Vista Maria is a Michigan-based residential treatment facility that provides therapy and on-campus schooling for some of Detroit’s most vulnerable girls—particularly those who are struggling with substance abuse.
Originally founded 130 years ago as an orphanage, Vista Maria has evolved into a community-based organization which aims to treat the whole person: physically, emotionally and spiritually. This holistic approach helps young clients gain a sense of self-respect, dignity and self-sufficiency. Although the facility serves a wide range of at-risk girls between the ages of 11 and 17, only clients who have been referred from foster care or the court system are accepted at this time.
Accommodations and Food
The girls are provided spacious single or double rooms in one of many campus dorms. The academy situated on Vista Maria’s 37-acres is both a middle and high school, with classes in session year-round.
Located in the quiet suburb of Dearborn Heights, the Vista Maria campus has ample outdoor spaces and wooded areas, as well as an outdoor pool. Meals are served in a large cafeteria, and kitchen staff follows Michelle Obama’s new Nutritional Standards for schools. There’s also an on-site chapel, as well as two new state-of-the-art mental health buildings.
Recreational therapists also offer a variety of services and learning opportunities which include yoga, outdoor activities, cooking classes and photography.
Treatment and Staff
Mental health and wellness are foundational components of treatment at Vista Maria, and taken seriously. Therapeutic modalities include CBT, weekly individual therapy, Motivational Interviewing (MI) and group therapy. Being a 12-step oriented program, there are also both AA and NA meetings hosted on-site.
The facility can accommodate up to 165 residents, and there are nearly 200 staff employed by Vista Maria. At any given time, the girls are ensured a staff-to-client ratio of at least one-to-four. There is an on-site doctor, but most of the staff is made up of psychiatrists, Masters-level therapists, Bachelor-level coaches or youth mentors.
Vista Maria’s program is geared towards providing “healing and hope” to at-risk girls who have suffered from abuse, neglect, trauma and co-occurring addiction. In addition to therapy and educational programs, mentors and coaches work with the girls one-on-one to help prepare them for testing for college admittance, picking and applying to colleges and learning the needed skills to excel once they leave treatment.
The recovery approach at Vista Maria is education-based in an effort to ensure clients stay away from risk-taking behavior once they leave. In an effort to contribute to healing the cycles of poverty and abuse, programs are heavily geared towards equipping youth with the necessary tools to become healthy, contributing members of their families and community as a whole. Therefore, there are an impressive number of programs geared at helping the girls transition to the outside world—including education plans, relationship building, budgeting and banking and community-based programs as well as transitional living.
Vista Maria is a residential treatment facility for middle and high school girls which aims to treat young clients holistically through a range of evidence-based therapy methods, the 12 steps, education and the necessary tools to become healthy, contributing members of their families and communities through healing and empowering activities.
20651 West Warren St
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
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