SHIELDS for Families is a wide-ranging community outreach organization in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1991 by Kathryn S. Icenhower, PhD, Xylina Bean, MD and Norma Mtume, SHIELDS offers many free resources including programs for mental health and substance abuse, social services and general aid to those struggling with legal and financial problems.
One of these programs is Exodus, a residential dual diagnosis option designed to allow women to continue living with their families while getting treatment for addiction. Exodus is the only program in the United States that provides entire apartments for residents and their families.
Accommodations and Food
All clients are housed in Keith Village, a low-income housing complex in Compton with room for 84. Each family is granted a small apartment complete with its own bathroom, kitchen and modest amenities. The facility offers a range of services, including on-site staff to manage the property and provide case management. Keith Village allows clients 24-hour access to on-site managers, and all families who qualify can live there—no matter how large. Pre-cooked meals are not provided, though help with groceries is available; residents must cook for themselves.
Treatment and Staff
Upon intake, all clients go through an in-depth assessment to determine their history of substance abuse. This goes over all basic psychosocial factors as well as past drug use, and includes a physical exam.
After residents have been processed, treatment begins in earnest. Clients and family members are offered comprehensive and collaborative care, all of which are individualized. The Exodus program offers individual, group and family therapy as well as case management. More specifically, treatment relies on evidence-based practices including CBT, Seeking Safety, Motivational Interviewing (MI) and family-centered care. In addition to the above, clients take classes in life skills, child development and parenting.
Typically, residents stay in the program for 12 to 24 months. Upon completion, families are allowed to keep living in Keith Village for up to a year to pursue their vocational and educational goals.
Beyond treatment, mothers in Exodus can send their children and adolescents to SHIELDS’ nearby Child Development Center for a range of services as well. For children up to five years old, SHIELDS can provide developmental assessments, case management, home visits and early literacy help through the Healthy Start program.
Similarly, those six to 18 can take advantage of comprehensive after-school and summer day programming though the “Heros and Sheros” program. The latter includes academic support, educational groups, crisis intervention and addiction prevention (as well as all the same therapies offered in the main Exodus program).
All family members are also welcome to attend group sessions with clients, and are offered their own support groups and individual therapy whenever necessary. Lifetime aftercare is available to all families as well, including case management, support groups, crisis intervention and alumni activities.
SHIELDS for Families’ Exodus program is a unique opportunity for women and their families to pursue recovery from addiction as a complete unit. With 24-hour staff, a wide range of treatment and access to numerous community resources, the Exodus program through SHIELDS is a great resource for struggling families in the area.
SHIELDS for Families Exodus Program
1746 E Kay St
Compton, CA 90221
SHIELDS for Families Exodus Program Cost: Sliding scale (30 days). Reach SHIELDS for Families by phone at (323) 242-5000 x4122 or by email at [email protected]. Find SHIELDS for Families Exodus Program on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn