Project Ninety, Inc. is a 12-step-based nonprofit substance abuse treatment center founded in 1972 in California’s Bay Area. Operating facilities in San Mateo and Santa Clara, its name is derived from AA’s recommendation that newcomers attend “90 meetings in 90 days” as a way to build a foundation in recovery. Project Ninety offers residential treatment for adult men—including a specialized co-occurring disorders program—and co-ed outpatient services. Although the program previously served female clients, women are now referred for treatment to the Women’s Recovery Association in San Mateo.
Accommodations and Food
For the first 30 days of treatment, men stay at Project Ninety’s O’Toole Center in San Mateo. The facility has a 30-bed capacity. Residents are housed in dorm-style rooms. While most men are paired off, some rooms—known as “pods”—can accommodate between three and four residents.
Residents of the O’Toole Center eat three hearty meals a day, served cafeteria-style. Coffee is available all day long.
After the first 30 days, residents move into local sober living-style residences, where they purchase their own groceries and prepare their own food.
Treatment and Staff
An open interview is required prior to admission. Interviews are held 11 am on Tuesdays and 11:45 am on Fridays, at 416 2nd Avenue in San Mateo. Interviews are comprehensive and last between one-and-a-half to two hours in length. Potential clients are assessed to determine eligibility for the program. Men must have a three-day minimum of abstinence from drugs and alcohol prior to admittance. Once accepted into the program, they are placed on a waiting list for a bed. There is usually a three-to-six week waiting period for potential clients.
Treatment follows a 12-step-based model and is broken into three phases. The first 30 days is known as the “self-evaluation” phase, followed by 30 days of “future planning,” and finally, a 30-day “into action” phase.
Treatment in all phases includes individual therapy, group therapy and mandatory daily attendance at 12-step meetings. The rehab’s white vans, which bare the slogan “Take-Me-To-A-Meeting” are used for transportation. The program focuses on recovery as outlined in the Big Book. Residents are required to get sponsors, work their steps and get “into action.” Besides addiction and recovery, the co-occurring disorders program helps men with depression and other mental health disorders.
The outpatient program is similar to residential, but is less time intensive. Weekly treatment includes two three-hour group sessions and one individual therapy session, as well as mandatory attendance at 12-step meetings.
The staff of Project Ninety includes Bachelor’s and Master’s-level administrators who serve as director of administration, director of information technology and intake director. Other staff includes CADCs and college interns majoring in human services or addiction studies (Project Ninety internships last for one semester and require a weekly six-hour minimum time commitment). Medication management and dual diagnosis support are provided by therapists and a staff psychiatrist.
The Project Ninety family program consists of a family group offered on Monday evenings which provides education and support for loved ones. Clients and relatives share and discuss family issues. Group topics include co-dependency, enabling, addiction as a family disease, healthy boundaries, relapse prevention and communication skills.
The rehab relies on community donations for van maintenance and repair. Project Ninety attire and baseball caps are sold on its website. Proceeds go toward the treatment’s operating expenses.
For men in the Bay Area seeking a comprehensive 12-step-based program, look no further; few rehabs use the Big Book as the primary modality for treatment. Besides acquiring tools to create a new life based in recovery, residents learn how to bond with one another and form healthy friendships.
Project Ninety, Inc.
720 South B. St
San Mateo, CA 94401
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