LBISD FirstStepHouseOfNorthCounty

Tuesday, January 9th


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning and welcome to another edition of living veteran San Diego public service presentation of Vienna count San Diego radio stations and Jerry Lee. First step house of North County is committed to providing free short term non medical services to low income. And indigent man seeking to break the addiction of alcohol. First at house of North County is their for these men as they take the next step to sobriety. Joining us this morning its first death house in North County chairman of the board Greg Marca and board vice president Keith McGuire talking Greg welcome peace. Good morning good morning Gary you'd see him get to see you again Greg and and pleasure meeting you Keefe so last time I saw you actually last time you on the show when it was. Back in November. 2016 now I'm not mistaken when you hear first time first step house in North County haven't even opened stores yet right. That is correct yes it's kind of funny to think it was that long ago it meant it's time flies but yeah we had not opened our doors yet. And we have now been opened for a little over nine months and so quite a bit has happened since we last saw each other tell us a little bit about them about first house and don't count. Both first a palace north Kenny is a is the only free and then I'm aware of free. Detox for alcohol in San Diego right now. It's a non medical men's detox there's it's a ten day program. Where we separate. The alcoholic from Vermont offer period of time and introduce him to. The most successful long term recovery program on the man over that stretch time hand it's pretty simple you know we have a bunch of volunteers that. That are in recovery that tempo and I think we're up to about a 150 volunteers have worked a house in shifts. And it's kind of an amazing thing to witness I tea there's some some magic going on over there are so pretty simple what what's the mission. The first accounts of North County. The mission the first of Elsinore Kenny I would say would be to provide. Three detox for the community. From alcohol for a indigent people that you know people don't have insurance have no other way to separate from our call. And two also provide a place for. Other members of the recovery community to be of service I think it's a big part of what we do there's a place there for. People to go on work in connection interface with those that need. Health and now weigh in at times now in recovery we don't get to see those people. I'm at this stage so it's it's a place where we benefit as well as much as as they're the people who are through the house so. You know I think we just saw whole actually keys here saw home. In our recovery process in this in this community that we and we felt we needed to try to fill in. And so that's what we've done there and hence taking a long time to get up around a more open now and it's pretty exciting it's good stuff. I think more than the opportunities available for. An antigen alcoholic fail in North County. Or that they're there they're very short term on the taken to a hospital or they take no jail. And it's a couple of days in their back on the streets. And you can't separate man from now call for one or two days and expect any meaningful change to a current manslaughter we got a ten day program. And we have an open door policy and members. A lot of different recovery well mainly when recovery program. Are in and around the house all day long sharing their experience strength and hope with the guys that are in house and its. There's a little magic in them. Now you arm first of house of North County from a mistaken modeled after. Another place Upton in Orange County right yeah yeah others a facility in Orange counting. It's commonly referred to as Charlie street. The official name his first step house of Orange County. Promise and they were founded in 1952. By a couple of ladies who have done drawn cosmonauts. And they ran a little house and moved what's now triangle square in Costa Mesa. And stock command there and said you can't come home until you sober and that little house turned into Charlie street which is now 21 bed facility cost may sound. And so operated out continuously since 1952. And your place we're wearing in north canoneers located. We're in Carlsbad. We have a little little property write off of camera back avenue right near the Catholic Church across street from Catholic Church there. Very centrally located it's this it's small. Four bedroom home we have a coach to lose their full time. Menace in his tennis spends a night Ferran and our team's number on the house from 7 AM till 10 PM. And so we have six beds there to six bed facility and we've we've had and we've had that place full for quite a bit over the last nine months of other social workers at the hospitals are aware of us now please know about us. The paramedics. Have been there Tor house they've looked at our protocols they're they're very supportive. So we're we're very central location for north Kenny although we get people from Temecula we give people from down south. We have people from all over the place we actually had a guy flying in from Portland and another from Phoenix so any other word is out. That analysis that question I was asking is it just just because you're in north carried us and you just catering to the valley residents know. We have a bed and and you need a bed and and you you pay you go through our protocol in take communion Kennedy and fed my don't care if you're from Minnesota and it plans to. Expand and and open up another I know it's still you still pretty young. But any plans this institute to expand them