Shepherd’s House is like a giant home with a lot of structure for a multitude of people who find themselves feeling hopeless because they’re addicted to drugs or have alcohol problems; 99 percent of them are veterans.
We have an intake process and a lot of rules and a lot of surveillance cameras, and we have a beautiful facility for them to live in with one major hitch: They must stay sober. We have social workers and a lot of recovery meetings and classes and we work in collaboration with the Veterans Affairs, WorkOne and veterans centers. The minimum stay here is six months and the maximum is two years, or longer if they need it. Clients start out in an eight-man bedroom and if they do well they go into a four-man room, then a two-man room and then they’re on their own in the rooms on the second floor. It’s all incentive-based.
When they first move in, they have a mentor assigned to them to explain the programs and tell them what the rules of the facility are, and eventually they end up becoming mentors to others. If you come across any homeless vets with drug addition or alcohol problems, just let them know they can come here and they don’t have to bring anything. We give them toiletries, a welcome kit, bedding, clothing and food.They don’t have to do anything but come in and make a commitment to stay clean and sober and work a recovery program.