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New Street Home Offers Grace and Better Odds!

July 18, 2024
Georgetown, DE …   An affordable housing shortage is especially difficult for people often rejected for their personal history.  This fuels a homeless crisis that feeds a cycle of drugs and alcohol relapse and criminal activity.   According to Delaware Criminal Justice Council, the state's three-year recidivism rate is nearly 65% percent, the second-highest in the country (behind Alaska); and for drug crimes it’s frighteningly higher at close to 80% percent, and it’s getting even worse.  Last year, the Delaware Continuum of Care found homelessness increased 35% percent statewide, with Sussex County worst of all climbing 128% percent.
 
There’s some good news from Georgetown where supportive living homes make a positive difference.    "A safe house with peer support and employment resources is critical to those returning from substance treatment or incarceration,” says David Forman, President of Christian Grace a company that provides supportive sober living spaces.  
 
“Christian Grace is both our name and our mission," says Forman. ‘With addiction or criminal history, the deck is stacked against the chance of finding affordable housing. We help even the odds.”    
 
The company’s success rate, measured by residents who move on to self-sufficient housing before relapse or recidivism, turns statistics upside down. Forman says more than 60% of residents are clean, sober and employed after 2 years or more.    
 
Christian Grace homes are self-governed by residents who all have equal standing.  “If a person backslides, it's not going to be missed by all housemates.  Some events may be cause for immediate expulsion, or trigger a house meeting for discussion; from there, democracy rules.”  
 
One New Street is the company’s latest and most ambitious project. The historic building nearly 130 years old, has been completely updated from crawl-space to roof, and will house ten men in private and shared rooms, and two women in a separate apartment.     A memorial courtyard, with gardens and a Koi pond separates the dwellings, and serves as the main common area for residents to hold meetings based on AA and NA principles. 
 
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is now the recognized way to help heal and change thinking, leaving addictive behavior behind.  At its core, DBT helps build four life skills; mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and emotional regulation.    “Living among peers in a supportive home, 12-step based meetings, and an environment promoting inner-peace through mindfulness, takes DBT out of classroom theory, into realtime real-life opportunities for growth,” Forman says.
 
Andrea Broomall the company’s housing manager said, “Those ready to start their journey with us will find understanding and compassion regardless of their past. We ask only that people leave their egos at the door, attend meetings, and have faith that they’re exactly where they’re supposed to be.” 
 
Broomall says an accepting community is critical for growth and moving forward.  She says the company also recognizes the unique needs of the recently released, and offers resource programs to help with employment.   “For those who have had nearly everything about their daily lives managed by others, routine is important,” Broomall says.    Residents have a chore schedule and basic rules are meant to help everyone get along. “We’re offering a safe place to exercise their new freedoms while learning how to navigate a new reality in todays outside world.” 
 
 If you or someone you know needs sober supportive living, please visit christian-grace.com for details and to apply. 

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