Safe Haven Outreach Ministry is located in the heart of Washington, DC and offers inpatient and transitional care programs with dual diagnosis support, as well as education and employment services. Founded in 1989, it is managed and run by directors and therapists who are themselves in recovery. All residents are referred by the District of Columbia’s Department of Behavioral Health or Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.
Accommodations and Food
Safe Haven houses inpatient clients in apartment units that are located on the ninth and 10th floors of a business complex. Each unit has three bedrooms housing two clients each and a small living room. Up to 18 women can be accommodated at Safe Haven, with another three units for up to 18 men. The facility has also set aside two units for transgender clients, one of which hosts four women while the other can house three men. Of the apartments for transitional care, 12 are reserved for men, with four to a unit, and three are for women, also with four to a unit. No private rooms are available and each unit comes equipped with one bathroom.
Because Safe Haven provides GED classes as well as job search opportunities, a room is set aside for residents to create resumes and search for jobs available to those in transitional care. Inpatient clients are not allowed to bring electronics with them but residents in the transitional units are (though the staff advises against it due to the potential for theft). Those who bring laptops and cell phones can only use them for job searching.
All of the inpatient and transitional apartments have their own TVs, though there’s also a TV set up in a group room for residents to have a more communal experience. Watching TV is only allowed once the day’s programming has ended.
Weather permitting, staff members can transport residents of either program to a nearby recreational center where they can exercise. Safe Haven also employs an exercise consultant who creates fitness plans for each resident, working with them twice weekly.
All clients in inpatient and transitional care have all their meals prepared by a licensed nutritionist. These generally include protein, vegetables, fiber, fruits, starches and dairy. Sugar and caffeine are allowed in limited amounts.
Treatment and Staff
All Safe Haven therapists use DBT and person-centered therapy in individual and group therapy sessions. SMART Recovery and 12-step support are both available, along with holistic services such as humor therapy and vibration therapy.
In addition to group therapy, residents also participate in five sessions of individual therapy per day. One-on-one topics can vary, while group sessions often cover topics such as relapse triggers, dressing for success and job interview skills.
Residents get up between 5 am and 6 am daily and must be out of their units by 8 am. Medication is taken between 8 am and 8:15 am, after which clients have a short smoking break.
Group programming begins after breakfast, with each session running 50 minutes with 10-minute breaks in between. Lunch is from noon to 1 pm followed by another smoke break and more therapy groups until 5 pm. After the final session of the day, dinner is served from 5 pm to 6 pm. Though transitional clients who have jobs may miss dinner time, their meals can be kept warm for them until the kitchen closes at 8:30 pm.
After dinner, residents have free time until snacks are served at 7:30 pm. Evening medication is from 8 pm to 8:15 pm followed by a final smoke break and free time. On Monday through Thursday, residents must be back on their floor by 10 pm. On weekends and holidays, the curfew extends to midnight.
All inpatient clients stay at Safe Haven for 30 to 90 days, with transitional care available for an additional 90 days. Visiting privileges are granted provided clients are following the rules of the facility. Male residents can have visitors on Saturdays while women have guests on Sundays. Those without cell phones can use their case manager’s phone for business calls only once the day’s therapeutic programming has ended.
Safe Haven employs 22 clinical staff member, among them LPCs, for a staff-to-client ratio of one-to-25 . Residential monitors who help supervise and mentor clients are available around the clock. The program director is on-call 24/7 and a staff psychologist and medical doctor are also on staff, though detox is not available.
Aside from standard treatment, all clients are offered education about stress management, conflict resolution, chemical dependency and building self-esteem. Food and nutrition education are also provided as part of the regular group programming schedule.
Family members can take part in the family program, which consists of family therapy sessions led by an LPC or the staff psychologist. Those who have graduated from the program can attend aftercare groups that are offered twice a week. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 pm to 7 pm, alumni can participate in self-help peer counseling sessions to discuss their challenges and successes. Alumni also visit active residents periodically to discuss their experience and offer guidance under the supervision of staff.
For transitional living clients who have completed inpatient treatment, Safe Haven offers a 12-step oriented program. In this track, all residents are required to attend two to three outside AA/NA meetings per week, depending on their work schedules.
Safe Haven Outreach Ministry is a comprehensive treatment organization that offers a range of services as well as substantial post-treatment support. With a balance of SMART Recovery and 12-step principles, Safe Haven shows residents that they can lead a life that doesn’t rely on substance abuse.
Safe Haven Outreach Ministry
1140 N Capitol St NW, #924
Washington, DC 20002
Safe Haven Outreach Ministry Cost: Free. Reach Safe Haven Outreach Ministry at (202) 589-1505. Find Safe Haven Outreach Ministry on Facebook
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