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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Do we want to be the Lost Generation?

Thursday, June 28, 2012 and Friday, June 29, 2012

Being alone on a mountain is invigorating and terrifying all at once. I hiked halfway up Lazy Mountain yesterday with my phone turned off and only the sound of the rain and my breathing filling my ears. It was a new experience. I was alone, except for a few hikers I ran into going the opposite direction, on rainy trail (super slick on the way back down), and it was absolutely amazing. I had time to think, no noise to drown out my thoughts, and a chance to look around at the misty mountainside and the valley below. And then you start to freak yourself out-hearing animals moving, or not hearing anything at all, slipping down the muddy slopes. What happens if you get hurt? What happens if you run into a bear? Or a moose? What happens if you get lost or kidnapped? Paranoia at its best, yet these are legitimate concerns. You learn a lot about yourself in both those situations, how you react to them, and how you view them and yourself. Sitting an hour up the mountain on a picnic bench overlooking the valley, I started considering my own life-the blessings I have, the support system, and the opportunities that have come from those. Yes, I am one of the lucky ones.

But what about those who aren’t so lucky? What about the people that are completely alone and trying to navigate our society? Once I made it safely down the mountain, I started thinking about this idea of being alone in context to the clients of Daybreak. I’ve seen a lot of Case Management these past few weeks. I’ve worked with a client myself in trying to navigate the Social Security process. I have witnessed the court system and some of the District Attorneys and Advocates at work. It is not easy to navigate this system in any way, shape, or form whether you have a mental disability or not.

Let me recap my week: Monday and Tuesday were devoted to our big state audit, making sure all our files were in check and that we are fulfilling our mission. Our auditor sat down with Polly and Bill (I got to sit in too!) and chatted about the work of Daybreak and where they were in fulfilling the requirements. He was impressed by the ability Daybreak has had to maintain small caseloads for all the Case Managers. Each Case Manager is capped at 15 clients making it easier on them to give each client the full attention they need to thrive. Our auditor mentioned that he wished more agencies were able to do this and stick by their mission more closely. Daybreak is able to give each client the choice and responsibility of their own personal treatment. It is not the Case Manger telling them what to do and how to do it; each client has full say in their appointments, medications, and skill building. The majority of clients are very cognizant of their disability and they want to treat it; they don’t want to live in the fog that is created by their illness and they are aware of the consequences of leaving it untreated. Most will tell you “don’t let me use my illness as an excuse.” So many of them want to be healthy and well, but they just don’t know how to do it. They just need a little help finding the resources or options that are available for them and then they’re more than willing to utilize them.

Wednesday I actually had the chance to work one on one with a client I’ve worked with before. We are working on getting her back on Social Security disability. Let me tell you; that is one very difficult process to navigate. I was asking the other Case Managers as well as Bill and Polly for help over the last few weeks so I didn’t go into this situation blind. I looked up the necessary documents and information and emailed it to her so she was prepared. I looked over the applications of the various services so I knew what she qualified for and what she didn’t. If I wasn’t sitting in an office full of other people that did this for their job, I would have been at a loss. You have to know specific dates, names, addresses, and medication names. Sounds pretty simple right? Well if you have been seeing various doctors-state ordered and otherwise- for the last 10 years, gathering all that information, most of which is not written down, is near impossible. And for someone that might be paranoid or OCD or anxious, this is a stressful process. I was asking questions and for clarification from my supervisors as I helped my client and then at the end I called the Social Security office to ask a random question and the automated voice machine is so frustrating, so I waited for the operator only to hear this, “the approximate wait time for assistance is 10 minutes”. I can see how clients get fed up and never fill out their information to receive their benefits. The role of an advocate is obviously vital in situations like these where the system itself is not friendly to the clients.

That same afternoon I went to pre-meet for CRP court. I went to pre-meet last week but this week we had a full case load and some pretty intense cases. A lot of them were following their treatment plans so their cases went pretty smoothly. But one client in particular is having some difficulty and because of this, some people are not happy with their performance in CRP. The advocates jumped right in; working to keep this person in the system in the hopes they can restart and graduate later this year. The speed with which the advocates stepped in was absolutely amazing; they recognize the need of this person and the ability this person has to thrive with a good treatment plan. This client would probably not thrive in a regular probation or court system and the treatment would be inadequate. The advocates stepped in to explain the situation to the client and to urge the client and court to consider a revised treatment plan. One of the administrators gave me some sound advice, “Never be done with a client-they always have the ability to turn around-they’re never a lost cause.”

