ARVAC Lake Point Project
by Arkansas River Valley Area Council (ARVAC)Region 6 · Russellville, AR
The ARVAC Lake Point Project will create a unified campus, on the grounds of a former conference center that included on-site lodging, which will serve as a one-stop center for multiple programs and resources. Existing program offices and facilities, such as LIHEAP, ESG, and the Freedom House Mental Health and Behavioral Health Outpatient and Residential Treatment Center, along with agency administrative offices, will be relocated to the campus. Some of these programs will be expanded to serve more customers while others will benefit from being available at one location in the most populous county in the ARVAC service area. New programs which will be offered on the campus will include Specialized Women’s Services Program, Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) Services Clinic, Women and Children’s Homeless Shelter, Medical Detoxification Services, and Tele-Medical Services for individuals outside the county in which the Lake Point Campus will be located.
Local Need Addressed
During the ARVAC community needs assessment processes, community members identified the need for expanded access to programs and services to reduce barriers to moving towards self-sufficiency, including needs that have been exacerbated by the Coronavirus crisis. Emergent needs included:
- The need for expansions of existing services and programs;
- Data showing that 40% of area children were in homes where substance abuse occurred and that those children suffered from mental health-related trauma.
- Head Start Program families expressed a need for professionally trained, trauma-informed, mental health and behavioral health therapists.
- The only homeless shelter that served mothers and their children at a single site was closed recently.
- This project will allow for emergency shelter for women and their children, along with access to early childhood education programs, counseling, and, when needed, substance abuse treatment, on a single campus.
- Additionally, the provision of Tele-Medical services will address the need for access to counseling and other mental health and behavioral health services in rural areas served by ARVAC.
ARVAC programs implement evidence-based services and strategies in several programs. The Freedom House Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Center maintains CARF accreditation which demonstrates conformance with current, field-driven, evidence-based standards that continuously focus on the improvement of programs and services with a focus on the needs and outcomes of the persons served.
Among the evidence-based approaches are the Matrix Model, which uses eight core concepts or guiding principles and draws on a number of evidence-based treatments for substance abuse, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention groups, family education groups, and 12-step facilitation therapy. Additionally, ARVAC implements the Head Start Model, which has been developed over 55 years and has been built on evidence-based practices and uses the best available science and teaching techniques to meet the needs of local communities.
ARVAC uses customer satisfaction surveys to gain insight into the quality and effectiveness of its supportive services. Participants in the mental and behavioral health programs, including alcohol and substance abuse treatment programs, participate in Nostos Seminars™, which uses several instruments to measure the impact and effectiveness of the curriculum among respondents. These instruments include comprehensive surveys measuring well-being and adult outlook. The results of all of these interactions are used by practitioners, program managers, agency management team members, Head Start Advisory Council members, and the governing board to inform and shape strategic plans and program policies and procedures.
ARVAC’s approach to treatment and addressing poverty is evidence-based, it works. One client shared his story:
“I knew that I needed help, but I didn’t know what to do. Somehow after multiple attempts to get help, ARVAC Freedom House opened their doors and accepted me… they took great care of me when all I wanted to do was die…. I was able to open my heart and my mind to new ideas, new techniques, new living, new everything..”
By bringing these research-based programs together, ARVAC will be able to further leverage programs and services to provide the bundled care necessary to bring individuals from crisis to stability and ultimately to thriving.
Currently the Lake Point Project is still under construction and has experienced delays due to the pandemic. Programs at Lake Point are expected to be up and running by late November 2021.
For more than fifty years, ARVAC has served the low-income children, communities, and families of Conway, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Perry, Polk, Pope, Scott, and Yell Counties. ARVAC has a long history in the successful development, operation, management, and administration of social and economic projects mobilizing community, state, and federal funding and resources to address the needs of primarily rural low-income residents who have not traditionally had adequate access to supportive and transformative services and opportunities.
ARVAC is committed to providing thoughtfully designed services to children and families who face the challenges created by that lack of access, thereby increasing equity among an underserved population. By focusing a significant amount of effort on working with people who are experiencing alcohol and substance addictions, ARVAC brings them and their family members out of the shadows and shows them a path towards wellness and recovery. By using a trauma-informed approach to the delivery of services, ARVAC helps the people it serves to overcome the long-lasting effects of poverty and trauma.
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