Anoka, Minnesota, a small town about 20 miles from Minneapolis, is home to Transformation House, an organization that offers residential and outpatient treatment for substances abusers. The clientele is generally very poor, and the treatment is focused on spiritual recovery.
Betty Mathews, an experienced chemical decency counselor, founded TH in 1990 in order to “help persons who are chemically dependent using honesty, love and respect.”
Accommodations and Food
TH’s main office is located in Anoka, and its inpatient programs are administered in four buildings on three properties in and around the city.
When at full capacity, TH I houses 12 men in a four-plex structure that was once an apartment building. Transformation House III is in Princeton, MN and has a total of 17 beds. Both Transformation Houses I and III are men-only.
Transformation Houses II A and II B are for women only. They are both located on the same property in Fridley, MN. II A houses 28 women in an 11-plex apartment building and II B is designated for “high intensity clients,” and holds 20 women.
While its residential buildings all once served as apartment buildings, individual apartments at TH’s buildings have been adapted for use in rehab. Most are two-bedroom, one-bath units with each housing four clients—usually one person in each bedroom with two others sharing the living room.
With so few single rooms available, the selection process is guided by the specific needs and progress of individual clients.
Residents of the various Transformation Houses prepare their own food for breakfast and lunch. The food is nutritious, but with no special emphasis on a particular style or cuisine. In the women-only facilities, the residents themselves cook dinner while the male-only houses have a cook who prepares evening meals. Visitors are allowed on weekends.
Treatment and Staff
After an initial assessment, clients at TH are given an individualized treatment plan. Typically, inpatient stays last between 60 and 90 days. There are three levels of care at TH: high intensity, medium intensity and aftercare.
The daily schedule at TH is highly structured with treatment focusing heavily on spirituality. A typical day for most clients begins at 6 am. After breakfast, they attend group therapy from 9 am to 12 pm. After lunch and an hour of rest, residents attend group sessions from 2 to 4 pm. After another hour of rest followed by dinner, the day’s final group begins at 6 pm and has no set end point, although “lights out” is at 11 pm on weekdays.
Every resident of TH sees an individual therapist at least once a week and may talk to clinicians as needed throughout their stay. TH’s therapists use Motivational Interviewing (MI) techniques as a means to connect on a deep level with each individual.
TH’s treatment is not based on any specific religion. The facility supports people of any—or no—faith or tradition.
When possible, TH provides for clients whose spiritual traditions require specific practices. For example, yoga classes are occasionally offered and TH has worked with Native American groups in order to allow clients to take part in Native rituals. Use of 12-step programs or other peer support is encouraged, but not required. Atheists are welcome, too.
TH offers no detox facilities, but will refer clients if needed. While TH does not have a doctor on staff, clients who have been prescribed Suboxone are allowed. Many TH clients are dual diagnosis, although those with very serious mental illnesses will be referred elsewhere.
All of TH’s clinicians are LADCs and clients are given case management services as part of their treatment. There are a total of 12 clinicians at TH with a six-to-one staff-to-client ratio.
TH’s clients are paid for either by the state or from private insurance. According to the program’s director, most of TH’s residents lack the ability to pay for treatment so government programs usually fund their stay.
TH’s outpatient program is akin to a day program, where clients attend inpatient groups as needed. That typically means either eight hours a week for 10 weeks, four hours a week for 20 weeks, or 20 hours a week for 90 days. Outpatient services offered include DBT groups, employment education and family counseling.
TH is heavily focused on spiritual recovery and is willing to accommodate the religious needs of clients.
More than just a collection of apartment buildings-turned-rehab centers, TH aims to provide hope to an often hopeless part of the population through a focus on spiritual recovery.
While the out-of-pocket costs of this rehab are relatively low (it’s $170 a day for the high intensity program, and that includes room and board), TH’s programs are mainly for the indigent and most clients have been referred as opposed to choosing to go—so it might not be the best choice for those outside that demographic group.
1410 South Ferry St
Anoka, MN 55303
Transformation House Cost: $5,100 (30 days). Reach Transformation House by phone at (763) 427-7155 or by email at [email protected].
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