ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
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RHD to open nation's first residential treatment program for transgender individuals
Morris House to open in Philadelphia this year
12/8/2011 4:10:00 PM
Contact: Kevin Roberts
RHD Communications
1215 951 0300 (ext. 3714)
or kevinr@rhd.org

Morris House, the first residential treatment program in the country to offer comprehensive services specifically for trans and gender variant individuals, will open in Philadelphia by the end of this year. Resources for Human Development, a national nonprofit with headquarters in Philadelphia, will support Morris House in partnership with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services.

“After years of losing hope, the Department of Behavioral Health and RHD welcomed us with open arms, delivering on an old promise with a new promise,” said Jaci Adams, a transgender individual who served on the advisory board put together by DBH and RHD to assist with the planning for Morris House. “It felt like that dream would never come to fruition, but we are lighting the flame again and giving back hope to a community. Our dreams are really coming true this time.”

Morris House will be named for Nizah Morris, a transgender woman who was allegedly murdered in Philadelphia in 2002.

“Too many people in the trans and gender variant community here feel marginalized and maltreated,” said Sade Ali, the deputy commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services. “This is a community that is too often marginalized in care, having to fit in instead of having care that resonates with them. I knew we needed to do something.”

A state task force investigating care for the transgender community found that access was lacking. Ali said there are between 3,000-10,000 transgender individuals in Philadelphia, many of whom have behavioral health challenges. She said Morris House will be up and running by the end of the year, with an 18-bed facility. In order to best serve the clients who will reside at Morris House, Ali asked several transgender individuals to serve on an advisory board to assist with the planning and development of the program with RHD.

RHD has a history of supporting transgender individuals in its many residential programs, but a stark need began to emerge for a site focused entirely on assisting trans and gender variant individuals as they developed the knowledge, skills and supports necessary to promote sobriety, manage emotional and behavioral difficulties, choose and maintain safe and healthy lifestyles, and develop healthy relationships with peers, family and the community.

“Morris House will provide a safe, recovery- oriented environment for individuals in transition from one gender to another, or those with other gender variants who may be coming from ‘the streets’ and/or from shelter programs,” said Richelle Gunter, RHD corporate associate director. “Our philosophy focuses on identifying strengths, encouraging them to recover and excel, and celebrating their successes.”

“The commitment to the Morris House that the Department of Behavioral Health and RHD has shown is long overdue,” Adams said. “Having a place to call home will give hope, respect, dignity and self worth to an underserved community. I definitely thank deputy commissioner Sade Ali and the RHD for the lifeline.”

Morris House will use a holistic approach to treating addiction and its underlying causes, combining individualized and flexible residential treatment and clinical supports that are integrated with gender affirming healthcare and linkages to other needed services in the community, Gunter said. Seasoned clinicians will provide quality treatment based on proven methods.

Morris House participants will work closely with their Primary Counselor, Case Manager, Certified Peer Specialist, and other systems to develop an individualized, multi-faceted treatment plan designed to address the diverse needs of the participants.

“RHD greatly appreciates the foresight and commitment of Sade Ali, deputy commissioner Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health, and is delighted to partner in creating this service for and with the transgender community,” Gunter said.

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Date: 2011-12-22 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] feathertail
Yay, more stuff for people who can afford it! >.>;


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