I’ve started to understand the importance of case management, not only for the mentally ill, but for all those who are marginalized. It allows the clients to take ownership of their future and make the choices and actions necessary to thrive. Being alone can be good for the soul, but it is not always the best option. I’ve learned that a lot of clients have an element of shame in admitting their disease. It’s a taboo subject in society and so many people assume the worst. I’ve seen so many amazing people who have spent years fighting their illness-they’ve had some very dark days, yes-but where they are now is so inspiring. They’ve faced the worst and they are very in tune with themselves and their own needs. I believe that supporting these people and working towards their health is vital and they can’t do it alone. In truth, none of us can thrive while we’re alone-we’re interdependent, not independent-and this means we have an obligation to help out. Some of us are the lucky ones, some of us have beat the odds and risen from the ashes, and some of us don’t have the opportunity or ability. For those of us that do, why not reach out a helping hand and give back a fraction of what we’ve been given?

The Lost Generation

 

Words can’t describe it and pictures don’t do it justice

Here are some snapshots of my past few weekends of hiking. The scenery up here is amazing. It is that moment when you crest that hill, you’re out of breath, you can feel your heart pounding against your rib cage, and you look up to see the whole world below you. Alaska has everything-snow-capped mountains, glacier cold lakes that feed into the sea, and beautiful green vegetation that gives way to the wind blown hill tops the higher you climb. Below is just a sampling of what I’ve seen and experienced, I hope you enjoy!

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Eklutna lake-literally a mountain lake, you’re surrounded by majestic peaks on all sides and there are plenty of ridges and hills to hike into.

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The view of Eklutna Lake from Twin Peaks ridge. This was an awesome hike, the ridge wraps around the lake if you climb high enough so you get a front view of the lake and mountains.

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Solstice hike! We climbed Flat Top (a must hike if you’re in Anchorage) and watched the sun set on June 20. It set at 11:43 pm which means we had over 19 hours of sunlight that day! There was a cloud cover over the city so we were sitting above the clouds with an awesome view of the sunset.

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After the sun set the clouds lifted a little so I went over to take a peak at what the city looked like from up here. It also got super cold (note the extra layers) but we had an epic view of the Anchorage area.

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Hiking to the top of McHugh Peak we hit a bunch of snow. It’s a lot more fun to play in the snow in June when it is 75 and sunny out.

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One of those heart pounding views. We had a 360 view from the top of McHugh, this is the side of Cook Inlet and behind the rock on the left side of the picture are more mountain peaks. Amazing dynamic between the ocean and these snow covered volcanoes!

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The group at the top! You can see those mountains I was talking about!

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More of the view. It is such an awe-inspiring place to be-exhausted and looking out over this vast creation-realizing the awesomeness of your body that brought you up here and the absolute beauty of this world we get to inhabit.

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Thanks for following this blog and supporting me over these 8 weeks! I really appreciate it and cannot show my gratitude enough. While I miss everyone back home, Alaska has taken a piece of my heart. I will be back to conquer that bucket list of hikes that I have, but for now, I have four more weeks of this epic adventure. I’ll keep you updated as I go!

 

Community: Nature Driven

Monday, June 25, 2012

                Is community possible when you’re alone? That was my question as I came up here back in May. How on earth could I understand community when I’m living alone in a place where I didn’t know anyone? My definition of community has grown-not changed, just grown. It has a wider scope now to incorporate a new concept. Community is people sharing an experience. It can be fleeting or it can be substantial. Dorothy Day said, “We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community” (Braughton, 120). Community is a desire to be with others whether or not you took the same path to get there. It is the recognition of others’ raw humanity-the humanity we all share-the wants, the needs, the desires. Community consists of seeing in others what we feel in ourselves.

                The best way I can describe it is meeting other people here in Alaska. We’re all up here for different reasons, we all came here from different places with different intentions, but we’re all up here at the same time. Most of us came by ourselves and most of us are searching for similar things-adventure, new experiences, and nature. We didn’t plan a community, we might have hoped for it (more than likely we did), but we found it, sometimes in the most odd places. Community doesn’t have to be intentional, as M. Scott Peck pointed out, AA groups were started with, “no dues, no budgets, no buildings” (78). Rather, “all this has been done with virtually no organization, the founders having brilliantly sensed that excessive organization is antithetical to community” (78). Community is not a planned date, time, and location; it is finding the truth in each other, the humanity of being with other people.

