Many men and women who live on the streets and subways of New York City struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.BRC understands that one important piece in solving homelessness puzzle is to provide state-of-the art care in substance abuse recovery and prevention for our clients.
The Chemical Dependency Crisis Center (CDCC) is BRC's front door to thousands of homeless men and women who come to us each year seeking health and self-sufficiency. The 32-bed program provides detoxification, medical and supportive services that help those with chemical addiction safely withdraw from substance use and take the next step toward long-term stability.
Our open-door policy enables us to serve those who have nowhere else to go. Unlike hospital-based or private for-profit programs, which present serious barriers for clients with severe mental illness, CDCC accepts those in need regardless of their situational challenges and without charge to the client. CDCC’s clients are extraordinarily disenfranchised, with complex substance abuse, mental health and medical challenges that inhibit access to social services and health care systems. CDCC meets these needs by going far beyond most other detoxification centers, providing wraparound case management to connect clients to the supportive services that address their myriad needs in health and housing.
In 2012, CDCC started to see an increasing number of clients we were unable to serve due to complex medical needs. Citywide closures of homeless drop-in centers meant that those with severe medical issues who had previously received care at these centers were now seeking care at CDCC.
Meanwhile, heroin addiction, which requires a more advanced level of clinical care for detoxification, was on the rise, doubling over the last ten years. With sicker clients and no community-based options for detoxification, we were forced to send those clients to the hospitals, which are ineffective at connecting high-needs clients to the follow-up recovery support critical to ensuring long-term recovery and preventing potentially life-threatening relapse.
Our clients asked us for a higher level of care, and rather than send those clients somewhere else, we instead asked ourselves what we needed to do to provide the services they needed. The answer was clear: we would add an additional level of care to the program, and assign beds based on clients’ individual needs.
Today, the CDCC pilot diverts hundreds of homeless clients from more expensive hospital resources and instead provides the same services in a significantly less expensive community-based setting. And because clients at hospital-based programs have higher rates of relapse than those in community-based settings, CDCC also helps stop the revolving door of detoxification readmission, leading to better outcomes for clients as well as more efficient use of money, resources and staff.