Founded in 1979, New York Therapeutic Communities, Inc. (NYTC) is a non-profit alliance of treatment centers that offers drug and alcohol abuse treatment for people in the criminal justice system or those with low incomes. With both inpatient and outpatient programs, the centers rely on a therapeutic community model of treatment that focuses on using peer relationships and 12-step groups to change attitudes and behaviors so clients can make wise choices free of both criminal behavior and drug and alcohol abuse.
Accommodations and Food
There are two houses, both quite large and barracks-style with bunk beds. While rooms are initially shared between many, residents are given more private rooms as they progress through the phases of treatment. The male facility houses up to 50 and its female counterpart up to 40.
Food is basic but healthy with plenty vegetables and starches. Dietary restrictions can only be accommodated when medically necessary (sorry vegans and vegetarians).
Treatment and Staff
Residential treatment typically lasts a year and is followed by outpatient treatment. The residential treatment program is comprised of two gender-specific homes—Serendipity I for men and Serendipity II for women. Both of these programs are court-recognized alternative-to-incarceration programs focused on turning around the lives of criminals and substance abusers so they can become upstanding citizens who no longer threaten public safety.
The therapeutic model employed here is a treatment approach that has been in effect for substance abusers for more than 40 years. As opposed to taking a clinical and medical approach, the programs rely heavily on individual and group therapy, allowing residents to work through their personal issues and come to understand what factors in their lives have blocked them from living crime-free and drug-free lives. In addition, 12-step involvement is required. The community also plays a major role here as residents interact with one another and support each other.
NYTC employs a hierarchical and discipline-centered structure; as residents advance in the program, they turn around and help newer peers. As clients gain confidence, they are offered more education and job training and also allowed to reunite with their families and return to society.
Most staff members are recovering substance abusers who are licensed drug and alcohol counselors.
Serendipity has an active alumni program, offering clients an opportunity to be of service as well as be a role model to newly clean and sober men and women through group activities and outings.
The centers also connect residents with public services such as affordable housing programs, healthcare, educational and vocational training and other resources within the city of New York.
The Serendipity programs offer a supportive and community-based treatment option with a 12-step emphasis that allows men and women in the criminal justice system to overcome substance abuse and get out of the criminal lifestyle at the same time. With an emphasis on helping others and maintaining personal responsibility, along with maintaining connections after graduating, this is a program that is an excellent choice for those who want to stay active in their recovery for the long haul.
New York Therapeutic Communities Location
266 W. 37th St., 21st Floor
New York, NY 10018
New York Therapeutic Communities Serendipity Program Cost
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