Originally founded in 1963 as a single halfway house, Pioneer Human Services has grown to become a substantial non-profit organization with over 60 locations throughout Washington state. With a mission of changing lives for the better, Pioneer Human Services offers detox, extended-care residential and outpatient treatment to people struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.
Accommodations and Food
Pioneer Human Services has three residential facilities: the 53-bed Pioneer Center East, the 143-bed Pioneer Center North and the 16-bed Co-occurring Residential Program (CORP) for clients needing dual diagnosis support. All of these facilities are co-ed and the amenities mirror each other—basic rooms, each equipped with two twin beds and a small cabinet per client for storage. Rooms are same-gender, the communal bathrooms are at the end of the hall and there are common lounges with TVs and pay phones, available on a strict timetable.
Meals are provided in a cafeteria style setting with new meal plans each week. Meals are simple but nutritious. Breakfast options include cereal, toast, or fruit bowls while lunch typically consists of sandwiches, salads, or soups and dinner offerings are often a chicken or meat dish, a vegetable option, and a carb such as pasta or rice.
Treatment and Staff
Pioneer’s residential programs are the only involuntary treatment programs in the state. Clients arrive through the prison system, the courts and by way of Native American tribal government. Self-referrals are also considered on a case-by-case basis. In general, these are difficult cases: clients who are a danger to themselves or others or who haven’t been able to stay sober. Medical detox and psychiatric stabilization services are available at Pioneer East (five beds) and three additional locations: Dutch Shisler Service Center in Seattle, Skagit County Crisis Center in Burlington and Whatcom County Detox in Bellingham. Clients detox and see psychiatrists to determine if they need dual diagnosis support or medication management before they are directed to further treatment.
Treatment plans are the same at Pioneer Centers East and North. Both programs run for 60 to 90 days. Clients take part in daily individual and group therapy, including anger management classes and process groups. They also participate in trust building exercises, learn basic living and nutrition skills and get relapse prevention education in addition to grief counseling and coping classes. Motivational speakers also come in, in the hopes that they might stop criminal clients from reoffending.
The CORP schedule isn’t much different, other than the fact that dual diagnosis support is integrated into treatment. Clients are closely monitored by mental health professionals, see a psychiatrist for medication management and attend additional groups specific to their co-occurring disorders—be it anxiety, depression or bi-polar disorder.
Outpatient services are offered at two Pioneer locations, Seattle and Tacoma. Clients at this level are often self-referred. The Seattle program specializes in dual diagnosis support, while the Tacoma branch offers intervention services in addition to housing and family reintegration services for clients coming out of the justice system. Both locations have Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and outpatient schedules.
Meditation and relaxation classes are offered in the residential programs.
Pioneer Counseling Services also trains clients to work and gives them job opportunities in food service, manufacturing and pest detection.
Pioneer Human Services gears its treatment towards difficult cases—clients who have not been able to maintain sobriety and who are often a danger to themselves and others. This looks like serious residential treatment. It’s not 12-step oriented but evidence-based and lasts for up to three months. Pioneer Human Services is doing its best to get clients back into the general population by providing affordable treatment and housing and job opportunities to those who otherwise might not have them.
Pioneer Human Services
7440 West Marginal Way South
Seattle, WA 98108
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