Magazine article Addiction Professional

Gateway Rehabilitation Center

Magazine article Addiction Professional

Gateway Rehabilitation Center

Article excerpt

Liberty Station halfway house

In designing the first alcohol and drug halfway house for adolescents in the state of Pennsylvania, officials at Gateway Rehabilitation Center remained mindful of the needs and preferences of the young males who would be residing there. By the time the facility reaches its capacity of 24, it will project the image of a caring environment in which young men take the next important step in recovery.

"One thing we know about adolescent boys is they need to run around a little bit," says Jill Perry, director of Gateway's extended care services division. "We have a lot of nature and outside space surrounding the building. These youths are comfortable being outside."

Inside a house, "Young adolescent boys will tend to get cluttered and have trouble focusing, so we have built in a lot of open space," Perry says.

Liberty Station opened in midNovember with its first two residents. The house, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and far removed from Gateway's more institutional main treatment campus, is intended to serve young males who have been in primary treatment and need about three to nine months of transitional service that emphasizes resuming interaction with the community (school, workplace, etc.). The house features many comforts of home, including a spacious kitchen and room for reading and work activities, but all this comes with strict responsibilities for the residents.

"The kitchen is functional and efficient, and our guys will be doing all the maintaining, from shopping to storage," Perry says. "They'll need to say, 'We're having a beef roast tomorrow night, so we need to take it out of the freezer tonight.'"

Most residents will live in double rooms on the top floor of the two-story house; the bedrooms feature neutral, soothing colors and home-like but masculine bed linens. The group rooms feature a green background that promotes balance and healing. …

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