                I thought at first that my community was going to come from the local church, but I have found that it came from a different kind of sanctuary-the mountains. I have spent my weekends doing long hikes, forgoing church, and incidentally enough, I have made connections on the trails. Everyone hiking is out there for various reasons, some spiritual, some physical, some emotional, but we’re all out there and more than likely you’ll run into familiar faces. Bonhoeffer talks about the idea of community transcending the physical connection of person to person and going into a spiritual love that recognizes the person of Christ that connects each one of us. I agree, and I also add that community doesn’t only come from the church. Trust me, I know the importance of church and the community to be found there and I definitely miss the school masses (shout out to SMC!) but I have also discovered that God isn’t confined to 4 stone walls. He is in the breeze at the top of a mountain, the ocean and silt beaches, and forests and vegetation. Spirituality is realizing the amazing structure of our body and being thankful for the gift of movement, of breath, of thought-it is recognizing how very blessed we are as we stand 4500 feet above the sea and look down to the beach where you started. Or as you’re sitting outside for dinner and you look at the surrounding mountains and see the spot where you stood looking down. But, I digress, community can be found on the mountain trails as surely as it can be found in a church or school.

                For example, remember those people I met on Lazy Mountain my first weekend here? Whelp, I saw them at 11 pm on the Flattop trail down in Anchorage. 50 miles south of where we met on some random mountain trail, I was hiking to the top for the solstice sunset and ran into Matt and Julia. We joined groups and hung out for a bit after hiking to the top together. We chatted about the various hikes we had done since and future plans we had, for hikes and otherwise. We talked about where we came from, what we were doing here, what we were doing after, and took the time to get to know each other. It was a chance meeting, twice, but I found community in that-the openness to communication, to adventure, to authenticity. Sunday, I was hiking up in Hatcher’s pass and we ran into a guy we had met the weekend before down in Eklutna on the Twin Peaks trail. We talked with him for a bit both last weekend and this weekend (he went to Gonzaga, boo! Just kidding!), and went on our way. Community takes on a different form but it is still community. It is the connection of people in a common endeavor, looking for similar things or just in a similar manner, and finding it in the most unexpected of places. Community has not required me to live with others, it has taught me to seek out others who are at the same place at the same time as myself and learn from them.

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The combined group on Solstice (with a photo bomb in the background, everyone’s so friendly!)

 

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” -Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Solidarity with the poor

 

                There are so many assumptions and theories about poverty; it’s a personal issue, the government doesn’t do enough, society has all these ideals and pressures that hold the individual back, but there is one major component that is constantly lost in the shuffle, we’re talking about people, not an idea. Yes, poverty is a consequence of certain circumstances and it is also a cause of others, but it deals with people, other human beings. When we talk about poverty or the poor, we have to remind ourselves that we are dealing with others just like us. In fact, due to unforeseeable circumstances, there is no guarantee that we won’t ever be in that situation, it could be us, hopefully not but still important to recognize.

                During these eight weeks, and always actually, but especially now, I am asked to stand in solidarity with the poor. It’s a little different here because a lot of the people I am working with are living in low income housing but with food and an apartment with electricity and water and such. Some, a very low majority are homeless and Daybreak is working to get them housed because as I have talked about earlier, it is the first and most vital step to getting them stable. I am living with my clients. I live in the same apartment complex with at least 6 other adults that all have behavioral disabilities. My neighbors are the people I encounter through Daybreak’s case management. So yes, I am living in solidarity with them and in the meantime, I am advocating for them. If something is broken in the building, I have the most direct contact with Valley Residential Service to get it fixed, so I do. But, what I have learned the most is not about what I can do for them or what it’s like to live in community living with the clients, it is the fact that they are just another group of people to live with. I’ve done the college dorm thing for 3 years now and it’s just like having loud neighbors in the dorms or people who just wave and say hello as you head into the building. They are people who have led a life slightly different than me.

