Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hanging out at the House?

A reader wrote the other day to say we should make a better effort to explain that clients without jobs have to seek work each day until they find steady employment.
 
The writer implied that it was unfair to wake clients at 3:30 am and send them off to the day labor hall to try for a day's work.  Further the writer questioned the propriety of making them spend each day looking for work until they have a job.  It was almost like we're mean. 
 
Which makes me ask a few questions:
 
Should we just let clients sleep as late as they want? Till 8:00? Till 10:00?  All day?
 
And should we let clients hang around the house? Maybe watching TV?
 
I don't think so. After all, how are they going to pay their $110 a week service fee?
 
When I get messages like this I kind of scratch my head. Doesn't the writer understand that someone has to pay the bills? And how is the client going to learn to be responsible lying around all day?
 
It's not like our clients aren't used to going after what they want. Many of them stayed up all night seeking drugs or getting high. So why is it an imposition to ask them to put forth effort to rebuild their lives?
 
After all, the reason people end up on our doorstep is because their lives weren't working.  We try to help them change that....