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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Can dreams come true?

In my disappointment of rehab centers to provide quality family programs, I mentioned that there should be a recovery center just for that segment of people. I got an overwhelming positive response to my idea. That response got me to thinking that maybe this was something I could do. So I started doing research.

How does an individual without funds and not-so-great credit get the funding necessary to even begin such a project? I asked a friend with a thriving business to give me some pointers. He suggested crowdfunding to get the funds to get started with the basics. Once I have the basics, he suggested fundraiser activities, such as seminars, dinners, etc. Then once I am an actual working business to make the business non-profit to be eligible for grants. The key, says my friend, is in the marketing and to do marketing I will need the crowdfunding money. Makes sense to me. This idea is starting to sound possible.

The next step is to write up a business plan. I got a great template from SCORE and started filling it out. This is where I needed to know what the recovery center would offer and how people would pay for the services. I know what I would like, but that may not be possible at this time.

My dream family recovery center would offer several types of programs. First, there would be an in-house, residential, stay of four or five days. This program would include group and individual
professional and peer-to-peer counseling; education on all aspects of alcoholism; an assessment of needs and a resource search to fill those needs; financial, employment and/or medical educational sessions. There would also be social interaction in doing activities such as, preparing the evening meal, light cleaning of the common areas, and game or movie nights.

At the end of the program, the client will leave with knowledge of what to expect as the alcoholic progresses through end-stage. He/she will regain self-esteem. Clients will establish a support group circle that they can take with them via telephone, e-mail, Skye, etc. They should leave feeling refreshed and renewed, strong and determined. Most importantly they will be armed with several “what if” plans should they decide to leave the alcoholic or stay.

Because not all people will have the financial resources for an in-house program, there will be the same program available for local people without the room. There will also be services and programs open by reservation and possibly a walk-in basis. A variety of classes, seminars, and services will run throughout the day. This recovery center makes it possible for anyone to regain a bit of sanity in the midst of insanity.

To make this dream affordable to the client – because we all know that alcoholics don’t leave much money in the budget for anything except alcohol – I would attempt to keep the costs low by using a sliding scale for fees for the in-house program. I plan to find out how to make the program an insurance coverable item. There could be a work/learn program whereby the client commits a certain amount of time to work at the center and gets paid in services. I think I would like to have a “no person turned away” kind of policy and that will take some creativity and brain-storming to get to that place.

I don’t believe that the town where I live would be the best location for the center. I would like to have a more populated area near by – Hampton, Newport News, or Williamsburg. An old house with lots of bedrooms on a large lot would be good. I have seen some B&Bs that are no longer being used, but they are in less populated areas and that makes the drop in aspect more difficult. There are beautiful old homes in Hampton along the water. I think that would be the perfect location. Even better would be the donation of a house or offering of exceptionally cheap rent for at least the first year. In that case the location would be less important because “free” and “cheap” work. A structurally sound fixer-upper might also work.

Now I’d like to know what you think of this dream idea and hear your suggestions. Maybe you would like to volunteer to help me make this a reality. In this electronic age, there are many things a volunteer could do to help. Do you know of a really cool fundraising event? Do you have marketing ideas? I want to hear from you.

When/if you start to see links for crowdfunding I hope you will share the link with others in your group. As far as donations are concerned, I do NOT want anyone to donate if it creates a hardship on you or your family. Passing the link on to others is a great contribution. If you donated to my respite get-away, please do not feel that you must donate to this cause.

I’m waiting for your comment. 


Flanlgirl said...

Research the availability of grant money once you have a business plan. It sounds like a wonderful idea. They had a family program back in the day at Carrier Clinic in Belle Meade but it was not residential and it was abreviated in time...2 afternoons during the alcoholics 3 week stay...BUT, they wouldn't release the A unless the family attended.

Linda -- The Immortal Alcoholic's Wife said...

Thanks, Flanlgirl. I thought I had to be a non-profit before I applied for grants. I know SMASHA has a peer-to-peer grant that would fit me perfectly, but I'm not a non-profit. Think I'll call them on Monday and make sure I understood it correctly.

Christina Joiner said...

I think your idea is great. If I lived closer, I would love to be a part of it. For now my dream would be to start some sort of weekly group meeting on the order of alanon, but much more productive and realistic. I just have NO idea where to start, but it's my dream.

JBthatsme said...

Hi Linda, again I think that would be a wonderful idea. I'm trying to think of any ideas (I did recently read that Donald Trumps brother was an alocoholic, and he doesn't touch the stuff because of it. Not saying I'm a fan of his but it makes me wonder who might lend a hand to funding something like this, or at least helping). Like another commentor I too wish I was closer because I think this could really be something, something wonderful and something big, started for all the right reasons. But I'm on the West coast up in the Pacific NorthWest. I like the hopefulness in this, and that it's making readers think about their dreams. I read one commentor mention she dreams of starting her own alanon type of group. I don't know where she lives, but no matter where it is there is probably a need. I've been to meetings big and small. And I've shared your blog with a few close alanon friends of mine. I know I've shared many times before, but I do wish that I had found your blog before my father passed. I also keep trying to be proactive with the things that really bother me, and I keep thinking of sending letters to the companies that made the alcohol that polluted my father's body, mind, life, and the lives of those around them. To tell them there product kills people. I know they know, but sometimes I think doing it would make me feel better. Not that the letter would make it to anyone high up enough, just some person who's doing there job. But if tabbaco companies have to pay for messages warning against the health risks of their products, alcohol companies should too. They should pay for anti drunk driving ads and Madd (mothers against drunk driving) and alanon and aa type stuff. And not just between infomercials at 3 am. I wonder why they don't have to. I wish you much success in this Linda.

Kathie Perry said...

It is possible to do a GO FUND ME I have seen these on FB. I think this would generate a lot of interest. It may be wise to set up a FB page and get it going then introduce the Go Fund me.


Kathie Perry said...

Start a Facebook page for this. Generate interest and then do a Go Fund Me.


Jenna Vonh said...

Love. This. I see different options as well arising. It seems a new foundation can be created and there are many of us who are willing to commit to this change.