Founded in 1984 in Omaha, Nebraska, the Stephen Center provides a plethora of substance abuse and addiction treatment for financially challenged clients. Programming includes the CARF-accredited HERO inpatient program, outpatient care, a homeless shelter, permanent housing and transitional living for men. Men in transitional care are housed in an apartment complex in close proximity to the residential HERO program, which focuses primarily on dual diagnosis support.
Accommodations and Food
The HERO program accommodates 32 men and 32 women, who are housed in gender-specific apartments, each lodging four residents. The apartments each have a bathroom and two furnished bedrooms with twin beds and a large dresser. Each client is allotted three dresser drawers.
Washers and dryers are available on the premises. The Stephen Center’s Thrift Store often provides vouchers so that clients can obtain clothing and other necessities. Smoking is permitted outside in designated areas. Cell phones, weapons, mouthwash with alcohol and lock boxes are not allowed on the premises.
All units have a small kitchenette with a sink, a compact refrigerator and a microwave oven. Due to limited space, clients must keep grocery supplies to a minimum. Clients are served with three daily meals, cafeteria-style. Meals are eaten inside a dining hall, which has vending machines stocked with snacks and soda.
Treatment and Staff
Potential clients undergo a comprehensive assessment, to ensure they fit admittance criteria. While detox is not provided, referrals can be made. Approved individuals receive individualized treatment plans, which are updated by counselors on a regular basis. The program is comprised of three stages. The duration of the first phase is between 30 and 45 days, followed by the second phase that extends between 12 and 14 weeks, and finally, a third stage which has a 45-day interval.
The HERO program employs evidence-based practices, including Motivational Interviewing (MI) and CBT, as well as a 12-step approach. Upon arrival, residents undergo a two-week “blackout” so that they can fully concentrate on their recovery. During this time clients cannot make or receive phone calls or have visitors. Clinical staff monitors progress, and if deemed necessary, can extend the blackout period. Residents participate in group and individual therapy and a family program. They must compose their life story, complete a drug chart and admit acceptance of their new lives. Clients must attend 12-step meetings, obtain sponsors and start step work. Group topics include substance abuse education, co-occurring disorders, spirituality, the 12 steps and relapse prevention.
During the second phase, clients look for employment, go to 12-step meetings with sponsors and attend church, if desired. Treatment includes participation in an evening Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that lasts between 12 and 14 weeks. Additionally, if they haven’t found work, they have to go to IOP or volunteering during the day.
During phase three, counselors help residents find structured living environments. Clients participate in aftercare, which is a step down from IOP and includes one weekly group session, plus continued participation in a 12-step program. Also, clients must maintain employment. Upon successful completion, male residents are recommended to transitional living at the Stephen Center.
The residence has 24-hour staff that provides supervision. Treatment staff includes a case manager, spirituality therapist, licensed addiction drug counselors, mental health counselors and addiction therapists.
The Pettigrew Emergency Shelter provides housing for men, women and parents with children. Three meals a day are provided for residents who must be clean and sober prior to admittance.
The Stephen Center’s HERO Program provides comprehensive treatment for those who desperately need help with substance addiction and co-occurring disorders. With a combination of evidence-based therapy and thorough 12-step support, as well as case management services, this facility is an invaluable resource for men and women who need treatment but have limited financial means.
Stephen Center HERO Program
5217 South 28th St
Omaha, NE 68107
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