Life Change Program

The Life Change Program has 4 distinct program stages or phases. The program stages are illustrated in the diagram below.

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Pre-Program

programs_services_-_life_change_program_option_1.jpgThe Pre-Program phase begins once a man indicates that he would like to become a part of the Mission’s Life Change Program. This period is designed to determine if a man could benefit from the Market Street Mission’s life change program, provide him necessary information for a decision, and begin the process of assimilation.

One Mission resident described the Pre-Program phase as one of “settling down;” the man and the Mission get to know one another in order to begin a new relationship. The man becomes acquainted with the routines and procedures at the Mission, and the Mission staff and residents try to evaluate the man to see if he is appropriate for the program.

The month-long Pre-Program is the gateway and “living waiting list” for the Life Change Program.

At the Market Street Mission, a man stays here and gets to know the Mission before formal entry into the next phases of the Life Change Program.

Phases 1-A and 1-B

The goal of Phases 1-A and 1-B of the New Life Program is to provide, through the use of work, an environment and structure for the individual to foster ongoing sobriety. This is the time for individuals to sober up their bodies and minds and to bring some structure into their lives.

The average resident in the Mission’s program has had little or no work experience. Even those who have held jobs have normally been unemployed for a considerable amount of time. The fact that these men have come into the program and have signed contracts to improve themselves signifies that their lives have become unmanageable. Realistically they have no place else to go. Their self-esteem is very low.

Every man is unique ‒ unique in his history, unique in his needs, and unique in his rehabilitation. Although the Mission espouses a holistic approach, i.e. viewing the person as a whole with many simultaneous problems, a man can expect a sequential process in recovery.

The primary focus of work therapy is threefold:

  • To strengthen the body through physical exercise.
  • To develop knowledge of what is needed to work in a structured environment and begin putting that knowledge into practice so that each man can develop his own work ethic.
  • To apply Christian values in the workplace.

This is not to suggest that physical, mental/emotional and spiritual rehabilitation should be in sequence, but rather that normally the body recovers more quickly than the mind.

Phase 2

Phase 2 is central to the Market Street Mission’s Life Change Program. After having progressed through Pre-Program, Phase 1-A and 1-B, the individual is a candidate for classroom instruction.

It is here that men can really come to grips with the problems in their lives and deal with them. The class topics reflect the Mission’s emphasis on recovery from drug and alcohol addiction with a Gospel Mission perspective. Mission staff and local clergy teach courses in chemical dependency and addiction and their consequences, group therapy, and Bible classes.

Some of these classes include:

  • Fatherhood/Manhood
  • Anger Management
  • Christian Financial Management
  • Relapse Prevention/Chemical Dependency Education
  • Employment Skills

The four objectives of Phase 2 are:

  1. To help the chemically dependent person to understand the actual problem of chemical dependency.
  2. To help him to understand why he has physical, emotional, and spiritual problems, and how these three factors interrelate and affect his life.
  3. To learn the wholesome knowledge of the salvation of God in Jesus Christ.
  4. To help him to learn the techniques, skills and knowledge needed to live a full, productive Christian life for the glory of God.

The overall theme of this phase can be found in II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”