Webcast on Mental and/or Substance Abuse Disorders Features SOME

Did you know September is National Recovery Month? It is a time, to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use issues and to celebrate with the people who recover. At SOME, we partner with these quiet heroes every day, but we want to share something particularly exciting this month. On August 5, 2015, “The Road to Recovery” series, hosted by the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, highlighted SOME as a program that uses a holistic approach to help homeless and poor individuals in the District of Columbia. On this video, you will see many SOME sites, as well as clients and staff members, and see how our service programs come together to serve each person as an individual.

“Since we started, and still as our core belief: treating people who are homeless and poor with respect and dignity, and meeting their needs no matter what they are,” said Ann Chauvin, Chief Clinical Officer.

Teressa, who had been homeless for decades and struggled with both a substance use and mental health disorder, spoke powerfully and emotionally about how she found SOME. Coming to our dining room one morning, having not eaten in a week, Teressa did not realize at first that would be the start of her recovery program, “That was where my recovery would begin, and I have been [at SOME] ever since.”

“We really can treat someone from the street all the way until they get into housing and beyond that… I think that is the most unique part of SOME,” said Karie Ferguson, Addictions Services Manager.

Helping men and women like Teressa rebuild their lives is a goal SOME shares with many organizations and programs throughout the country, and we applaud them.

We also want to share some of the insights from this “Road to Recovery” episode that featured a panel of experts. A percentage of homeless persons suffer from mental health and/or substance use disorders, and even experts do not always agree on what that percentage is, but it is significant and people need appropriate help delivered using evidence-based models.

There are a variety of evidence-based housing models that serve this population. Some experts support one model or the other, while others say that “consumers” should have the ability to choose the kind of services and housing models that work best for them. Various housing models receive varying levels of support both from experts in their field and from governing bodies, while most agree there is not a “one-size fits all” model and each person in recovery deserves some level of choice according to available resources. At SOME, we agree that there should be multiple service models, and that there should be “consumer choice.”

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