                Regardless of their living situation, the clients that Daybreak works with and all the low income and mentally disabled people experience the same fears and anxieties we all have. As David Shipler said in Ending Poverty in America, the biggest emotion discussed was fear.

“They were afraid to apply [for jobs]. They were afraid of being asked about their police records. They were afraid of being rejected. And a couple even said that they were afraid of being accepted into jobs they did not think they could do.” (18).

This is one of the most basic human emotions. We all have fears, especially the fear of failure. The poor, disabled, and marginalized feel it exponentially-they have disability and doctor records, prison records, and a long list of past failures holding them back. It is a necessity to look beyond the paperwork at the person you’re helping.

                I shadowed a case manager today, Nate, and we were discussing his clients, all of whom seem to struggling right now. He told me of one of his clients who handed him their gun and asked him to hold on to it as they struggled to suppress suicidal thoughts. My first reaction? “Who let them have a gun?!” I was aghast that a mentally ill person who has been suicidal was allowed a weapon. Nate’s response was simple yet effective, “Who’s right is it to tell them what to do?” These people may be mentally ill but they are still adult individuals with the right to make their own decisions. Yes, some will argue that they are not capable of making their own decisions but Nate’s question still stands, who’s right is it to determine their capabilities? Obviously, a case manager is meant to encourage them towards treatment and help but Daybreak’s whole philosophy is based on the client’s ability to remain independent and make their own decisions-empowerment of the individual. They decide what direction their life will take, and with a little help from case managers and some resources, they are able to do effectively. Approaching the poor and marginalized as human beings with the same rights as the rest of us, recognizing and respecting their humanity and dignity, and understanding and attempting to relate to them allows us to stand in solidarity.

                I’m an idealist, but my idealism was tested today when Nate and I went to check on a few of his clients. The first few were definitely stressful-anxious, defiant, paranoid, and depressed-but the last one broke my heart. I didn’t get the chance to meet her though, she wasn’t home. We drove out past the hiking trailheads to a turn off that leads to the river and pulled up next to an old, beat-up, blue truck. This was her home. I was shocked. I have met people that are having a rough time, even others who don’t have a solid home but are couch surfing for a bit, but she was alone with literally nowhere to go. What I struggle with the most out of this is that people call me crazy-“how can you change a whole system?” “It’s their own fault they’re in this situation.” “Why don’t you treat the causes and help a group of people instead of just this one?” These are all legitimate concerns, questions, and observations. David Shipler highlights a lot of these same points. But he shows how they are all interrelated. It is both the individual and the institution. Not everyone is given the same opportunities to buy into the “American Dream”, not everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make something of themselves; this is where the institution fails. The individuals usually do something that aggravates the situation-drugs, alcohol, crime, etc. By looking at the whole picture, one can see how poverty is both a cause and an effect and it can be treated as such. “You cannot solve a problem without defining it, and if you don’t allow yourself a complete definition, you will never approach a thorough solution. Connect the dots” (15). It’s a complex web of issues that overlap and are interconnected. All sides must be addressed and the blame cannot be laid on one party.

                Bill and I talked about this exact issue later in the day. I hadn’t talked about what I had seen because I am still processing, but he explained his love for meetings along these same lines. He wants to change the system so he’s able to help more than one individual at a time so he is the director and helps lobby for new grants, programs, and organizations that will help the population. He also recognizes the importance of treating current needs, that’s why he does case management. There is a compromise between the individual and institutional approach-work for both. Work to change the system while meeting the needs of the individual. Help change how society and government work with these people and help the people help themselves. Bill constantly reminds me of the hope and idealism that sometimes wavers as I look at the work to be done, but he reassures me that it can be done with a lot of passion. It’s a recognition that this is a need that has to be met but it’s beyond just personal gain or popularity; it is the ability to be a part of something bigger than oneself and working to cause change for individuals and whole systems. Standing in solidarity with the poor means recognizing the plight of the poor and working with them (not for them) to cause change. You become their advocate, allowing them the individuality and responsibility of making their own decisions, but acting as a resource for them and others who suffer by changing the flaws in the system.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

“Live simply so others may simply live.” –Mother Teresa

                If any of you have ever helped me move or watched me pack or just walked into my room on a bad (okay, typical) day, you would know that this idea is laughable. I’m terribly unorganized in the packing and unpacking of my belongings, extremely messy when I don’t have a roommate (and usually when I do), and am kind of a pack-rat. I have a hard time saying goodbye to things that have sentimental value or that I have deluded myself into thinking that I might use again. I have too much stuff, plain and simple.

