This section includes information about behavior modification methods to be used when a member has:
- Used alcohol or drugs (relapsed)
- Not paid the rent
- Engaged in "disruptive" behavior such that the safety of those in the house is endangered.
It covers the use of :
When should a house member be subject to contracts or notices?
RAP works hard to provide an opportunity for safe housing for those in recovery from violence, addiction, mental health and homelessness. In order to provide housing, all RAP housing operates under the following three Expectations:
- All housing is Alcohol and Drug Free,
- Rent must be paid,
- Disruptive Behavior is not allowed.
All housing is Alcohol and Drug Free
Relapse can come in different forms. The easiest one to deal with is the "for sure" relapse when a member comes in obviously intoxicated or high on drugs and admits relapse. Because there is no denial to deal with, the other members have the time to concentrate on getting help for this resident.
However, there are more difficult types of relapse. Many relapses can only be discerned by looking at behavior changes: late payment of rent, lapse in doing chores, argumentative or isolating behaviors. These are all warning signs. Remember to keep principles above personalities and think with your head and not your heart.
Another form of relapse is misusing prescription or over the counter drugs. Drugs must be taken according to prescriptions or directions and residents who are getting prescriptions should inform the doctor of his/her addict status.
Finally there is the "house relapse." A house relapse is when a member is using and others know about it and do not blow the whistle. In this case, all who are using and all who knew about it are considered a relapse.
Rent must be paid.
Houses are set up to be able to meet all their obligations with one empty bed (not paying rent.) Given the turnover, that is usually because there is not someone there. If people are not paying their rent, then the house is not viable. That means that either the rent structure is raised to cover the non-paying member i.e. the other house members are paying that person's rent, or the house will have to close.
There is also a program issue. RAP housing is about recovery from trauma. Developing self-sufficiency, independence and responsibility are important aspects of recovery. A member who fails to pay their EES is failing in their recovery process.
It is the mission of RAP houses to provide a safe environment for recovery. Everyone in a house has the responsibility to foster feelings of safety in others. Everyone in the house has experienced violence and many suffer from PTSD. This is especially true in the houses that are reserved for domestic violence survivors. Violence cannot be tolerated in the houses. Violence includes screaming, slamming doors, and other displays of anger.
Disruptive behavior is legally defined in the Oregon Landlord Tenant law as participating in any criminal activity such as drug trafficking, prostitution, shop-lifting, assault, and theft within the house, or any other activity, which may threaten the standing of the house in the community. In addition, violence or any threat of violence or destruction of property are considered disruptive behavior.
Disruptive behavior versus behavioral problems:
Houses have different standards of what constitutes a "behavioral problem" and what is "disruptive."
A behavioral problem connected to the process of recovery can be as mundane as a result of an incomplete chore or as significant as isolation; a personality conflict with another member; an unhealthy relationship; and any part of old behaviors.
RAP housing is intended to act as a surrogate family and support system, not a treatment program nor a dictatorial entity. There are no bosses in RAP housing. RAP houses should be safe havens. People in our housing need the space and time to recover without being unduly judged about their behavior.
One of the purposes of our houses is to change dysfunctional behaviors. Change is a vital part of a healthy recovery. Each of us is at our own level of growth and acceptance - "Live and Let Live." It is important that house members work with each other and focus mainly on their own behavior issues. Someone can be an important part of the family even if their behavior does not meet with someone else's standards. Principles must be put before personality.
In RAP housing, we believe that the one personality defect we can control is our own attitude. Shifting the focus on someone else's behavior leaves us void of honesty about ourselves. If you take the "me" out of blame, all you have is bla, bla, bla. The only inventory we should be concerned with is our own.
Many of us choose to use a 12-step program. This teaches us that service to others in recovery is a vital part of our own recovery. What greater opportunity could we have than helping a roommate explore solutions to their behavioral problems? It is easy to be judgmental. In RAP housing we try to give people the space and support they need to recover.
Suggested Guidelines for Behavior Modification
The house may require a member to modify their behavior if a majority of the house votes to do so in the weekly house meeting or an emergency meeting which is called according to the rules of the house. Many houses use fines, and revocation of certain privileges or probation when someone displays repeated behaviors that could be construed as disruptive to the house as a whole.
An example of revoking special privileges might be for someone who doesn't clean up after themselves in the kitchen or laundry area would lose the use of the kitchen or laundry areas for one week. Fines could be for non-completion of a chore or a late fee for tardy rent. A contract might be used after warnings or previous discussion about a certain behavior that is disrupting the serenity of the house or is putting the individual in jeopardy of relapse.
More serious behavior issues (including relapse) may be dealt with by using a contract. (see the contract section.)
There are four ways to expel a house member:
This section includes specific guidelines for the use of these notices.