and go elsewhere he actually what what we hope to do. Is creative playbook that we can pass off to people interest and and starting a similar facility wherever they are. And we've we've had some inquiries from and we've got some lady's interest in starting wounds he talks in north Cammie. We haven't gone too far with that disappointment to have attended a tumor board meetings in their interest seems pretty sincere. We're of the mindset that you gotta give a way to keep it. And nom in any in our personal lives and our recovery in in in this in this venture. I think that the risk is that we would try to spread out or do too much too soon. And we're pretty cognizant of that on the board so we're trying to get stable. Minded strong at best way we can helped proliferate this concept is if we get really good about it and more successful with it. But to hang on to ourselves and I give it away is just not who we are so. I think Keith is right we've we've really wanna gig kid a system down that works and then. Anybody wants that we're gonna have to you know we're going to be happiness to help them you know do something on their own assessment and wanna do because there's a big need for and a few continued to. Grow as you are right now he might need a bigger homely house and north county and well we've middle of day yeah I mean we've gotten we've got plans to have a bigger facility we've always and envision Mora Charlie street facility would finally took him many years to get the support that they. That they have now but. You know 1618. Toying bed facility would be fantastic. You don't know we found I think is that once you have an operation up and running for a period of time and you you demonstrate that you can do it you have a verifiable. Income and expense kind of situation where you really know what it cost to do it. Attracting donors of becomes much easier at that time because they see that you can do it. And most of people that have that kind of money area we're involved in foundations or have personal interest and supporting NASA they wanna make sure that it goes to somebody that it helps. And so startups are tough we we were three years before we got to facility opened raising money and working at this thing. I'd seems to me that it can snowball art quicker now that were open as far as expanding or getting more support financially. And so that certainly is our goal is to have a bigger facilities from. Point I think one thing that'll really help us out on that mission is the fact that we only have one paid employee from and that's our cook. I'm because state law requires from paying him we've got over a 150 volunteers that gives their time don't get a penny in return. And I feel that that's going to hum. That's going to be very attractive two's potential donors. That they the neighbors. Any resistance from from the neighbors. No no we've got on neighbors on both sides that are are very friendly and receptive to what we're doing. And I ran across the street is some a Catholic church and com. They're very happy about or doing as a matter of fact they brought over to guys that were sleeping in her planners in the church property. And I asked if we can help them enough. So we we become a part of the community. That'll grow as time goes on. But PF party apartment is very aware of us who are paramedics on. Or are very much in favor what we're doing have responded to us on numerous occasions to help out when guys have seizures and and even the Oceanside police department has promised a couple times was there homeless outreach programs and our goal is to benefit the community overall just like sounds like here you're definitely and yeah oh in word we're getting out. We're pretty cut you know we've gone to the neighbors and in early on to almost gone on or you know we're not post and big signs up but we're not hiding either so. Quick key said I think did you know when you work and it has a police officer in any community. Or even a paramedic. You know you get frustrated with seeing the same people like that that are out politics can't separate from our call I think. What they see ACS is a real. Why has sunshine over there as a way for them to try to maybe he can actually get them somehow like he says he can't taken to emergency room. You have to communities dollars number one doing that a number two is. That separation period end net non introduction anything it's gonna keep looms over. Is just is is futile and I think there's a lot of these police officers at the heart good hard and they really are just trying to understand how come we really. Affect a positive changes in my view more permanent and I think they see that with us. Snowe both of you are recovering alcoholics as a Mayan. Anyone who listens this show on a regular or fairly regular basis knows that I'm coming up on 32 years. Being so over in June of this year I'm my wake up call for me was was my doctor telling me and things clean at that time. In my doctor talented of any change my ways in ten years and be checked in house that was my wake up call mom was it for you guys that made use of. Well you know I had a I had a father who was in recovery. For quite some time and so. That was something that kind of shaped both my drinking and mine and my recovery to some extent I knew that there was. A program that worked out there have network for millions of people so. Com you know might my story was it was not unusual in you know I decide and I'll call removing all of the things in my life that were important. And primarily my family and so. Am I woke up one day in this and I can't do this in hand you know I was able reach out to my mind having selectors solution Herron and and we get started on