Samaritan Homeless Interim Program (SHIP) is a non-profit substance abuse and behavioral health facility in Sommerville, New Jersey. Since 1985, Samaritan has served the homeless community, former offenders and those who have suffered financial hardships. SHIP offers comprehensive outpatient substance abuse and addiction care based on the 12 steps for adult men and women. To date, the facility has provided care for over 100,000 clients.
Treatment and Staff
Drug and alcohol treatment at the facility is referred to as the Better Way program. These programs begin with individualized treatment plans where clients work closely with a case worker to establish goals they hope to accomplish as they progress through the program. Treatment is faith based and follows the 12 steps, in addition to using the Harm Reduction Model and REBT.
Depending on what would best serve each client, both outpatient and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) are available. These entail either one session per week for the basic outpatient track or three days per week for the IOP. Clients participate in group and individual therapy during this time for up to three hours a day.
Group sessions use psychoeducation, and discuss relapse prevention, coping skills and tips on how to manage stress with techniques like meditation. Individual therapy sessions are typically once a week, though due to the individualized nature of treatment clients may opt for group sessions only. Attending off-site AA/NA or Celebrate Recovery meetings is recommended though not required.
The staff at SHIP is comprised of caseworkers who have worked in the addiction field for many years, including the executive director Tom O’Leary who was homeless with his family many years ago. O’Leary’s own experiences fuel his passion for advocacy—having achieved multiple accreditations including LADC, Certified Alcoholism Counselor (CAC), International Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (ICADC), Master Addictions Counselor Endorsement (MACe) and a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor (CCDC).
An eight-week aftercare program that meets on Tuesday nights for two hours is available to those who wish to continue with treatment—dinner is included. There are also food, housing, transportation and job placement programs available to all who qualify. Additionally, childcare is provided for parents participating in treatment.
In addition to helping clients stay sober, Samaritan Homeless Interim Program’s main goal is to maintain each client’s dignity. Most clients are low-income and in some cases are homeless, making Samaritan a unique program committed to helping the under-served regardless of their financial circumstances. With individual and group treatment and adherence to the 12-step model of recovery, Samaritan’s free program is a solid choice for those suffering from financial hardship.
Samaritan Homeless Interim Program
87 East High St
Somerville, NJ 08876
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Photo courtesy of VisitNJ
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