Tuerk House is a prolific rehab located about three miles from the city center of Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Isadore Tuerk, once the commissioner of Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and an advocate for the disadvantaged, opened the facility in 1970. It has since helped over 24,000 clients, most of which have been below the poverty line, jobless or even homeless.
Accommodations and Food
The facility is in a large brick building that holds 75 residents and was once a Lutheran hospital. Rooms are usually well lit and include a twin bed, a nightstand and plenty of storage space, with clients generally housed three or four to a room. There’s access to a communal TV and an outside smoking area, but other than that accommodations are mostly limited. Their program also claims to have “the best institutional food in Baltimore,” and serves meals like chicken with vegetables, hot dogs, pasta and salads and there are also snacks throughout the day.
Treatment and Staff
Treatment at Tuerk House lasts 30 days and begins with a medically supervised detox if needed, though they are not equipped to handle alcohol or benzodiazepine detoxes. After that there’s individual counseling, group counseling, Motivational Interviewing (MI), social skill development, on-site 12-step meetings, vocational training and “wrap around” services like job counseling, job placement and parenting classes.
A typical day begins at 8:30 am with a lecture that sets the theme of treatment for the day. Residents then have an array of treatment sessions that can include small group therapy, case management, social learning or individual sessions, broken up by medication, lunch around noon and dinner in the early evening. Clients may also take snack breaks, smoke breaks and leisure breaks during which they can watch television or make phone calls. Everything ends at 9:30 pm, with lights out shortly after that.
Tuerk House employs 70 staff members altogether. Among them are administrative support staff, psychiatrists, doctors, counselors and nurses; the overall staff-to-resident ratio is about one-to-one (an amazing ratio, given the cost). No visitors are allowed while at Tuerk House.
One bonus is that the facility offers six months of aftercare that falls into two different phases. In phase one, clients go to three group sessions a week for three months, located in the same facility as primary care. During phase two, residents attend one of these sessions a week for another three months. Over the course of these six months, clients must also attend 48 AA meetings, though not necessarily at the Tuerk House. Once everything is done, residents can attend a graduation ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments.
Tuerk House also has three different halfway houses for those seeking transitional housing, two for men (The Weisman-Kaplan House and Howard House) and one for women (The Nilsson House). Individual and group therapy is still available at the halfway houses, but clients must also attend school and seek out employment.
For the most part, Tuerk House provides solid care for those seeking reasonably priced treatment. It also seem to emphasize community involvement and has a fantastic staff-to-client ratio for the price point. Because of all this, they almost always have a wait list of about four weeks for men and two weeks for women. While potential residents wait, Tuerk House does provide outpatient care in the form of group counseling. Treatment here is thorough given the price tag and it’s supervised by a professional and well-educated team.
730 Ashburton St
Baltimore, MD 21216
Tuerk House Cost: Sliding scale, at most $4,980 (30 days). Reach Tuerk House by phone at (410) 233-0684. Find Tuerk House at Facebook
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