and Social Care.
Five permanent staff members and a team of experienced graduates support the 13 members of the ODAAT sober community. Care Quality Commission Inspection Reports show there are ample qualified, skilled, and experienced staff to meet the needs of residents.
One day at a time is more than the name of the organization; it is a motto, the success of which can be demonstrated in steadily improving statistical outcomes of its program—according to the website, 80% of ODAAT’s graduates continue to be in recovery; 51% are in full-time employment and 24% are in academic or vocational courses.
This program gives its graduates purpose, education and job training—allowing them to give back to the very community that helped them get sober, often pulling these men in from off the streets. ODAAT’s parent company, Hope Worldwide, is a non-profit Christian faith-based charity; services are free to the homeless from all boroughs or counties with preference given to those in the borough of Lambeth.
One Day At A Time (ODAAT)
St Mark’s Kennington
337 Kennington Park Rd
London SE11 4PW
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