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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Distorted Thinking?

Some clients find it irritating that TLC requires them to pay a $110.00 a week service fee. It’s probably one of the more consistent complaints we hear.

       “It’s all about the money,” is a common lament.

       “These f-ing guys are getting rich,” is another.

       ”I thought this was a non-profit” is yet another.

And these complaints stem from several things. For one, those making these comments understand little about the costs to feed, house and otherwise provide for 650 clients

And likely they've never paid rent, utilities or bought their own food.  Or been responsible for themselves or others.

So they do a few calculations like this: $110 X 650 = $71500.00 a week! And times 4.3 weeks equals over $300,000 a month.

And while their math may be good they've already made the false assumption that everyone pays. Wrong. Instead of collecting $110 a week, TLC collects maybe less than $75 a week from each client. So now we have a total of left of a little over $200,000, still a nice amount.

But then we have to deduct utility bills that come to around $750,000 a year, mortgage payments of about the same amount, property taxes and on and on. You get the idea.

By the time we're done we're lucky when we break even.  And all of this is done without funding from anyone but those who use our services.

The issue with those who go down this road is distorted thinking,  complicated by their addictions. Most are having trouble staying sober and clean so they lash out at those who are helping them.

After all, where on the planet - outside of jail - can one find housing and meals for $110.00 a week?  And on top of that there's chance to have a better life.   Hmmm….