an end. Took a while to get comfortable with but I gotta tell you it's it's a it's a wonderful wonderful life that I have today and make them. You know the way I try to pay that back I feel like I owe a debt to that and that's this is what part of what we do to try to pin them back and Cherokee feels the same way. Yeah absolutely. They know from myself. I'd lost everything you know. All the material stuff was gone family was gone and everything was gone and none of that. Really would've. Made me get sober what made me get sober was waking up one day in and realizing that I was. Who's completely empty inside. Bloom. And any any out desire. On or hope or. Aspirations were gone whom I just needed something to change and a I feel that some higher power put me in a position room surrounded by people on the program. And made that next step very easy. And that was it for me. Now you have very powerful video. I'm your website and this video is narrated by actor Elliott Gould which down again very powerful video how to how did you get Elliott Gould. To do the voice. Well we you know I'm one of the many. Wonderful twist of fate in in this whole process where. Introduced to the concept of possibly haven't mr. Gould narrate their video through the through the filmmakers that we hired to do this film. And we had a little bit of a challenge with one of the people involved or where we ended the director of photography had to take over. On the production. Because the other guy kind of disappear we were so musher if you relapse or we'll have to but he kind of took off on us and and so can Wyatt track who is was our director of photography took this thing over and essentially. Through the goodness of his hard finish this project forest he is done so many things for us and I'm for its big shout out to camp. Who took his project on for him and his peanuts just cost to try to finish this thing up to their budget was kind of shot. In he had done a project with mr. cool in the past. And you know the concept of it came up what previous guy that we need to turn now where we just didn't really into believing much of what that guy I was saying. And we didn't think it was really gonna happen but. But can step down and said you know I am I know Eliot name I've worked with them and I have his phone number and I think he's got a heart for this type of thing. And so he spoke with mr. Gould MME. He agreed right off the bat to do it and we were just kind of stunned by an end so they went out Los Angeles and took care of for a site I was able speak with him on the foreign just thank him for what he was doing and succeed you know just didn't really charges seeing his fitted goodness of his heart in. It was just one of those things one of those deals you know or you just can't get out of the way and stuff happens and and so we just fell really fortunate to have that we did actually three different versions of that video. Some longer want an end to progressively shorter ones that we can use him in different venues but. Yeah how was it it was kind of funny around about women whose a I was very cool to. And I accept that great video one I'd recommend. Anyone listening this morning to check it out at your website. Let's talk a little bit about first at house of North County what what is the intake process like. Well not always the typically starts with a phone call from India prospective guest. You know gives us call and asks. Infant if he can get into the house. And we have on a form and that has a bunch of questions that are designed to. To find out as much about this management can before we actually meet him. And were an alcohol detox now obviously in this day and age a lot of a lot of people that suffer from addiction have problems. Other than alcohol in them we know that a lot of people come and house may have something else in their system besides I'll call it. From our main focus is alcohol and I'm we do to prescreen on the phone and then if we have a bed available we ask him to come down. And when they get there we we have a more detailed homeless to questions that we ask him. In and then determine whether or not they they qualified to come in the house and we have a bed available Leo we get them cleaned up and get them situated. And that's worthy really good stuff starts to happen. Not only do we have a lot of volunteers staff the house from 7 morning when we open until ten at night when we close we also have a but constant stream of us over. People coming through and sharing your experience strengthening for the guys as the day goes on these guys have an opportunity to grab on to something. And so far it's worked out well we've transitioned. Over a 110 guys now than for the ten days and a in and we don't have an exact count but just look like we're somewhere around a 30% are still sober which is pretty tough yeah we do we're. First sober living from from our facility have received ten days is is just enough to separate hopefully. He gets you some exposure to. Too long term recovery program that we're all involved with and then. We do have a list of of all summer livings rooms that are local and so their responsibility after I believe it's 48 hours here. So as to start making phone calls and fight in transitional housing awful VAR list but which are people and know about us. The other group that is really been instrumental in our success and I really wanted to say something about it is is it organization called brother Ben Jones. Brother Ben noses up in Oceanside and may very early on her what we were doing. And essentially contacted essence of what can we do to help you guys and they are big food bank in so they have donated to us thousands of dollars worth of food over