New Beginnings provides extensive work therapy as a part of its overall recovery program which is of major importance as it provides the opportunity to learn or re-learn disciplined work habits, gain job skills and to develop a sense of self-worth and value. New Beginnings’ work therapy program allows people to gain jobs skills for today’s economy, so when they leave the program they are prepared and qualified to get a job and have a productive life gainfully employed. In fact, many of our clients secure full-time employment and accumulate significant savings before they even graduate.
The road to recovery is not easy though as many clients face obstacles such as criminal record, poor/inconsistent work history, lack of education, lack of skills, mental illness and poor work ethic. Therefore, we have developed a multi-tiered approach to help clients overcome these obstacles gradually as they progress in their recovery. Each client is assigned a vocational counselor and case manager who work together to develop a plan tailored to meet each clients’ unique needs. As financial responsibility and self-sufficiency are primary goals, clients are required to participate in our work therapy and employment assistance program. Clients who are totally disabled and qualified veterans are provided with accommodations consistent with their circumstances All clients begin in a Probationary Period during which their privileges and responsibilities are limited. These limitations are designed to foster a protective environment in which an initial foundation of sobriety and stability can be established. The Probationary Period generally lasts from 60 to 90 days but successful completion of the Probationary Period can only be determined by New Beginnings’ staff. While on probationary status, no client may engage in outside employment, possess or use a cell phone or leave the New Beginnings’ campus without an accountability partner approved by New Beginnings’ staff. Clients on probationary status are required to perform duties, in a volunteer capacity, as assigned by New Beginnings’ staff.
Volunteer duties may include serving in the kitchen, grounds maintenance, donation processing/truck helper, clean-up crew, thrift store and/or any other duties as assigned by New Beginnings’ staff. Performance of volunteer duties are designed to develop disciplines and character which help the client succeed in outside employment upon the completion of the Probationary Period. Punctuality, proper dress & appearance, following directions, honesty, responsibility, good communication, maintaining a positive attitude, staying focused and working in a team environment are traits which are crucial to success in the workplace. Clients are not paid any wages or income for their performance of volunteer duties at New Beginnings. Upon successful completion of their Probationary Period, each client will be assessed by a vocational counselor to identify the client’s educational level, skills & experience pertinent to employment. Clients who have an established vocation and possess education, skills and experience necessary to excel in that vocation are encouraged to pursue such employment opportunities, unless to do so would be deleterious to the client’s recovery in the opinion of New Beginnings’ staff.
All clients shall complete the following training classes provided by New Beginnings:
- Job Search
- Applications & Resumes
- Personal Financial Management
Upon completion of the training classes noted above, each client records and reports his/her job search activity to their vocational counselor on a weekly basis. Clients are encouraged to use the New Beginnings Computer Lab to develop & update resumes and search for employment. It is well established that high school graduates earn significantly more than high school drop outs. Therefore, all clients who do not possess at least a high school diploma or GED are required to enroll in adult education classes with the goal of obtaining a GED.
Upon completion of the Probationary Period, all clients who have not secured full-time employment shall participate in work assignments from temporary employment agencies or other contract labor arranged by New Beginnings. (This does not apply to clients who are totally disabled) These arrangements allow clients to begin generating income and developing job skills & experience while still exploring permanent employment opportunities. These arrangements also frequently lead to permanent employment for clients. Access to money during early recovery frequently leads to relapse and most clients have poor financial management skills.
Therefore, New Beginnings is authorized to receive, manage and safeguard income on behalf of clients. This arrangement allows clients to pay their program fees and accumulate savings which can be used to secure permanent housing. Graduates of New Beginnings frequently leave with significant savings which increases their success and stability as they begin a brand new life! New Beginnings has assisted over 5,000 unduplicated individuals obtain permanent, full-time employment.