The Las Vegas Rescue Mission does a fabulous job of helping those who have run out of options. Not only does the Mission serve more than 1,000 meals per day, it provides safety and shelter for men, women, and women with children.
Today I spoke with one of the men we worked with March-July at Rescue Mission. Actually, several of the men and women stay in contact with me. This man I haven’t spoken with in a month, however. He wanted to let me know how much the Living Free Health & Fitness programming meant to him. His story now is very similar to those of others with whom I have recently spoken.
First of all, this man demonstrates humility and gratitude. He follows direction and practices principles he has learned from Living Free Health & Fitness and Las Vegas Rescue Mission. “G” specifically mentioned the importance of having brought fitness and healthy eating to his program of recovery. He has lost 50 pounds. He pays 100% for his own gym membership. He is employed and has career aspirations of going into firefighting. “G” anticipates helping others through service work. He says much of his confidence and how well he feels is tied to having gotten into the gym to rebuild his body, mind and confidence. He learned the importance of these things to recovery through us – our classes, our fitness groups and our 1-on-1 chats.
Quite frankly, we spent A LOT of money on subsidizing those gym memberships this past summer. And we had a lot of drop-outs and failures to adhere to the program. Occasionally, I have questioned my decision to invest that heavily into the memberships.
But then, I get feedback like this. And I hear and see the metamorphosis. And I know I did the right thing with our donors’ monies, and the revenue we earn through sales of our courseware.
I also know that the money we spent on 44 people over four months wouldn’t have covered one week for one person’s stay in 30 day residential treatment. So, our approach not only improves outcomes, it’s incredibly cost-effective.
Thank you to our generous donors and volunteers. We are making a difference and helping to permanently change lives and lifestyles for the better.
Recovery shouldn’t require tens of thousands of dollars.
What it must demand is smart, effective, no-nonsense, disciplined programming.
And that is who we are!
Living Free Health & Fitness’ mission is to democratize quality recovery via services that are evidence and real-world -based, not larded-up with exorbitant costs related to overhead, and the bloat attached to today’s “treatment” environments.
No wonder much of the public has difficulty empathizing with the disease of addiction. Seriously, you don’t see doctors sending cancer or heart patients to spas with a private chef, massages, and expensive entertainment options, do you?
Of course we’re not saying that medical detoxification and other 24 x 7 services are not necessary for a subset of addicts and alcoholics. However, there is a vast majority out there that can be readily helped for low cost. It’s about priorities – and what the organization’s mission is really about. Truly client-based? Or something else?
Here are couple videos demonstrating the effectiveness of our “back to basics,” “personal responsibility” model. For those who don’t know – clients at places like the Rescue Mission or Salvation Army have often had multiple failed attempts at abstinence through traditional treatment, and are some of the toughest cases. Yet, here we are. Winning. Big-time!
Exercise and Addiction Recovery at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission
Nutrition and Addiction Recovery at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission
(Read the whole post – we’re really proud of what we have accomplished thus far, with your help and generosity.)
We’re heading into our final month of our Spring-Summer program engagement with the Las Vegas Rescue Mission (LVRM) addiction rehabilitation clients. Thus far, we have provided clinically-oriented educational groups and lectures, dietary planning and recommendations for recovery (group and one-on-one), and fitness programming. Fitness groups included outdoor sporting activities and subsidized gym memberships as part of clients successfully meeting – and maintaining – prescribed milestones in treatment objectives, work therapy, and overall behavior change and maintenance.
We emphasize the BODY-MIND CONNECTION, and the impact eating right and exercising has on both mental and physical health!
How have our team members done thus far? About a 46.5% compliance rate. We think this is a very good number, in light of the myriad of problems burdening most of these people by the time they land on the doorstep of the Rescue Mission.
And, believe it or not, several clients who were discharged for failure to adhere to LVRM procedures and rules made a point to contact Shelley to let her know how much the fitness, diet and coping skills information presented and practiced provided new perspective and purpose to their recoveries.
• Enhance understanding of the disease of addiction
• Additional coping skills and strategies supporting abstinence
• Improve recovery self-awareness and self-efficacy
• Teach critical link between long-term recovery, and healthy eating and exercise
• Improve overall diet, food choices and eating habits
• Encourage regular exercise/activity
• Practice accountability, personal responsibility and keeping commitments
• Practice financial management and bill-pay
• Decreased “hustling” and “criminal” thinking
• Better spending priorities
• Appropriate interactions with members of the opposite sex
• Improved physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health
Has it helped? “Yes” and “very much so”, if you ask our avid participants!
Last week we had educational group regarding healthy eating practices, and strategies for making better meal choices. While the food at the Rescue Mission is plentiful, the menu offerings are frequently dependent upon what was donated. And graciously, much of the food delivered is “comfort” food.
This is very helpful for those needing to put on some weight; but a challenge for those craving sweets, or those with eating / moderation difficulties / emotional eating. What to do?
Well, Phil is an example of one of our group who was willing to be open-minded, willing and ready to be a little bit uncomfortable – in the short-run.
After a couple weeks of loading his tray with fruit, vegetables and greens – and reducing his intake of the comfort foods – he reports feeling happier, more energetic, and more mentally-focused and engaged. Nothing helps our confidence more than when we do the right thing, repeat it, reap the reward and carry the message of success to others. That is what Phil is doing!
It’s true that we don’t know what we don’t know. Unfortunately many know what needs to be done, but say “I can’t”, as if this might absolve them of personal responsibility.
If you’re hearing yourself say “I can’t”, change those words to “I won’t” – because that is the truth of the matter. Do you really want to change – or just talk about it?
Phil is not just talking – he’s taking action – consistently, regularly and with the commitment of a man who says “I will!”