Phoenix House Springfield in Massachusetts is part of Phoenix House, one of the largest non-profit providers in the country with more than 130 different national programs, including a Venice location. Its moderately sized Springfield facility seeks to serve residents who need a controlled environment to get sober and learn the necessary skills for sustaining it.
Accommodations and Food
The main facility is a large house which is nearly a century old. It houses up to 35 male clients, with an average of 12 female residents stay in similar housing directly across the street. All bedrooms are shared with up to six men in a room at a time, all with twin beds and minimal furniture—there are also shared bathrooms on each floor. The Springfield house has a kitchen, dining room and office area on the first floor, with housing on the second and third and laundry facilities in the basement. The women’s house also has a kitchen, common area and on-site laundry.
In keeping with the facility’s low cost, all meals are cooked and prepared by the clients themselves. The staff orders food in bulk at the beginning of the week. After that, different groups of residents take care of weekly dinners, with hot breakfast served on the weekends as well. Clients take care of their own lunches, and have access to leftovers in the pantry as well as any food saved in the freezers during the day time. Breakfast is a similarly do-it-yourself affair, with yogurt, cereals and toast for the residents to start their day with. Any extras like favorite brands of coffee or creamer must be purchased independently.
Treatment and Staff
Recovery at Springfield Center typically lasts three to six months. During their first 30 days, clients are only allowed off the grounds for medical, probationary or legal needs; they can also attend an off-site AA meeting at noon with supervision. After this initial period, residents can go to evening meetings unaccompanied and go to job interviews. Days begin at 8 am, with morning meetings until 9 am. After that, clients do their assigned chores, attend their first group therapy and break for lunch. Next comes an afternoon 12-step meeting followed by more group therapy. Next, residents prepare and eat dinner before going to off-site AA meetings. After all daily treatment is over, clients can enjoy time to relax and watch cable TV in the common room; lights go out promptly at midnight.
Given the location, there is no medical detox offered on-site at Springfield, nor is there a medical doctor on-site. A psychiatrist visits the facility once a week to handle clients’ medication as needed. When it comes to individual counseling, residents must make off-site medical or psychiatric consultations. The house is staffed around the clock, and all those handling daily counseling and 12-step meetings are Master’s-level therapists and counselors. Phoenix House also employs many recovering addicts as well, believing their life experience can offer both insight and a positive example to other clients. There are typically three women and three men on staff at any given time.
There are no exercise facilities on the grounds, though residents can get a gym membership at the nearby YMCA or LA Fitness. On-site, many clients play cards together or shoot hoops in the back driveway court. Residents can also watch movies together in the common area at night, or on the weekends.
Given that it falls under the expansive Phoenix House banner, residents at Springfield have access to one of the region’s premier non-profit substance abuse treatment agencies, which annually serves more than 3,500 individuals at 45 programs and facilities throughout New England. This is important to note as clients can take advantage of Phoenix House-related aftercare programs in facilities in other parts of western Massachusetts.
Phoenix House Springfield serves as a back-to-basics group living facility with a tight daily schedule. It serves those who may have fallen through the cracks of the system or who cannot afford even a mid-range rehab facility, all to promote community as well as sobriety.
Phoenix House Springfield
5 Madison Ave
Springfield, MA 01105
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