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Riverplace Johnson City Halfway House

321 West Walnut Street, Suite 1
Johnson City, TN 37604
(423) 928-2724




Class of Housing: Halfway house

General Information:

Riverplace Connection, Inc. is a faith based recovery program established to provide individuals recently released from incarceration with the opportunity and encouragement they need to overcome obstacles, develop skills and become productive citizens through use of a team of professionals and organizations that deliver targeted services to ex-offenders and their families.
Pre-Release:

Riverplace is a Faith-Based program.  We see spiritual growth as essential to success, and a potential Client’s willingness to enter a discipleship program as a strong indicator of his or her suitability for inclusion in the program.

Successful Clients will have demonstrated by their behavior while incarcerated that they have the potential to benefit from the services offered by Riverplace.  Clients will receive an evaluation from the local Chaplain, and in-house behavioral counselor.  In addition to their evaluation they will participate in  a five step interview process which will include a series of studies helping to identify a Client’s triggers and strongholds as well as establish goals.

Potential Clients are expected to actively participate in the Discipleship aspect of the program, both through their in-house mentors and their correspondence and periodic contacts with a community mentor and a Riverplace staff counselor.
The Individual Re-Entry Plan:

The Riverplace Re-Entry plan includes skill development in five critical areas:

    Discipleship
    Life Skills
    Employment Skills/Education
    Family reunification
    Recovery

Discipleship

Discipleship begins as soon as an incarcerated individual is identified as a potential Riverplace Client.  The first step is a screening process, which takes place within the correctional facility.  Based on this screening, a Riverplace counselor works along with the Chaplain and counseling professionals within the facility to develop the individual discipleship plan for the potential Client.

Biblically-based discipleship materials are used to encourage personal and spiritual growth.  Accountability is an essential part of the program.  To this end, the Client will be paired with a Riverplace mentor, who will stay in communication through periodic letters, occasional phone calls, and a quarterly visit.  In cooperation with the local Chaplain, an effort will be made to pair the Client with a growing Christian inmate who will serve as an on-site mentor.

Discipleship does not end with the inmate’s release from incarceration.  On his or her release from incarceration, the Client is welcomed into a Church within the community.
Life Skills

Some inmates lack life skills that are essential for successful participation in the community.  These may range from anger management to financial or family/parenting skills.  Their needs are as varied as the Clients themselves.  Riverplace Life Skills Development is structured on an individual basis.

Among the life skills addressed through Riverplace are:

    Anger Management
    Health
    Substance Abuse and Recovery
    Personal Finance (Budgeting and Savings)
    Family Relationships (Parenting and Child Support)
    Formal Education (GED, Community College, Technical School, etc.)
    Accessing Community Services
    Others as needed (Obtaining Driver’s license, etc.)

Riverplace does not seek to duplicate existing services, but rather to serve as a focal point for services to support the Client.  Some of the organizations providing services in Southwest Virginia are:

    ARCH – Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homelessness
    Hands and Feet Reentry of Abingdon, Virginia
    People Incorporated-Virginia Cares
    Kairos Prison Ministry
    Ecumenical Faith in Action of Washington County Virginia
    Local Churches

Employment Skills/Financial Planning

Employment is a major issue for any newly-released inmate.  For someone who has been labeled a criminal, meaningful employment is often almost impossible to find, no matter how highly skilled the individual.  This problem is compounded if the client lacks education or knowledge of how to approach the job market.  Riverplace offers a protected, structured environment to assist Clients who may be deficient in certain job skills allowing them to develop those skills with the end goal of providing above average employment opportunities to an above average employee.

The development of the skills needed to find and hold productive employment goes hand in hand with the development of life skills.  Areas addressed include:

    Job Search methods
    Resume building
    Job skills and work habits
    Financial planning and budgeting

On-Site Client Employment:

Riverplace maintains an on-site employment option with more in the planning stages.  Rockybrook Garden and Gifts, a small retail establishment is capable of providing employment for 1 to 2 clients.  Plans are underway for a painting business, a handyman construction group that will help build a retreat and conference center, and many others.

On-site employment provides Riverplace Clients with the opportunity to develop essential job-related skills and work habits in a structured and supervised environment.  This greatly facilitates their full re-entry into society as productive citizens.
Post-Release:

Immediately post release, the Client is assisted with meeting short-term needs.  These include, but are not limited to, finding suitable housing, employment and transportation.  A small stipend is provided to help the Client meet these short-term expenses.  In addition,  the client is assisted with obtaining any identification (drivers’ license, etc.) as well as any necessary medical care.

In conjunction with the Client’s Parole Officer, arrangements will also be made for the Client’s participation in an appropriate substance abuse program, should the need exist.  Conditions mandating participation in a substance abuse program include, a drug or alcohol-related conviction, and the Client’s self admitted drug or alcohol abuse.  The Client will also be required to participate in a substance abuse program if the Parole Officer or Riverplace Counselor feels such participation is warranted based on their observations of the Client’s behavior.  The Client will be required to attend a 12 Step meeting led by certified counselors.  “Stop the Madness” is the material currently used by our counselors.

For the first six months post-release, the Client will participate in monthly Goals and Objectives sessions.  These sessions will include the Riverplace Counselor and the Parole Officer and mentor, as appropriate.  The client will read and sign the monthly report.

For the next six months post-release, the Client will participate in quarterly Goals and Objectives sessions.

After one year of successful program participation, Goals and Objectives sessions will be conducted every six months, or more often, as determined by the Counselor in conjunction with the Client’s Parole Officer and mentor until all goals are met and the Client is ready for release from the program.

The overall goal of the Program is to prepare the Client to successfully function in society on an independent basis.  Full release from the Riverplace program is expected to occur approximately two years from release from incarceration.
Facilities and Equipment:

The facilities of Riverplace are located on the site of what used to be the Holston Community in the hills of Washington County, Virginia, overlooking the North Fork of the Holston River.  The facility includes over 32 acres of deciduous forest, and a number of buildings.  Some of these buildings have been fully restored.  Others are in the process of, or awaiting, restoration.

Rivperlace has access to two historical buildings.  These frame structures, now house small businesses providing limited employment to Riverplace Clients.  Plans are to acquire these buildings outright as finances permit.

Riverplace has access to two one-bedroom apartments approximately 900 square feet in size as well as a 1400 square foot three bedroom house.


Website: http://www.riverplaceconnection.org/

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