Voices in Recovery: A New Start

What makes the difference between relapse and success?

According to one recent WSTC treatment graduate, the answer is the New Start Program.

Before, she completed a treatment program but found that getting clean and sober wasn’t enough to sustain recovery. At the end of the program, with nowhere safe to stay, she relapsed.

Things went downhill after that.

While she was in active substance use, and without a secure place to call home, she had a child. Because of her circumstances, CPS got involved.

An arrest could have seemed like another tragedy in a series of difficult events. However, this one turned out to be her doorway to the help she’d been needing all along.

Jail = Doorway to Recovery?

“I never would’ve thought I’d be grateful to go to jail,” she says. “It’s not that I went to jail, though. It’s the fact that [the New Start Program] gave me the opportunity to have somewhere safe to be to get my life together.”

New Start provides comprehensive substance use disorder treatment onsite at the Kitsap County Jail, so participants can begin their recovery journey right away. New Start participants also receive support services and re-entry coordination, which involves assistance with their needs while incarcerated and as they leave the jail and re-enter the community.

The New Start Program also provides supportive transitional housing, so the client was able to move into a room at Fuller House when she was released from jail. She felt safe there, and made lots of recovery friends. “I think the biggest part of me being clean still today is the fact that I had all my needs taken care of. I was given a safe place, a sober community, and a lot of support.”

New Start also helps with vocational services, transportation, education, and justice and legal aid. “They helped me make it to appointments,” she explains. “They taught me how to be responsible.” With this support, she was able to satisfy CPS requirements to have her child in her life.

The client received a laptop so she could start a house cleaning business, and she did well with the opportunity. She has now moved out of transitional housing and into her own place. Although she’s on her own now, she still has access to the support she needs. The Re-entry Program continues to provide a safety net of services to clients for up to nine months after they exit the jail.

“Since coming into the New Start program, I’m really appreciative of the opportunity.

I’m on the road to recovery now.”

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