Habilitat strives to help people change their attitudes and behavior in order to live happier, healthier, more productive lives. This process does not happen overnight. It takes time, generally around twenty four months, to reconstruct an individual's lifestyle and develop practical survival skills.
The first few months are the most difficult for new residents as they adjust to Habilitat's highly structured environment. It usually takes three to four months, sometimes longer, for a resident to adapt to their surroundings. They are provided with an "older brother or sister" to aid in the transition. This is someone they can identify with and who can familiarize them with the daily routine.
Every new resident writes a "first letter home" to the person they consider their primary contact letting the family know where they are and that they are safe. Thereafter, a minimum two-month "blackout" period is imposed, allowing them to make friends, adjust to their environment, and to shift their focus away from "outside matters". This means they are neither allowed to send or receive correspondence. We understand this is not only difficult for the resident; sometimes itís equally difficult for families and loved ones.
After a minimum of 2 months, they become eligible to receive written correspondence from immediate family, not boyfriends, girlfriends, nor long-lost cousins. Your correspondence, therefore, becomes your primary means of encouragement and support.
Keep your communication brief, upbeat and encouraging. One letter per month is a good rule of thumb to follow. Do not burden them with matters they canít do anything about, i.e., the dog died, their pager's lost, or if ď60 MinutesĒ is knocking at your door. Mentioning of a medical condition about a family member to the resident may divert their attention, especially if the resident is new in the program. Also, a reference to old friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. virtually guarantees that your letter will be returned, unread by the resident.
Everything is earned. "NO FREE LUNCH," a basic tenet of Habilitat, is taught and practiced daily. A resident "earns" privileges, additional responsibilities and promotions initially by making friends, familiarizing themselves with program concepts, and becoming involved in the daily routine. Thereafter, they are expected to provide an example for newer people, be consistent, and stay involved in the program (i.e., seminars, encounter groups, house meetings, etc.).
Each week, every resident is allotted one request. Requests can include:
The clinical staff reviews and assesses each request and will either approve or deny it based upon the individual's progress that week. Anyone on a disciplinary situation forfeits their request privileges for the duration of their situation. If you do not hear from them right away, more than likely they have opted to utilize their weekly requests for something other than writing home.
Habilitat does not prevent anyone from contacting his or her family. As a matter of fact, we stress family, appreciation, gratitude, and resolution of conflicts if there are any. The clinical staff will set aside blocks of time for the residents to write home. Most importantly, we look for the resident to take the initiative to go through the steps of correspondence, phone calls, and eventually visitation.
Everything is done gradually and in progressive steps. At first with consistent written communication and then phone calls. Again, let me stress, all these must be INITIATED BY THE RESIDENT.
Despite repeated advice and warnings to the contrary, a resident inevitably ends up bringing too much with them when they enter the program. Habilitat does not have the facilities to store surplus property, nor are we willing to be responsible for its safekeeping. Items such as radios, watches, jewelry, makeup, toiletries, books, pictures, wallets, etc. will be returned to the family at their cost via postage. We will send you a letter detailing the postage cost, and then you may send a check, money order or use a credit card to pay for it. We attempt to do this within the first week of residency. If the family is unable or unwilling to accept these items, the resident is given the option of donating everything or having it disposed of at Habilitat's discretion.
Unless we contact you, assume the resident has everything that they need. Habilitat provides all meals, snacks, toiletries, cigarettes, gum, reading material, stationery, stamps, etc. Weekly requests can be utilized if the resident wants a special brand of shampoo, a particular flavor of ice cream, etc. Again, the concept of "No Free Lunch" is employed; stressing that everything must be earned.
In the event a resident's clothing size changes, significantly, we may contact you to provide items that we do not have on hand. Later, when a resident progresses to a more advanced phase, they may be approved to write home requesting "business" attire.
Once a year, at Christmas, Habilitat requests a monetary contribution from families for the purpose of providing clothing, undergarments, etc. for every resident.
If, there is a legitimate emergency or family crisis, please contact one of the clinical staff directly. It is essential that we be aware of situations that may affect a residentís progress and be prepared to give them our support.
A resident's legal history is taken as part of the Induction process. Our Induction Department handles legal matters for the resident, including mandatory court appearances and meetings with probation officers. We will not handle outstanding traffic and/or parking violations, nor will we deal with collection agencies for outstanding debts incurred by the resident. If the family is not able or willing to take care of these incidents, they will be placed on hold until the resident completes the program and is able to address the situation themselves.
A resident becomes eligible for visitation after they have been promoted to the Re-Entry phase of the program, which occurs after approximately 6-8 months of residency. Families who reside on the island of Oahu have the added benefit of attending family meetings. Attendance at these meetings is taken into consideration when visit requests are made. To learn more about visitation and our policies please check our our visitation page.
Change happens slowly. What may seem like progress today, can turn into a backslide tomorrow. Therefore, a monthly progress report will be more informative than weekly updates. Rest assured, if anything serious should come up, we will contact you. If you don't hear from us, consider no news to be good news.
Habilitat residents are allowed phone calls after about 4 months of residency depending on the individual. While written family contact is considered a mandatory responsibility, phone calls are earned. All Habilitat phone calls must be initiated by the resident. Incoming calls are not allowed. Residents are allowed to request one family call per month. Those request are evaluated by the clinical staff and authorized on merit. Residents are encouraged to place calls on the weekends but in some instances exceptions can be made. All phone calls have a maximum limit of 20 minutes.
All phone calls are monitored by staff or a trained older resident. The person covering the call will go through a screening process to make sure that the proper party is on the line and that the receiving party understands the guidelines. We do not allow news about former relationships or messages from old friends. We do not allow contact with family members who have recent criminal or substance abuse issues. Residents are only allowed to call immediate family. All phone calls should be positive and supportive.
In the event that there is any news that might be distracting, we require prior notification. All news of illness or death must be communicated to the clinical staff first. We do not keep information from our residents, so if you tell us news, we are obligated to inform the resident. This is always done in a private setting with support so that all questions can be answered. If you bring up any bad news on a phone call the monitors WILL discontinue the phone call until the clinical staff can get the details and meet privately with the resident.
Our guidelines, while strict, are there for a reason. Any blatant disregard for Habilitatís phone call guidelines can result in restricted phone use in the future. If you are unsure about our guidelines, it is in everyoneís best interest to call and ask. We reserve the right to restrict telephone contact if calls become disruptive or undermine our philosophies.
All mail is screened by trained staff; all inappropriate mail will be returned. Residents are only allowed to receive mail from immediate family and other approved contacts. Bad news should not be communicated via mail, in the event of bad news contact Habilitat clinical staff via phone @ (808) 235-3691. Residents are not allowed to receive mail from jails, state penitentiaries, other treatment programs or have any updates regarding past relationships, significant others and old drug buddies.
Habilitat has strict mail guidelines and failure to cooperate with Habilitat guidelines may result in termination from the program.
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