The Sunrise Center

The RC Drug Free Center is in the planning stages. With Tim Jackins support, Janet Foner started planning the project. It is now being developed by an advisory board and a fundraising committee. 

At this time, it is planned as a center where six people at a time can come to live while they to get support and use RC in order to get off of psychiatric drugs. It will have 10 to 12 full-time staff as well as a group of volunteers and interns. In addition to assisting residents to get off drugs, it will train staff to spread this work to other sites and demonstrate to Doctors and “Mental Health” workers that it is effective to use Co-Counseling instead of drugs. It will be located in the Pajaro Valley which is a small valley along the California coast, and the advisory board has chosen the name Pajaro Valley Sunrise – A Drug Free Recovery Center

The idea for such a center has been around RC for a long time. Harvey talked it in the early days and wrote a description of a center in an article titled The Pilot Plant in Recovery and Reemergence #1. Janet Foner wrote her master’s thesis on an alternative counseling center that would use Re-Evaluation Counseling. And at the first workshop about the center last August, it became obvious that the idea for a residential center based on RC has been the hope and dream of many people for a long time.

At this point in history, interrupting the rapidly expanding use of psychiatric drugs looks to be a key issue to the growth of the RC Community and to “mental health” liberation. Consequently, this will be the work of the center. At first the clients will be limited to people already in RC. As we get more experience we will accept residents who are not RC’ers. Unlike other projects that have grown out of RC, the staff will be made up of Co-Counselors. We expect that there will be a core of staff people who work at the center for many years and others who work there for shorter periods. In that way we can be sure that we have experienced staff and still train staff who can take this work back to their home communities.

The day to day details of how the center functions are still in broad outline form. We expect that clients may stay at the center for periods of time as short as a few weeks or as long as several months. Residents will have some one way sessions with the staff but as soon as possible they will start having two way co-counseling sessions with staff and other clients. Most likely, residents will have between two and four sessions a day. In addition to counseling sessions, much of the clients activities will be aimed at helping them get and keep their attention out of their distress. To that end gardening and many physical activities will be possible. We also expect to have a library of books, music, video, and art supplies. The clients will largely design their own program at the center. We are thinking very carefully about the “blue pages” how to keep relationships between clients and staff essentially peer relationships. Everyone involved with the center including residents, staff and volunteers will be responsible for the day to day cooking, cleaning, and maintenance.

Based on the number of residents , the size of the staff and all that is involved in running the center, the annual budget is projected to be one million dollars. In order to make the center accessible to everyone, clients will pay according to a sliding scale. We will still need to fundraise about $600,000 per year from sources other than client fees. During the initial three year start-up period we are planning on raising the full three million dollars needed to support the center. Raising this amount of money for the start-up years and the ongoing funding of the center is in itself a major undertaking. We are all learning a lot and working together well as a team. This is some of the most exciting work we have ever done!

Your ideas or help with any aspect of the fundraising, planning or running of the center are most welcome. We have set up a fund in the Re-Evaluation Foundation that anyone can contribute to by designating their contribution for the “RC Drug Free Center” and sending it to the Re-evaluation Foundation at PO Box 9292 Queen Anne Station Seattle, WA 98109 USA

Janet Foner – New Cumberland, PA ILRP for “Mental Health” Liberation

(reprinted with permission from the Present Time Magazine.  http://www.rc.org)