What is NorthBound?
NorthBound is a non-profit collaborative effort among like-minded individuals and organizations intent on rebuilding, reconnecting and rehabilitating marginalized people in our society. We do this by delivering a unique set of solutions, methods and old-fashioned values to recovering addicts and others. We provide vocational training, education, life skills and a safe, therapeutic living environment designed to restore and reintegrate our residents back into society. From our research, there is no other organization quite like ours that provides such a varied and unique solution to the epidemic facing our nation.
Is there really a need for these services?
The short answer is – most definitely! Every day the news and social media are filled with stories of the rising toll that opiates are taking on American families. It's not just happening in inner cities. Opiate overdoses are killing our kids, our brothers and sisters and our neighbors. From cities to the suburbs to the farms of the American heartland, people are dying from drug overdoses and there is no end in sight. Traditional models for treatment are woefully inadequate and are no match for the tidal wave of overdoses; traditional methods produce a success rate of less than 5% while the community approach NorthBound offers has been producing successes by other organizations of over 60%.
How pervasive is the opiate problem in America?
Here are a few examples:
- According to NIDA, the number of deaths from drug overdoses rose from 17,000 in 2000 to over 64,000 in 2016
- According to ASAM, an estimated 21,000 teens used heroin for the first time in 2015
- Deaths from drug overdoses in 2016 exceeded the number of deaths in the entirety of the Vietnam War
- Deaths from drug overdoses in 2016 exceed the number of deaths from car crashes and gunshots in their worst years since records have been kept
Bottom line – many of our neighbors are dying right now. Most people care about their neighbors and want to help. The problem is that the traditional rehab model is ill equipped to face the onslaught of the heroin and pain pill epidemic. That's where we come in.
What do we do?
We provide the bridge between the suffering addict and the productive, responsible member of society trapped inside every suffering addict. We provide a safe living environment for those who meet our stringent admission requirements. While in our long-term residential community, the residents “earn their keep” by participating in community obligations like grounds keeping, cleaning, laundry and cooking. In addition, each resident receives vocational training in a variety of sectors like culinary arts, agriculture, woodworking, marketing, graphic design and metal working. They receive education, if needed, in order to earn their GED or advance their education. Medical and therapeutic regimens are provided on an as needed basis. Finally, through the process of peer-to-peer mentoring and learning of life skills the residents learn how to be a productive, honorable member of society. If we can provide a positive environment for our residents there is no limit to what they can accomplish!
What does the community look like?
Our community consists of several residence halls, a main dining hall and kitchen, administration offices, community recreation/sports facilities, arts and entertainment building and several sector buildings where vocational training and education are provided. The grounds provide a secure place to administer our services to the residents and are monitored through a variety of security measures. In addition, the property provides ample space and opportunity for agriculture, livestock, and aeroponics farming. The site is designed to be eco-friendly and self-sustainable.
What happens next? The crucial process of re-integration
Ultimately, success is measured by the application of life-skills the residents have learned after completion of the program. The residents will have employment options available through varied partnerships with businesses and organizations sanctioned by NorthBound. Our residents will have the ability to cope with “life on life’s terms” because of the four-year foundation they have built. Tasks such as grocery shopping, eating a healthy meal, balancing a check book, and paying bills on time; which can easily seem overwhelming to someone just becoming self-sufficient are handled with confidence. Every measure is taken to ensure that the residents are well informed of their new living environments. Home-plans are developed and reviewed with the residents to safeguard their re-integrationback into society.
How are revenues generated?
The company will manage the program, administer many of the sectors, interface with the local community and assist in overseeing the grounds. It receives support through donations as well as the selling of the goods and services generated by the social enterprise sectors mentioned above. Each of the sectors is designed to provide job training and marketable skills to the residents but also provide products and services that are sold to outside clientele for a fee or used to offset costs of the facility, e.g. grow food for the residents in lieu of purchasing food.
What does it all mean? The mission of social enterprise
“To succeed, these ventures must adhere to both social goals and stiff financial constraints. Typically, the aim is to benefit a specific group of people, permanently transforming their lives by altering a prevailing socioeconomic equilibrium that works to their disadvantage.”-hbr.org
NorthBound’s aim is that of any traditional social enterprise; to become financially sustainable while solving a social dilemma. We believe that it is possible to foster a business model that’s worth is not determined strictly by its bottom line but also by its impact on those we serve.