the first. You're that you know almost here we've been opened. They've given us clothing we refer people back to force of those tennis people to detox and then they'll take him back in their long term recovery program which is can be up to a year. Is very low cost. So. You know GM GM and Peter. Shot out you have to brother battles just incredibly. Just wonderful people out there that made a huge difference in our lives. And he just had to get a waiting list at this point. Not right now not right now on as a matter of fact at the moment we have a couple of beds open. So we were just full last week we cycle I'm pretty quick now you know it's ten days is so. Won't go from six 224 to six pretty quickly and. We've had to turn anybody weigh heavily for biffle bit no. And and they might and way to we've got one gentleman in the house now and we had a few days that he was persistent in calling him. And showed his dedication to want to be let listeners are now. And we try to gauge that I think a little bit you know are they are looking for placed flop or they look commit trying to maybe it really gets over. And that has sort of guarantee Hattie determine that well it's hard you know it's very difficult thumb in idea you know we don't necessarily. You know. Make that call I don't think right there but. I think it's important for the guests in the intake data they kind of look for that I think to say hey you know suspend the thing he really wants to do it. And sometimes and you know if they do and sometimes they don't it's hard to tell him who would be nice if they all did. That's not an interest that is the one thing we do that that's probably seems a little unusual. Most people involved with recovery. Or in that Saddam industry is that. We've got twelve teams and we take the house one week and then we're off. Until we're back on twelve weeks later and each of those teams is allowed. Quite a bit of flexibility and in the way they. Com make their decisions. And we do have general guidelines and we have rules and so that vary from from team to team and if a guy is willing to commit to us that he's gonna stay there for ten days penny follows the rules. I feel that that we owe it to them to commit to them for them to stay for ten days. Whether they are on. You know on the model person that we. We would absolutely dream of having in her house is a guest on that may not be the case you know there's all kinds of personalities that need help. And cry I feel strongly that time if their legacy if you're gonna commit to us for ten days we need to come into play so so what are some of the rules. And or guidelines what what is required of the residence at first house. From well we don't like them to have any outstanding thing in their rooms on yours and not just just you know. The some clothing and now we don't like him and have liquids in their rooms candy in their rooms win. We obviously if there's any kind of I aggression from or violence of any kind or any drinking or using of any kind then they have to go. We have mandatory meetings six nights a week commander expected to be there when they have to be in by Tenet night. From their freedom go after their first 48 hours hum they're free to go out of the house and not work or go after sponsored do whatever. Number we do like him their for their meetings and we like computers from in the morning. When Leo. Do a roll call him I think we're we're watching cellphone use a little bit more now. The tendon get a little caught up on our phones and so that's one thing we're implementing I think it's a little stricter phone policy. We want him to take advantage of being in that house and of the recovery in this that it is going through that house on any given day. And not be so sidetracked if they're not taking advantage of their time there and so we try to focus them a little bit in that regard but sometimes that's record cats. Yeah I noticed. And under what Greg said there you know and alcoholism is very much famine disease and and I handing out the brother in law go through the house. And after his first 48 hours he was given a cell phone back and and it blew up when bill collectors and ex wives and and you know in any just about left you know the pressure was for intense so. So we're working towards so limiting that I'm wee we wanna give him a break when you break him a chance to just take a breath and and season enters a new way of life available to. It's time to regroup yeah it's important. They are nonprofit organization Aaliyah and you have fundraising events throughout the year I saw you last year in. He'll quietly yes he does a lot yeah that was great I was glad you came of that deficit that was nice it looked like had a pretty nice turnout. It you know we did a kid I was serve you know the first year of any event as its is challenge but I think we had a pretty good event there we actually created some music I can was here last year. Campbell be who. Kind of put that whole CD together. And so we we had a good time and data then I think we learned a lot we are gonna have a second event this year probably in June. Another detox trucks which will probably combines some of itself. Cadillacs you bit of a car show on some boos and maybe it chili cook off and have a much alive music. That's were still fleshing that out a little bit. We had our annual golf tournament is September October that we've had now for four years that's was very successful this year. But we gotta we got an event coming up we'd like to try to. It's a little bit if you will four on February 16. Opponents in need is we have a comedy show when this was actually three very very did comics and one of the guys who's. Kind of in recovery locally is it