I arranged for financing from a family foundation to begin a pilot program
at Odyssey House for an elder care initiative servicing the needs of substance-abusing
clients of age 55 or older. The plan was to use these donated funds as
seed money to start a program for this underserved population with the
hope that New York State would recognize the efficacy of such an effort
and would agree to fund it as part of its general financing of rehabilitation
programs. That in fact happened. The program began with 15 participants
and is upward of 90 today. We believe the Odyssey House Elder Care effort
is unique in the country.
and children segment is an interesting aspect of the Odyssey House treatment
paradigm. Many of these women came to us mandated by the courts. That
is to say, the judge would offer treatment at Odyssey House to some women
as an alternative to incarceration. If the woman agreed, she would have
a shared room and have her child sleeping in a bed next to her. During
the day, while she was in therapy, her child would be in the care of trained
personnel (older children, up to the age of five, would be in daycare
or enrolled in a Head Start-type program). The importance of this option
is that the mothers probably would not have agreed to enter rehab with
us unless their young children could be with them. The mothers would likely
refuse rehab, fearing that their children would be cast into the foster
care system and all that that threatens.
was that one day the Office of Mental Health (in Albany) would give us
the building and enough money to modernize it. We put the dream on the
back burner letting it simmer as we continued to talk to state officials
from the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services about the needs
of vulnerable New Yorkers for intensive residential treatment. Finally,
in 2011, we were given the green light to go ahead and begin this major
renovation project to the tune of $26 million.
The former MABON is being renamed the George Rosenfeld Center for Recovery.