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Valued Community Member program supports community re-entry

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The 24 year old came to the Arbor Circle Valued Community Member program (VCM) after he was arrested for leading the police on a high speed chase. A person in recovery, he had been in jail 3 times in the last 4 years. This time, life's pressures were just too much and he went on a binge. Now, he regrets that he “had given up.”

The VCM program works with men who have substance use issues and have been in jail many times over the years They have not had strong, therapeutic mental health and substance use treatment relationships on an on-going basis. Many of them have experienced trauma and have chronic mental health and substance use issues that require community based, longer term treatment. The program allows them to explore the complex and traumatic issues they have never before shared. 

As a child, this VCM client struggled to focus on more than one task at a time; often having trouble getting control of his emotions. He worried that people would abandon him or let him down if he trusted them. In the VCM program, he learned to understand how a chaotic and traumatic childhood continued to affect him as an adult. He had been sexually abused as a child and was not sure that the services would work for someone like him.

This time however, it was different. He followed up quickly to connect with the VCM team after his release from jail. At first, he easily became angry; often believing that the VCM team would not follow through when he needed them. Working to build a trusting relationship, the VCM team provided skill building and therapy services and coordinated with other services to meet his needs. 

Over the last month, he feels that his anxiety has improved.  He has been able to break tasks down into more manageable parts to ease his stress.  He has worked with employment services and found a sponsor for his substance use issues. He smiles as he talks about the fellowship he gets through AA meetings and says he has never felt more supported in his whole life.