it was a professional comic and he knows how to put these on so should be very good I think we're gonna have about 300 tickets to self. Which birdies starting to sell our website at www. FS aides concede dot org. Key and learn more about it assume and buy tickets on there. So we we'd love to get as many people there as we can and have a good time there is a bit of money I love the name of the the comedy show Yucca. Was it. You know hall likes Obama's alcoholics comedy show and and where is taking place mention and sees where. It's a seaside senator for Churchill living on links street in mentioning this near the intersection Blake. And Birmingham. Okay now we have just a few more minutes left. Again you are nonprofit organization. He do fundraising events to help you with your mission where else to get funny you don't get any federal state or low. Do you know we do now we do not accept any any state local or federal funding we've we've seen too many detox is go go by the wayside as result of that in our area. And so we did model after Charlie street never regards so we we do our fundraisers. We've got some generous people that it's now Seymour were doing and are more open. Two opening their checkbooks. So. You know you can donate our website either recurring small recurring donation which is nice moral one time donation. You know we're privately funded them in as a result were able to run things in a very pure way we have. Reasonably low overhead because we have all volunteers and they'll be on the board takes any money nobody none of the volunteers we have one papers and that's. We'll try to pay a little bit and bookkeeping this year but it's it's phenomenal itself. We need you by pretty well with with what pretty little we love to get some of donate a house or some to us some day. But that might be a little that little bit monsoon and asked which he never know how thrown out there it can't hurt I. You know I am rarely seen our facility now one. And you know I I feel like we're pretty fairly secure situation but there's. There's always that luxury you know that that that. Feeling of security when you own property owned facilities so that's obviously our goal. And it and that another way. People can help you. Not only the monetary donation that can donate their stock to right. Yes I'm glad you brought that on Carrie yeah we have now set up what's through stock don't Nader we had one on one of our members opposite sum up where you can donate stock directly. To the first step for us in north Kenny Woodson is liquidated and given to us in cash. And what's nice about that is if you have appreciated stock and you don't wanna sell a ticket taxes and then donate money. He can donate their whole thing him basically right tall enough including me appreciated amount which. So that it's a real. I would ask anybody talk to your tax person about that but it's a real good benefits for somebody that. You know stock market's been on Iran for a while. Anybody that's got them got appreciated stock taken down into correctly out through our website which is really nice. And and all the money that's raised. At your fundraising events go straight back into first house in north yet. You know we have no over and we have no cost rather than run in the house so. It's 99%. We use for our mission for running now now we're 11 papers and everything else is. Straight you know straight cops straight expenses. And in case any your listeners are wondering why we don't take on government or public money. Thumb there is a lot of our regulations that go along with accepting any government money. And now they have the compliance along it is virtually impossible to deal with them. And our volunteers from all have to be certified drug and alcohol counselors and that's justice is not realistic. So we prefer to do it this way consists of freedom to run this. The way the world's largest recovery program was started in 1935. And we get to try and keep on that team. Looks like things are going well for you guys you know we're very we're very happy to be sitting here. With the place open finally and we appreciate you asking us to common Phil you know what's gone on it's really big deal for a seriously thank you and guinier your website. Yeah word WWW. Dot SS HMC. Dot org. He can see pretty much everything you need to on their we have a FaceBook page. You can probably just school that are you know get on FaceBook and search for sep palace North County. More fairly active on Apatow web sites you know it's live we've got donation buttons we've got. When the events come up with put him on there you know pretty much in your videos and Eliot. You know narrated sneak preview for you see everything on the area and. And you can get tickets for the alcoholics comedy yes up February 16. In Ansa news all the info is there as well we're gonna put. Info on now the community to stage of this website as well for that so. I appreciate you guys has only twenty dollars if you by any advanced 25 at the door should be fun nine increase costs two. Again Greg pleasure seeing you always pleasure seeing you and having you on the show and Keith. Pleasure meeting you. Thanks for all that you do. First of house of North County keep undo what you do thank you Gary appreciate it very much have a good day. That includes another edition of living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living veterans San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the staff and management at the end of count San Diego radio stations. Episodes of living better San Diego are available on the station's website. Join me next week when my guests will be from Calais on stage until then I'm Gary they have a great week.