But here in Alaska I have 9 work shirts, 2 sets of running/hiking clothes, 3 pairs of jeans (one pair had an unfortunate accident so I did have to get another pair for work), and 3 pairs of shoes including my running shoes. This is a big deal for me. My boss was talking about song lyrics my second week here but I couldn’t have put it better myself, “If you don’t have it, you don’t need it”. And while this is not universally applicable-I’m sure a starving child needs food-it makes a lot of sense in our overly indulged world of instant satisfaction. I’m so used to having my senses stimulated-smells, sounds, and especially sights- that to have a sparse room with no decoration is actually comforting. I’m not constantly bombarded with information or thoughts, given, it is scary to be inside your own head that much, but it reminds me of how much excess I live with on a daily basis.

Some of the most powerful and inspirational leaders lived with nothing, Gandhi and Jesus for example. They did not need things to exert their power or be inspirational-their actions did that. In Richard Gregg’s article The Value of Voluntary Simplicity, he proposes the idea of simplicity as a solution for the various gaps-social, economical, and educational-visible in our society. He does not propose we all live on the streets in only cloth and starve ourselves for long periods of time to find enlightenment; he calls us to do away with the excess, the stuff that is keeping us from our ultimate goal. He quotes Gandhi, “Only give up a thing when you want some other condition so much that the thing no longer has any attraction for you, or when it seems to interfere with that which is more greatly desired.” It is not giving up anything and everything; it is giving up that which distracts us from our greater goal.

This has been a dawning realization while I’m here, so I walk to work whenever I’m not driving a client to an appointment or meeting in Wasilla, I’m working to give up the nasty caffeine addiction I picked up during finals week, and I have been eating vegetarian when I’m on my own. These are little changes, but are easy to make. Obviously they are not going to fix the world problems, but it is important to realize how lucky I am to have the option to give these up when so many people don’t even have their basic needs met. I have a lot of sorting to do, both mentally/emotionally, and physically when I have the chance to start to de-clutter the excess in my life-both material and socially/emotionally. Here are some facts we’ve all heard but tend to forget in our day to day activities; I felt they were appropriate.

Simplicity

 

Gamechangers

Thursday, June 07, 2012 and Friday, June 08, 2012

This past week has been super busy, consisting of hiking mountains, shadowing case managers, and working with clients.

                Last week, Maggie had invited me to hike Lazy Mountain with some family friends this Saturday; so bright and early, I met up with Maggie and the others and we set off. We took the longer but less steep trail so we encountered more switchbacks and viewpoints along the way, and the only word I can think of to describe Alaska is “majestic”. Bill and I have had some interesting conversations about Alaska being the “Last Frontier” and a place that people go to have a fresh start. Looking around after climbing 3000 feet, I understand why. It’s so beautiful and breathtaking all at once; pictures just don’t do it justice. Anyways, on the way up, we met a few people around my age who are spending the next two months working on an organic farm in the area. After chatting for a bit, I exchanged numbers with the girl so we can meet up and hike together-just meeting people everywhere! The trails are all pretty well known around the Palmer area and it hasn’t seen too many bears or moose but almost everyone carries a bear bell or bear spray (like pepper spray but with a longer range and obviously more powerful) just in case. One of the bosses I met last week gave me an official bear bell to carry on any solo hikes I do, so I’m joining the ranks of Alaskans! I saw a lot of people hiking by themselves on the better known trails and when the weather is nice, everyone is outside. The prolonged sunlight allows for even more outdoor activity so Maggie and I are hiking the same trail again soon but we’re going to take the steeper and more direct route. I’ll also be doing some hiking in the Anchorage area with my friends who live there so I’ll get some shots of that too.Image

Sitting at the top of Lazy Mountain!

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The view of the Mat-Su valley.

