One of the key principles in providing services at Baker Places Inc. is to create a homelike environment in which treatment can occur. All of Baker’s programs are sited in houses located in residential neighborhoods with nothing to distinguish the nature of the services being provided therein.
Many of the clients have lived in large institutional settings or in SRO hotels located in neighborhoods where safety is an issue. This small milieu setting helps to facilitate a “real world “ experience that enables the client to feel safe and at home. The physical setting alone may be seen as an element, in and of itself, that contributes to the process of rehabilitation and recovery. For some clients this may be the first home they have ever lived in and their residency often takes on a special meaning for them.
They are not referred to as patients nor are they treated as anything other than a member of a community, collectively focused on returning to living their lives as autonomously as possible. In fact, regardless of the nature of the program, from the most acute setting to the least restrictive, it is the mission of the Agency to provide the resident with the tools and skills to be self-directed in formulating their treatment goals and plans for the future.
Residents are actively involved in highly structured programs that emphasize the development of group living skills, shared opportunities for cooperative living and individual responsibilities in maintaining and running a household. Within this milieu residents are able to test social relationships and communication skills, they also are assigned an individual counselor to help them identify those issues, which may have placed them at risk in the past. The counselor assists the resident in developing a cohesive, individualized treatment plan. It is important to emphasize that the plan belongs to the resident, they determine their goals and state their hopes for the future. Vocational rehabilitation, volunteer work and educational opportunities are all a part of this exploration. In addition future housing plans are highlighted almost from the very beginning of a residents stay.
Each resident is provided with opportunities to grow through the many exercises and focused groups provided both in Baker’s in house day treatment programs as well as individual counseling provided by trained staff. Groups range from assisting residents in managing their money, avoiding potential pitfalls with regard to relapse and assisting them to develop healthy social networks.
Baker places accepts any adult from 18 years of age and over and most have experienced episodes of homelessness and previous hospitalizations for mental health crises as well as drug and alcohol intoxication. Baker Places believes that virtually any individual interested in treatment should be considered a viable candidate for admission.
Finally as a continuum of care the Agency is uniquely positioned to move clients from one program to another as their problems and issues emerge. It is not uncommon for someone to leave the Joe Healy Detox Program and gain admission at Grove Street, which emphasizes concomitant treatment for individuals in early recovery who have underlying mental health issues. These same clients are often rejected from other treatment programs unable to deal with these complexities. The Agency is extremely proud of its track record in providing services often under the most challenging of circumstances. Baker Places’ philosophy requires that opportunities be created for anyone who is in need of them.