Making Their Mark
RC: Your company is family owned and operated. How does this dynamic guide your approach?
SS: We are proud to be operated by first and second generations in our family. In fact, the grandkids have started working with us, too, so we are moving into our third generation.
We understand addiction in a very personal way: We lost our father to his addiction when he died by suicide in 1986. That is what started us on this path to our own recovery in our family. My mother, Jaynie Longnecker-Harper, founded the company in 1993. Her goal was to provide a safe, nurturing place for young adults to deal with either their substance-related disorders or their emotional and behavioral health issues as well as academic challenges that were preventing them from moving forward. The mission was to cut this off at the pass so by the time these young people were in their 40s and 50s, they wouldn’t struggle like our dad did with his mental illness and addiction.
As a single parent of four children, my mother understood the financial difficulties that families face in helping their children achieve a life of recovery. With her experience with special education and firsthand understanding of addiction, Mom set out to provide a real-world setting where troubled teens and struggling young adults could learn to emerge into independence.
RC: Tell us about the treatment you provide and your facilities.
SS: We offer a full continuum of care. We are licensed for subacute detox as well as 30-day primary residential treatment. Our services include detox, primary residential treatment, a day treatment program, intensive outpatient treatment program, and extended care with structured transitional and sober living.
Our program is based on the 12-step model, but we look to see what approach speaks most to the client.
Our primary residential facilities are gender-specific and house up to six clients at each location: Men live in Wildwood Canyon, a 50-acre ranch in the beautiful hills of Yucaipa and Oak Glen, and women stay five minutes away at Panorama Ridge, a serene 4-acre home overlooking gorgeous vistas.
The core programming that we have had for the longest span of time is our highly structured traditional living program, which features an extended care curriculum. Studies show that the longer a young adult remains in a supportive treatment environment, the better their chances are in attaining the skills necessary to maintain their sobriety, manage their behaviors, focus on education and career development, and live independently.
We also offer eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and trauma-informed therapy options. We find that when young adults address their traumas, it helps them identify what their issues are emotionally and behaviorally regarding their recovery.
RC: How do you prepare clients for independent living?
SS: We work with young adults who might be college capable but are not college ready. To prepare them for an autonomous life, we have an on-site integrated high school component made possible through a partnership with the Redlands Unified School District that allows them to finish high school. We also have partnerships with local community colleges, universities and vocational schools, which provide life-skills training, including finance management and employment readiness. We also offer a four-week culinary arts program on-site. This is in addition to our staff nutritionist, who helps clients learn how to select the best food options.
RC: How do you bring families into the process?
SS: One of our mottos is that we can’t be successful without embracing the families. We loop them in from the very beginning. Even if the family must set firm boundaries with their son or daughter, we offer the ability for the young adult to make the choice to transform their lives.