Founded in 2012 in the San Diego suburb of Spring Valley, California, by Larry Blackman, who has been clean and sober for eight years, Predestined Ministries provides faith-based sober living for men, specifically criminal justice clients seeking a safe re-entry program. The house gives them a chance to rebuild healthy and productive lives, and an opportunity to work a structured recovery protocol.
As a former inmate, Blackman believes that change is possible and that clients seeking an opportunity to renovate their lives deserve a second chance. Blackman is also a drug and alcohol counselor, and compares a potential client needing help to a fish trapped in a fish bowl, by saying that if the fish is taken out of a bowl, and put to sea, it has a chance to grow and swim freely.
Accommodations and Amenities
At Predestined Ministries, the men’s house is a single-family ranch-style residence with an eight bed capacity, but Blackman keeps the numbers small, to ensure a family-style setting. Typically, there are six men paired in double-occupancy rooms, which include two dressers, a spacious closet, twin beds, as well as a closet in the hallway, which is shared by the household.
The house includes a large front yard and a driveway, which accommodates a few vehicles. Additionally, there is a private back yard with several storage sheds. Clients are to store superfluous belongings in the sheds, so that the house maintains a spick and span atmosphere, which is conducive to recovery. Amenities include cable, Wi-Fi, a house computer with Internet and a laundry room with a washer, dryer and iron. A house manager lives in a private room on the premises. While Blackman does not live at the house, he is very hands-on. He is usually on site or available for support.
While the men are responsible for their own food, no one goes hungry. On a weekly basis, clients receive an individual bag full of food items from a local ministry. A big box containing meat is dropped off on Thursdays. Additionally, Meals on Wheels, a food organization that partners with the Rock Church donates hot, nutritious meals for the house. On Wednesday nights at 6 pm, residents enjoy a hot dinner at New Season’s Church, which is affiliated with the house. To secure a meal, they must volunteer twice a week at the church, for two hours. Meals are prepared in a fully equipped kitchen.
Rules and Regulations
Some clients have recently been discharged from prison, while some men were living on the streets. Clients requiring detox are provided with hands-on assistance, including transportation to a nearby medical facility. All clients undergo a comprehensive assessment with Blackman, to ensure that Predestined Ministries is an appropriate fit. Criminal justice clients must follow the obligations dictated by their probation or parole officers. Clients on medication must supply appropriate paperwork from their doctor to staff. While this is a faith-based house, clients are not required to go to church, however all residents must volunteer for two hours, twice a week at New Seasons Church. This effort also provides them a weekly Wednesday night dinner.
Other requirements include attending two weekly 12-step meetings, including AA/NA or Celebrate Recovery, as well as acquiring employment, volunteering or enrolling in school. Clients on SSI usually participate in community service. The men must secure a sponsor or mentor. Some residents attend service at the New Seasons Church. Performance of household chores and attending the house meeting is required. During the meeting, staff reiterates house rules and listens to clients’ concerns. Church members visit the house on a regular basis, and provide group, as well as individual spiritual mentoring, life skills coaching and financial counseling. Random drug and alcohol screenings are conducted. At Predestined Ministries, residents who relapse are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The curfew is 10 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and one am on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Rock Church also donates vouchers so that clients of Predestined Ministries can purchase clothing, and other necessary items at the church’s thrift store. Often the thrift store features designer-brand clothing and shoes, and the vouchers provide a large discount so that residents can be dressed for success, when they look for work or attend job interviews.
Blackman and staff of Predestined Ministries really care about their residents, and go out of their way to offer coaching and supportive services. Most of the men are at a loss when they leave prison, and Blackman gives them a second chance. At Predestined Ministries, each client is treated with respect and dignity. For men who are interested in checking out a faith-based and highly supportive sober living atmosphere, Predestined Ministries is a great match.
2615 Bancroft Dr
Spring Valley, CA 91977
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