November 2017 – Columbia Street Apartments

The Columbia Street Apartments (CSA) are transitional training apartments. We are a 24/7 supervised program working with each person offering assistance and support to their individual personal recovery.  The counselors work with each person to develop a person centered plan in order to move forward to a less   restrictive setting.  We offer the WRAP plan and tools that many utilize to move forward successfully.  CSA also acts as a support to the Apartment Program and is on call with keys if needed as backup. We have a Hospital Diversion Bed that is used to prevent hospitalization.  This bed has one on one staff coverage and is used as an extra support to avoid going to the hospital.  This also acts as a situational bed that is used to assist and support individuals in need.

Seeing, and watching residents’ success, and being a part of the progress that each person has made is rewarding. Our residents attend and participate in programs such as PROS, Apogee, Cave, Supported Employment, and MICA.  They make choices on activities and functions. Each of them participates in a savings plan, saving toward vacations and activities and paying their own way.    A few times a year we have get-togethers at the house, from cook outs, to dinners, with everyone chipping in. The residents saved their bottle money and donated it this year to “2 hot teez”, a local t-shirt company, to make the Team Hope Shirts for the Out of the Darkness Walk.  Every week each male resident who participates in the men’s cooking group chips in toward the weekly meal. They plan, make a list, and shop for the meal with Willie Walker. The Independence the residents are showing is a wonderful thing.  One person takes a cab to church weekly by himself, something that he could not manage before.  Several of the residents, with staff support, schedule their annual appointments, along with their Medicaid transportation to and from appointments. CSA supports AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) with Chamber of Commerce ribbon cuttings in both counties.  This year about 14 Team Hope members joined in Chatham for “Let’s Walk For One More Chance” – Memorial Walk For Recovery in September,  organized by Columbia Pathways To Recovery, Inc.. We are also participating in the “ Be Against Destructive Decisions” and join in at Solaris for NAMI functions. In addition to this, we have joined and participated this year in the Restore Opportunity in The Capital in Albany and participated in the Rally to bring it Home. CSA has regular weekly activities and during the summer plans annual trips to Lake George, The MillionDollar Pier, the BIG E, and to a Yankee Game organized by the Apartment Program and much, much, more. This year we stayed in Lake George for three days while the house was closed and a great time was had by all.  We recently hosted this year’s Halloween party that was a great spooky time.

Submitted by, CSA

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