Phoenix House Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Phoenix House Venice

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Phoenix House VeniceThe Basics

Phoenix House is an institution of 123 facilities in 11 states, including residential academies for teens that provide a full high school curriculum. Since 1979, founder Mitch Rosenthal has helped some of the most desperate and destitute of addicts get back into the world through Phoenix House. Though it receives support from high profile figures like Beyonce and Shaq, it’s nothing like the luxury, celebrity-strewn treatment centers up the road in Malibu. But for many residents, who are straight out of the criminal justice system, it’s the only option for recovery.

Accommodations and Food

The Venice branch of Phoenix House is an all-male inpatient program, though the outpatient program is co-ed. While its beachfront setting helps lighten up its stark brick façade, accommodations aren’t plush for the 53 residents; however, many of the rooms, which are shared by two or three clients, have unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean. The patio garden has undergone a bit of a makeover in the last few years thanks to help from local businesses and volunteers. Clients are served healthy meals three times a day and have access to healthy snacks throughout the day as well.

Phoenix House has acquired and maintained strong ties to the Venice Beach community, which have proven to be a real asset for the treatment center. For example, local yoga teacher Angela Laner volunteers her time to lead groups of clients in beachside meditation.

Treatment and Staff

The love that Phoenix House attracts from its local community trickles down to its residents, though it’s often turned into tough love. There are four phases in their treatment plan—orientation, motivation and enforcement, primary treatment, community reentry and aftercare. Residents are assigned regular duties based on skill level and career aspirations, and protocols are strictly enforced. While there’s some room for fun (including fitness classes at Muscle Beach), schedules during treatment are as tight.

Phoenix House subscribes to the model of addiction as a chronic disease and uses the evidence-based SAMHSA Curriculum as its therapeutic foundation. Clients with co-occurring disorders are welcome but must undergo 72 hours of initial observation to ensure they don’t hurt themselves or others. Group sessions integrate structured 12-step components, while individual counseling is grounded in CBT. Clients may stay up to a year as residents and receive tailored treatment plans based on their backgrounds and needs.

There are two full-time staff members at Phoenix House on a daily basis but the entire California team is comprised of several more people. Clients have access to doctors, therapists and mental health specialists.

Extras

Since Phoenix House is often an alternative to prison, getting people sober is just one part of reintegrating them into society. Treatment teams help residents with broader life skills—everything from improving social and family functioning to basic literacy. One of the center’s goals is that clients leave Phoenix House not only sober but also economically independent. The Venice facility includes its own Vocational Center that offers remedial classes, GED training and job-hunting resources in partnership with Chrysalis. Other special programs include a computer-training course by Crossing the Digital Divide and a creative writing program featuring classes, workshops and presentations by field professionals. The house has even begun a tradition of annual poetry slams for Black History Month.

Phoenix House also helps clients reunite with their families as well as find jobs and housing after treatment.  It accepts most private insurance as well as Medicaid and Access to Recovery (CARE).

In Summary

Phoenix House Venice is a community-supported rehab where addicts looking to turn their lives around can learn to function and even help each other thrive. For men at the end of their rope, the combination of old-school disciplinary rigor and the loving philosophy of Venice Beach may be a winning combination.

Phoenix House – Venice
503 Oceanfront Walk
Venice, CA 90291

Phoenix House Cost: $0-$5,000 (30 days). Reach Phoenix House by phone at (877) 769-9698 or by email at cmora@phoenixhouse.org. Find Phoenix House on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and YouTube

Do you have a complaint or review of Phoenix House to add? Use the comments area below to add your Phoenix House review.

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1 Comment

  1. The employees are very rude. I went in to my orientation class, it was okay, no problems (sub-instructor). I went to the next one, the teacher (Mrs. Joyce) singled me out of the entire class, because i was wearing a hat, as she stated. Funny thing was there where many other people wearing hats, but as they where the same ethnic as her. These people she stated did not Have to remove there hats. She told me i disrupted her entire class by wearing my hat for the 1st 5min of class. I simply asked her where it is, in the rules, where i cant wear a hat, because it CLEARLY states under CLASS RULES, there is nothing about dress code, BUT during VISITS there is a strict dress code. Which is fine.
    She then pulled me into the hall because, i quote ” I WAS SO DISRUPTIVE” and remember i have only asked her 1 question, this entire time. She then stated, if i wanted to visit the client i was there for, i would behave. Or she would see to it that i could not take the classes to visit my loved one, or have them come stay with me. As other employees heard this, no one said anything. I then went back into class, and sat there, as i always do. Silently. Then through out the class she kept making remarks back towards me, that i didn’t like her right away, that i looked bored, that i obviously didn’t want to be there. etc.. etc …

    On top of that, the food for the clients is horrible.

    On top of that… As well – i tried to do a drop, for my loved one, they only take unopened medicine. Totally fine with me.
    I open’d THE BOX ONLY, in front of the desk lady, and the stated she could not take it since it was opened. Even tho the bottle was sealed, and still had the foil under lid was untouched, BECAUSE IT WAS NEVER OPENED. So i called the corporate number and asked them if they would accept me opening the box only, in front of the counter, at drop off. They stated this is fine & acceptable.
    So why is the staff uneducated on the rules, rude, and incompetent as well…

    This place should be shut down. They lead you on with lies. They have no manners. I think (Mrs. Joyce) has some marbles loose or something. And no one try’s to correct inappropriate behavior from staff. What kind of place is this…

    I even saw them being very rude to clients down the hall through a window on a door….

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