Our therapeutic community helps veterans with everything from substance abuse recovery to family reunification to benefit advocacy.
New Directions for Veterans (NDVets), a licensed, long-term drug and alcohol treatment program founded by formerly homeless veterans, has provided food, shelter, support and rehabilitation to clients since 1992. The agency provides services to more than 1,000 veterans each year through its outreach program and at three Transitional Housing treatment centers:
- The 156-bed Veteran Opportunity Center (VOC) includes a program for veterans with both a substance abuse disorder and a mental illness.
- The 50-person capacity Veteran Opportunity Center North program for veterans with both substance abuse disorders and mental illness
NDVets’ “therapeutic community” promotes a strong work ethic, skills-learning, personal accountability, economic self-reliance, family responsibility, community involvement, and good citizenship. Sobriety, long-term recovery, and employment are the basis for client stability and permanent housing.
Substance Abuse Rehabilitation
- In Phase I, during their first 6 months, residents first undergo substance abuse treatment, professional group and individual counseling, and supervised medication.
- In Phase II, residents continue their recovery from drugs and alcohol, and strengthen their skills in preparation for employment. Parenting, anger management, and communication skills are also stressed.
- Every Phase I resident at the VOC receives an assessment of educational abilities by an on-site Los Angeles Unified School District Adult Basic Education (ABE) instructor. A Test for Adult Basic Education measures language arts and math skills. Students with grade equivalencies of 8th grade or below receive classes and tutoring.
Vocational Assessment and Training
- In Phase II, residents’ vocational skills are assessed and a plan is developed.
- All residents receive computer training.
- NDVets offers job training in culinary arts, customer service, computer applications, and Human Services.
- Participants meet with NDVets’ vocational staff for interview preparation and job search guidance.
- After participants obtain employment, they remain at NDVets for an additional 3-6 months to save money for first and last month’s rent.
Permanent Supportive Housing Assistance
- NDVets operates four Permanent Supportive Housing facilities in Los Angeles County, with additional projects in the pipeline. Learn more
- NDVets also maintains an active search for housing of all kinds; works with appropriate housing authorities to find subsidized, affordable, and other specialized housing; helps residents complete rental and credit applications; and places clients in an appropriate homes.
Services for Post 9/11 Veterans
NDVets offers outpatient services and support as well as transitional housing to veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF). Services include:
- Veteran Benefits Advocacy
- Family Reunification Support
- Separation/Transition Assistance
- Help with Legal Issues
- Counseling and Therapy
- Substance Abuse Management
- Mental Health Support
- Even after participants leave, NDVets maintains regular communication with them to improve their chances of continued recovery and employment (“Aftercare”).
- Participants are asked to attend weekly Aftercare meetings for a minimum of 90 days and to join the New Directions Alumni group for at least a year.
- Alumni participation enables NDVets to gather long-term data on graduates, honor their achievements in sobriety and employment, assist them in adapting to the work environment, provide additional job market resources, identify warning signs of substance abuse relapse, and provide intervention.