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Increased Need Causes Shelter to Extend Length of Recovery Program

New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter is extending the length of its faith-based life recovery program from six to nine months.

Jeremy Reynalds

Joy Junction Founder and CEO Jeremy Reynalds said the extension has become a necessity.

“After assessing the variety of complex and heartrending issues faced by our guests, it became painfully apparent that a six month program was just not enough. Our program participants would get to the end of their six month stint and just not be ready to move on. It is hard to repair a life in just six months shattered by years of both emotional and physical tragedy and heartbreak.”

Joy Junction’s Christ in Power (CIPP) Program has been a core shelter offering for many years. With a current enrollment of just under 70 people, the program focuses not just on the individual addictions, but the root cause of a person’s homelessness. With regular classes by veteran Chaplain Gene Shiplet, program work assignments and case management by a staff case manager, the program is tailored to the individual.

When dealing with individuals with decades old addictions, sometimes it takes quite a bit of time and patience to find out what the root cause is. (It’s important to note that Joy Junction is not a chemical detox. The shelter offers a “social,” faith-based solution, a relationship with Jesus Christ, as the answer to the problems that caused the initial descent into an addictive lifestyle).

Upon program completion, should additional time be necessary, a participant is always encouraged to extend his or her program. With an approach designed to address the core issues behind an addiction, even nine months may not be enough to provide adequate assistance. However, that time frame is a start and often sufficient.

“By focusing on the root of the issues, and addressing ‘why’ a person is at our door step, we have a greater chance of helping them take corrective action. There is a smaller chance of that individual failing when he or she goes back into the community,” said Anita McCullough, Joy Junction Resident Services Manager.

The program, based on the Life Recovery Bible produced by Tyndale House, focuses not only on the 12 steps, but also has varied course offerings ranging from resume writing and interview skills to health, wellness and anger management. It is designed to help the whole person spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.

Unfortunately, Reynalds said, this important and necessary increase in program length will require additional resources. It means that people will be relying on Joy Junction’s support for a longer period of time.

Additionally, Joy Junction gives each program participant who successfully completes his or her weekly assignments, a small gift for the duration of their program. By lengthening the CIPP Program, additional resources will be needed to provide those gifts for an extended time.

“Being a donation-only organization means we rely on the generosity of the community. I do believe, though, that this change will be met with community support. The program’s primary goal is to make sure that graduates are successful and capable community members once they are ready to leave Joy Junction,” said Reynalds.

For more information about Joy Junction and the Christ in Power Program, call (505) 877-6967.

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