Community Support Network is a non-profit agency that was incorporated in 1972 with the goal to provide affordable rehabilitative services to the mentally ill, homeless and those suffering from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. A Step Up—located in Cotati, California—provides long-term dual-diagnosis supported residential treatment for individuals battling mental illness and substance abuse.
The highly structured ASU program accommodates both men and women in a home-like sober environment. Services include education, social rehabilitation, immersion into 12-step programs and both one-on-one and group CBT sessions for six to nine months.
Food and Accommodations
ASU accommodates up to eight men and women in a single-family home on a tree-lined mixed residential and commercial street. Conveniently adjacent to a strip-mall with a post office, dry-cleaners and restaurants, the single-story house sits on a corner lot and features a front porch with seating and a pleasant fenced-in front yard with large trees offering shade and privacy.
Clients share one of four gender-specific bedrooms with one other client. The house has two bathrooms—one for the men and one for women. Shared spaces include a living room with cable TV, a small laundry room and a fully-equipped kitchen with modern appliances where clients prepare their own meals. There is also plenty of parking in a paved private lot behind the house. Residents have easy access to nearby public transportation.
Treatment and Staff
Prior to admittance, clients are screened to determine the best course of treatment, and an individualized plan is developed which includes on-going reevaluation to ensure each client’s recovery stays on track. Case managers work with residents to foster development of independence and self-sufficiency.
Daily life at ASU is structured and treatment incorporates both 12-step methodology and CBT. Clients are required to attend a daily AA/NA meeting and must acquire a sponsor within their first week of treatment. A minimum of one individual therapy session is scheduled per week and residents attend group sessions three times a week.
When clients are not in 12-step meetings or therapy, they are expected to attend educational courses which include topics such as relapse prevention, addiction education, independent living skills, and employment counseling. Family involvement is highly encouraged, though not required. Residents typically stay six to nine months.
ASU’s other supportive housing programs include residential treatment for the mentally ill, housing for individuals transitioning from a hospital setting to independent living, long-term housing for homeless and mentally ill adults and permanent housing for homeless young people between the ages of 18 and 24 who suffer from mental illness. All programs come with case management services as well as employment counseling and job-search assistance.
ASU’s program ensures that each client receives a thorough treatment plan with staff readily available to support their journey. Residents are expected to take responsibility for their progress by participating in regular counseling sessions and 12-step meetings and case managers facilitate the process by helping to identify each individual’s strengths.
The small but homey environment is a nice alternative to a clinical one and allows for dual-diagnosis clients to develop fellowship as well as autonomy in support of their recovery. Treatment is structured and aims to enable residents to develop independent living skills so they exit ASU prepared to be functioning members of their community.
A Step Up
420 East Cotati Ave
Cotati, CA 94931
A Step Up Cost: Sliding scale. Reach A Step Up by phone at (707) 795-4336. Find A Step Up on Facebook
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