Welcome Home Ministries provides services and support in a 24/7 sober living community for men who suffer from chronic alcohol and drug addictions. Our alcohol and drug recovery support program provides a structured environment that fosters hope, healing, recovery, self-sustainability and spiritual wholeness.
In 1999, Welcome Home Ministries opened our first “recovery residence” in East Nashville with 9 beds to support our Alcohol and Drug Recovery Support Program. By 2009, WHM owned and operated 3 recovery residences to provide a safe, clean, healthy and sober living community of compassionate care for a total of 24 men seeking recovery from alcohol and drug addictions. In recent years, Welcome Home Ministries has experienced extraordinary growth. We have more than doubled our capacity to reach out to our community to provide alcohol and drug recovery support services.
In 2011, we expanded our recovery housing capacity from 24 to 39 beds. In 2014, we opened our 6th recovery residence, which increased our capacity from 39 to 48 beds; and in 2016, we once again expanded our recovery housing capacity from 48 to 57 beds in a total of 7 recovery residences (five congregate living recovery residences, including a house exclusively for veterans, and two permanent supportive recovery residences for recovery program graduates).
Our target population is comprised of men 18 years of age and older, typically ranging in age from 35 to 60 years old. Most of our clients are “chronic relapsers,” which means they have struggled with addiction most of their life, beginning in adolescence. Many of the men entering our program are homeless and unemployed. As many as one-third to one-half of our participants are “dual diagnosed” (chemical dependency with a mental health disorder). Some participants may have an undiagnosed mental illness, which is why we rely on mental healthcare providers to screen our residents for mental illnesses on an as needed basis.
The need for our services is so great in Middle Tennessee that we receive calls on a daily basis from a diverse range of entities to provide recovery support services for clients who have completed detox and/or treatment. Referring sources include mental health treatment facilities, Department of Veterans Affairs, recovery court (DC-4), hospitals, churches, and individuals.
One demographic of the populous in need of our services is Veterans. We work closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs through collaboration to meet the needs of homeless Veterans that suffer from addictions. We have dedicated one of our transitional recovery residences exclusively for Veterans to provide addiction recovery services.
Additionally, recovery courts are increasingly seeking responsible and credible recovery transitional homes as an alternative to prison for individuals convicted of a drug related crime. Welcome Home Ministries provides housing and recovery support services for men who are sentenced in Drug Court 4 (DC-4) to serve time for crimes involving alcohol and/or drugs. Our relationship with DC-4 continues to gain recognition as a positive alternative to prison for individuals convicted of a drug related crime.
Also, our target population deals with all the social ills of poverty. In addition to employment barriers, our clients typically lack resources to acquire the medical treatment they need. Additionally, affordable housing is a tremendous hurdle for our participants, because they have little or no income when they enter our recovery support program. It is common for our clients to have a poor work history, no transportation, no valid driver’s license, or other identification documents, as well as a criminal history. Many of our participants have weak social support networks; often times, the relationships in which they are involved are toxic to their recovery. Some of our participants are lacking in education and/or work skills. As a result, it can be extremely difficult for our program participants to compete in today’s highly completive job market. Not having a job obviously affects income, as well as self-worth, self-sustainability and safety and security concerns, which are “triggers” that must be overcome for our clients to maintain sobriety, as well as good physical and mental health.
It is not unusual for individuals in recovery to relapse multiple times during the lifetime process of recovery and sustainable sobriety. While clinical protocols are successful in detoxification and stabilization, the recovery process is a long and arduous road. It should be understood that relapse is a part of recovery. Recovery and sustainable sobriety require a lifetime of vigilance, accountability and often-mental health treatment for co-occurring disorders.
Detoxification and/or treatment for substance abuse are prerequisite before men are accepted into our intense, yet compassionate ministry of recovery support.
There are six levels in our recovery community: Guest, freshman, sophomore, junior, senior and graduate. It takes a minimum of approximately six months to progress through the program levels within the guidelines of our recovery support program. Individuals must meet the requirements within each level before progression to a higher level within the community is considered.
A “snap shot” of our program: A person who enters our recovery support program begins as a “guest.” A guest is anyone within the first two weeks of our program. The individual is required to be in the house whenever he is not working, looking for work, attending meetings or has permission from the house manager to be somewhere else. A guest must complete at least 4 hours of audio/visual enrichment, attend a minimum of 5 meetings per week (includes 2 mandatory in-house meetings), faithfully observe an 8 PM Curfew, complete at least one community service hour for each week in the program, seek employment and current on rent.
RESPONSIBILITIES (All six levels) All residents are required to: A. Abstain completely from drug and/or alcohol use, or possession B. Be at mandatory house meetings C. Complete at least one community service hour per week D. Attend the required number of meetings that correspond to their level E. Complete assigned chores F. Pay a $25.00 drug screening deposit (refunded upon successful completion of program if not used or test clean) G. Observe appropriate curfew that corresponds to their level H. Have a sponsor