Moving past my recreational time:

Monday morning I debriefed with Bill from last week; talking through what I saw and observed, what connections I made, and any questions or clarifications I still had. We chatted about the dynamic between the different agencies and how the work of each one contributes to the others. The population of each agency tends to overlap so the people served are utilizing all the various services offered. The one thing that Bill really emphasized is that the relationship between the agencies is vital because one agency cannot provide all the services needed. If they attempt to, their services are usually less than adequate because their resources are stretched too thin. Under the Valley Christian Conference, each agency handles their specialty and then provides for the other organizations. This allows everyone to do their job effectively. I have learned that a lot of talking happens-communication between agencies, within agencies, and with the clients. There has to be a commitment to seeking the best solution for the client and this involves working together to bring the resources together. This means that the protocols and mission statements of each organization is adhered to and respected, but the needs of the client take precedent. After dissecting and processing the little I had seen, Bill handed me off to Polly, the program coordinator, so I could shadow her and see what the case managers all do.

                I spent a lot of the week shadowing Tiffany, one of the case managers. We mostly took the time to introduce me to her clients and run them to various appointments. These range from doctor appointments to the grocery store to counseling sessions, etc. The role of the case manager is to provide the resources for the client to thrive. This means that the client has the ability to maintain their independence and to choose what resources they ask for and take advantage of, therefore empowering them to make their own decisions. The case manager helps to provide feedback, offer alternatives, and talk through the options with the client and then provide resources for the client when they ask. I had the opportunity to work one on one with one of Tiffany’s clients, Perlita. I spent about 45 minutes running errands with her and just chatting. It is awesome to hear her stories and listen to her life events-probably a very eye opening and humbling experience as well. Society places this stigma on mental health clients; they’re usually shoved to the margins of society, labeled, and “treated” for their disease. This approach disregards the fact that they are people, with emotions, craving acceptance, and looking to thrive in society, a society that has already labeled them. They get caught in this cycle that they can’t get out of-they act out because they have a disease, can’t get housing or a job, and then they can’t become stabilized because their basic needs aren’t met so they act out. Being able to interact and talk with the various people, I remember how uncomfortable I get, the paranoid assumptions I make, and the marginalization I have placed on people of mental health. I’m humbled into realizing that I am not helping them when I act like that and that these people are more intelligent than I could ever hope to be along with some amazing life stories and all they’re looking for is acceptance and understanding. Watching the case managers’ interaction with the clients allowed me to see my own assumptions and those of others and work towards a different approach.

                A lot of the Daybreak clients as well as other mentally ill people tend to have other issues such as substance abuse so they can get in trouble with the law. To avoid creating a cycle where these same clients get caught up in the law systems-offending, having a record so they can’t get housing or a job, and then reoffending- they have created a diversionary court called the Coordinated Resources Project (CRP) in 2004. This court is a chance for clients who committed low-risk misdemeanor offenses to go through a treatment program instead of doing time in prison. The clients work with their own case manager and a defense attorney to create and implement their treatment plan. They have to check in every week to make sure they are sticking to their requirements and make any revisions to their treatment. The cool thing about this court is that since 2004, there have been 35 people that have gone into the program, with 20 people graduating from it and 15 who did not finish and out of those who graduated, only one reoffended. This is compared to 14 out of the 35 people in the comparison group. If you look at the cost of the crimes of the two groups and the likely hood of their reoffending, the CRP saved the courts over $200,000. Not only is this program benefiting the state by saving them money, it also obviously saves the clients the pain of having to get constantly caught up in the cycle. Instead, they are able to obtain treatment and their basic needs are met which helps to provide the resources they need to become high functioning citizens. The judge is harsh but fair, allowing them the room to grow and learn, therefore empowering them to be responsible for their decisions. CRP not only is good for the judicial system, saving them money and resources, but it is a tool for the clients to become more and more independent.

                After spending a week looking at the inner workings of Daybreak, I have learned a little about the positive approaches to dealing with mental illness. The whole philosophy of Daybreak is empowerment, so the individual is able to maintain a sense of independence. It reminds me of the humanity of the person. The case managers are focused on providing for the basic needs of the person, both physical and emotional. These include housing and food, as well as acceptance and understanding, and most importantly an ear to listen. Mental illnesses are going to be stabilized more easily if the person is cared for mentally, physically, and emotionally. It gives them independence and enables them to meld into society better. It has been such an eye-opening experience to realize not only the preconceived notions I carry myself but also become aware of the assumptions that others carry about those with mental illness. It creates cycles that people get caught up in and this does not create an environment that is conducive to stabilization. Daybreak destroys this cycle by working one on one and helping to empower the person.