Safe Harbor launched its new ARISE program on September 26th, 2016. Our pilot year served 77 ARISE participants. We maintained an 83% Phase 1 completion rate and have watched program recidivism drop 91% since 2015 (pre-ARISE program). Post survey data shows significant correlation between participation in ARISE and client feelings of readiness for independent life following Safe Harbor.
An update ARISE curriculum was rolled out September 18, 2017 in congruence with a years’ worth of participant feedback and suggestions.
The ARISE program is mandatory for all incoming residents unless otherwise specified by their case manager, and consists of three separate phases which residents must progress through during their time at Safe Harbor.
What is ARISE?
ARISE stands for Accountability, Recovery, Initiative, Self-Sufficiency, Education. The program is meant to integrate structure within our residents’ lives and better prepare them for the tasks of daily living.
Accountability – the ARISE program fosters accountability by providing residents with responsibilities like showing up to class and meetings on time, remembering their folders/pencils/notebooks, letting their case managers know if they have a valid reason to miss class, and completing assignments on time. In addition, residents are responsible for getting all of their 66 required classes signed off on upon completion, and requesting alternative assignments for classes they miss due to doctor’s appointments or other excused absences.
Recovery – the ARISE program takes a holistic approach to recovery, whether it be recovery from drugs or alcohol, recovery from mental health crises, or recovery from whatever circumstances caused the individual to be homeless. The program blends group discussions with individual reflection assignments and “foundation classes” in a variety of skill areas. These different components are designed to assist each resident discover the root causes of their homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues, and work to combat them.
Initiative – the ARISE program teaches our residents to take the initiative both in their classes and in their everyday lives. We encourage residents to speak up and ask questions in class, and reward those who “go the extra mile” during monthly house awards (Resident of the Month, Unsung Hero, and Best Bunk) on our Wall of Achievement. On the flip side, we assign “Learning Experiences” to residents who break the rules or neglect their responsibilities. Learning Experiences consist of cleaning tasks, reading assignments, or reflective writing. It is that resident’s responsibility to take the initiative to ask their case manager why they got the Learning Experience and to correct it in the future. Once in Phases 2 and 3, it is our residents’ responsibility to keep up with case management and inform them of their progress and their struggles.
Self-Sufficiency – ARISE programming provides both breadth and depth in teaching everyday living skills. Topics covered range from budgeting to conflict resolution, self-reflection to stress management, and basic cooking to prioritizing. The purpose of this programming is to provide a stable foundation for all of our residents on which they can build their future successes. It is also meant to encourage them to reflect on the root causes of their homelessness. We like to view homelessness as a symptom of deeper issues which cannot truly be treated without addressing those issues. By providing our residents with the tools and skills necessary to not only attain but also maintain their goals, we hope to never see them return to Safe Harbor as anything other than a volunteer!
Education – ARISE programs prompt our residents to ask why. Rather than simply accepting things as they are, we hope to foster in each of our residents a healthy sense of curiosity and a hunger for more knowledge. Classes blend different media and teaching techniques to convey topics that otherwise might be difficult to the layperson, such as what happens to your brain chemistry in active addiction and in recovery, during a time of conflict or stress, or how brain chemistry differs between mental health disorders. In-class discussions delve into why sleep and healthy eating can affect attitude, decision making, and chronic health conditions. Classes often take short detours from the formal lesson plan to discuss current issues, movie plots, or personal experiences that residents make a connection to while talking about the class topic – and we encourage that wholeheartedly! Critical thinking and making connections are also vital skills sets for our residents to learn and practice.
Phase 1 of the program is made up of six weeks of intensive, foundation-building classes in different life and interpersonal skill areas. Classes are held three times a day, Monday through Friday, and are led by different members of Safe Harbor Staff and other volunteer providers. Classes include yoga, core skills, life skills, budgeting, breathing, cooking/nutrition, community engagement, principles of recovery/re-entry, men’s/women’s group, and group self-discovery. There are 66 classes required
for completion of Phase 1, all of which must be signed off on by the class instructor. Missed classes must be made up through alternative assignments. To progress from Phase 1 to Phase 2, a resident must either complete all 66 classes and/or be cleared to progress to Phase 2 by their individual case manager.
Phase 2 of the program involves “preparation” tasks like job searching, resume-building, and applying to housing lists and other supportive service programs. These tasks are carried out with the assistance of case management staff. In this much less-
supervised phase, residents are expected to step up and take control of their future success by time-managing effectively and communicating with their case manager on a regular basis. To progress from Phase 2 to Phase 3, the resident must gain approval from their case manager based on their individual progress.
Phase 3 of the program is the phase during which residents prepare themselves to graduate the ARISE program and transition from Safe Harbor. This phase includes working, saving money, and looking for housing with their case management. At this point, we expect residents to be actively working to move themselves forward while providing an example for new residents as senior members of the house.
Morning and Evening Meetings
All residents, regardless of their Phase designation, now meet for morning meeting before breakfast and for evening meeting before dinner. During morning meeting at 8:30am, residents listen to a reading together, share their cares and concerns, participate in a short, guided mediation, and share their plans for the day. The purpose of morning meeting is to get everyone together, centered, and ready to start their day. Evening meeting, held at 5:30pm, is an opportunity for residents to wind down and debrief from the day before dinner. Staff members rotate staying late to run evening meeting, which is typically the forum where house updates are given and announcements are made. Evening meeting always concludes with a go-around where everyone shares something positive, something they are grateful for, something they learned or accomplished that day, etc.
A Day in the ARISE Program
8: 00 am – Dorms are locked for the day
8:15 am – Staff does dorm checks
8:30 am – Morning Meeting for all residents
9:30 am – First class block
11:00 am – Second class block
12:00 pm – Lunch
1:15 pm – Third class block
2:30 pm – Case management check-ins/staff meetings
4:00 pm – Dorms reopen for the day
5:30 pm – Evening Meeting for all residents
6:00 pm – Dinner
7:00 pm – Evening provider meetings
ARISE Areas of Focus