Safe Haven, technically “Havens” because this treatment program operates out of two side-by-side picturesque Victorian style homes, is located in York, a small city in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. It opened in 2003 after two men, who had themselves been through recovery, decided to develop a program incorporating structure, independence, peer support and responsibility. The recommended stay at Safe Haven is about six months.
Accommodations and Food
The Safe Haven houses are spacious and feature well-kept hardwood floors. One of them is a 10-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot house that accommodates 21 residents, while the other is a six-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot house that accommodates 14. Rooms are usually shared between two or three clients, although one home has an 800-square-foot room that comfortably accommodates four and features a private bathroom. Each room has twin beds and a few mismatched dressers and nightstands for storage. The facility also has a common area with a television, a large dining room area for group meals and a backyard with a basketball hoop and punching bag for recreation.
The program cost includes food, but residents are responsible for preparing their own meals. Residents take turns cooking meals and doing dishes from Monday through Thursday and are completely responsible for all their own food arrangements over the weekend.
Treatment and Staff
Treatment at Safe Haven involves daily off-site 12-step meetings (residents can find three to five meetings daily within a five mile radius), chores and optional mental health care services across the street at the Safe Haven Treatment Center, which is not included in the cost. Residents must attend 90 12-step meetings during the first 90 days and must obtain a sponsor within the first month. They also must find employment within the first couple of weeks. If the resident is disabled, they can volunteer for 25 hours a week instead. While Safe Haven does not offer organized recreation, residents are encouraged to use the on-site recreation options or join one of the two gyms conveniently located within a mile of the homes.
Residents get up early in the morning and are expected to be out working from 9 am to 3 pm. When they return, they might attend a 12-step meeting or complete their daily chore. That is followed by dinner and the option to attend another meeting.
Staff at Safe Haven includes several live-in administrative/managerial staff as well as the two founders. The staff-to-resident ratio is about one to seven during the day, and about one to ten at night depending on the house.
After 30 days, residents are allotted one 24-hour pass per week to help maintain their connection to the outside world. Safe Haven also provides support with scheduling any aftercare needs, such as counseling, and helps residents find 12-step meetings in their area.
Safe Haven is an affordable, well-run resource for addicts in recovery. The program could be ideal for someone with a strong family presence in the area.
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