Supportive Residency Program - CommunityRestart

Introduction
Community ReStart develops grassroots initiatives to resolve our community’s most significant unmet needs guided by collaboration, creativity and highly cost-effective approaches. The membership based, social service, nonprofit organization that began in 2008 is addressing a range of objectives to meet Pittsfield’s needs.

Mission
Provide a residency program, food security, employment, sobriety support, health maintenance and community-resource access. Through advocacy, education and volunteering, Community ReStart empowers people and facilitates responsible citizenship.

Objectives

  • Provide safe, secure, drug and smoke free, low cost residency program
  • Support those graduating from a recovery program and reduce recidivism
  • Help the development of productive citizens through personal growth workshops
  • Provide day labor jobs to competent underemployed workers
  • Offer affordable qualified laborers, especially for our senior home owners
  • Provide healthy nutrition to local Berkshire pantries and meal sites, as well as to our clients, through a network of local gardens and food suppliers

Reduce city blight

Program Description

  • Affordable community based residences
  • Residencies free of drugs, alcohol, and smoking
  • Single private rooms with shared common areas
  • Employment, if needed, for qualified laborers
  • Healthy nutrition provided through our three gardens
  • Weekly Personal Growth Workshops
  • Weekly facilitated resident meetings
  • Personal coaching to support positive change and goals
  • Community service options

Presently Community ReStart owns two clusters of buildings; this can be expanded to other clusters throughout the City of Pittsfield. Our two Faulkner Place properties can house ten program residents. Between the buildings is a large lot that will accommodate the Food Net green house. Our three Francis Avenue properties have the capacity for 15 program residents. The shared back yard opens to one of Food Net’s gardens on Linden Street. Single rooms are furnished and ready to move in. There is no deposit or last  month rent due. The monthly program fee of $450 includes all services, utilities, and support.

The Community Need in Pittsfield
A significant number of people in Pittsfield are moving past their addiction and isolation. Many want to develop their potential and need an environment to support their goals. Unfortunately, as low income tenants, they can only afford single room residences. They are often housed with drug addicts, alcoholics, and mentally unstable individuals. This is particularly true for individuals who have graduated from a social service program and are then left on their own.

Our community needs a next step, a “step up”, by having a supportive environment that aligns with the strides they are making in their lives. It is like an incubator of wellbeing that makes positive strides easier.

To support graduates from the many social service programs in reaching their potential, and others who want an uplifting environment, Community ReStart is offering a safe residency. Our Community ReStart team is committed to support the positive strides they are making or want to make in their lives.

Eligibility Requirements
Requirements for acceptance into Community ReStart’s Supportive Residency Program (CRSRP):

  1. Applicants must be willing to live in community and be open to personal feedback.
  2. Applicants with issues of addiction must have a minimum of 6 months of sobriety from alcohol and drugs prior to admission.
  3. Applicants coming from other care facilities shall have reasonable and detailed discharge plans provided to CRSRP in advance of admission.
  4. Applicants must demonstrate commitment to a substance-free lifestyle and be willing to take steps essential for transitioning to independent living.
  5. Applicants agree to attend weekly residency meetings and weekly personal growth sessions. They also maintain personal goals that the program supports including a personal coach.
  6. Applicants who have violent felony or arson convictions or are sex offenders or child abusers are ineligible for acceptance into the Program. We do not accept applicants who will be on house arrest or furlough status.
  7. Applicants agree to pay the monthly program fee at the first of each month to Community ReStart
  8. Applicants must review and sign an acknowledgment of receipt of a copy of the Community ReStart Supportive Residency Program Handbook AND an agreement to be bound by this handbook as it may be amended from time to time.
  9. Any applicant with a history of mental illness must provide the names of his/her psychiatrist and therapist and a list of medications. These individuals are obliged to take their medications or face expulsion from the house.

Residency Program Goals

  1. Make progress toward personal and Program goals.
  2. This could involve accountability goals in the areas of employment, volunteering/community service, self-care, addiction control, social behavior, financial management, and active engagement in properly managing psychological and medical conditions.
  3. Individuals identified as having a history of substance abuse are expected to attend a minimum of two AA or NA group meetings per week.
  4. A “goals sheet” shall be completed by each resident and incorporated in the resident’s curriculum with specific accountable and measurable goals.
  5. If unemployed, the resident shall volunteer for at least 10 hours of community service per month. Medical conditions may be grounds for waiver of this requirement by the Program Manager.
  6. At a minimum, the curriculum requires each resident to maintain civility, anger control, honesty, avoidance of violent or threatening behavior, respectful behavior and speech with respect to CRSRP staff and other providers; to maintain his/her room, clothes and body in a neat, hygienic and orderly fashion, and to participate fully in assigned programs, chores and activities. Anti-social behavior and disrespectful behavior to the staff may be grounds for termination of a resident’s participation in the Program.
  7. Residents shall participate in group house and personal growth meetings. These will be held at least weekly. Residents are expected to arrange appointments to facilitate attendance at regularly scheduled meetings when possible.