At Royal Life Centers, we believe in being of service to the communities we call home. Our desire to be of service to those struggling with addiction is restless. We have become pillars of hope in the community we call our own, by providing help through various forms of service. We serve the community by getting involved with community service, and launching our own protocols to lessen the impact addiction has had on the communities we call ours. One of the ways we get involved to actively fight the stigma surrounding addiction is by showing our care and concern for those most affected by the grips of addiction: the homeless population.
Our dedication to lifting up community members around us has snowballed into a project inspired by one of our guests, whose life was unfortunately taken due to addiction. Elliot B. was one of guests who had a big impact on all of us here at Royal Life Centers. After Elliot’s heart-breaking loss, his mother worked with us to create a lasting impact on those who are struggling with addiction like her son once was. This idea for a lasting impact of compassion and help for the sick and suffering addicts in the community launched the creation of our Elliot Bag project.
What Are Elliot Bags?
Elliot Bags are essentially care packages for those in the community who are suffering from homelessness, and homeless individuals who are suffering from addiction. Our Elliot Bag project goes hand-in-hand with our homeless sponsorships, because we offer addiction treatment to Elliot Bag recipients. Helping those whose lives are affected by addiction is our passion, and so we strive to make the biggest difference in our communities as we possibly can.
What’s in an Elliot Bag?
An Elliot Bag is a care package that we personally hand out to homeless individuals in the community. Inside an Elliot Bag are essentials for living, including: food, water, a blanket, a poncho, and hygiene products like deodorant, floss, a toothbrush and toothpaste. Our mission is to provide as many people in the homeless community with help, lessening the challenges of homelessness with Elliot Bags.
Along with Elliot Bags, we offer two people in the homeless community a full scholarship to our addiction treatment centers, per month. Each of our addiction treatment centers offer two homeless scholarships to recipients of the Elliot Bag, which in total is six full scholarships given out to those who are homeless and living with an alcohol or substance use disorder. We know that those who are homeless, have little to no access to addiction treatment— so we feel responsible in helping out those who cannot get help for their chronic substance abuse and mental health.
In a study published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, it was reported that nearly half of the homeless population was struggling with chronic substance abuse issues. Homeless affects such a large percentage of people in the United States, and it is truly our position to do everything we can to help homeless people get back on their feet.
In Washington state, there are 22,304 people who are homeless. Washington is one of the top ten states holding the highest populations of homelessness. 60% of all homeless individuals in Washington state are unsheltered. In Arizona, about 9,865 people are experiencing homelessness. Over half of the homeless individuals in Arizona are completely unsheltered. Last year, in 2018, on a single night over half a million people were experiencing homelessness in the United States. There are thousands of homeless individuals who are 25 years old and younger, who have no shelter in their homelessness. These statistics are excruciating for us at Royal Life Centers, and we are dedicated to making a difference in as many lives as we can.
Regardless of your situation, we believe if you are struggling with an alcohol or substance use disorder, you deserve addiction treatment. Because we are dedicated to helping our community in as many ways as possible, we provide addiction treatment to 72 homeless people each year, completely free of charge. Our devotion to service work in the homeless populations is only the start for our overall community involvement. We are committed to improving each community that we call home, in as many ways as we can.
Other Community Involvement
We continue to serve our communities by being of help anywhere we see an opening. Royal Life Centers is committed to being a strong source of support for each community that we are a part of. We jump at the chance to be of service to our communities, and lead and participate in many community service opportunities. Royal Life Centers regularly “adopts” local streets in the community to display our pride and civic responsibility. In adopting these streets, Royal Life Centers performs litter clean-ups and the cleaning up of any vandalism, to keep our communities beautiful.
In addition to street adoptions, Royal Life Centers participates in many trash pick-up opportunities. We also provide our guests with the option of participating in community service with us, as we believe in the power of helping others and taking responsibility to serve the communities we are a part of. Our litter clean-up efforts are regular, as we think getting involved in the community has a positive impact and should include as much service as possible.
Giving back is an integral part of being involved in your community. Volunteering will help you grasp a greater sense of gratitude, because if you are in the position to help others, you are already very fortunate. Helping others is proven to be beneficial to your overall health. Did you know that volunteering showed improved social interaction, healthy behaviors, and your ability to cope— for both the volunteer and the individuals they help.
Researchers, who published their findings in the BMC Public Health journal, took a look at forty resources to draw the conclusion that people who volunteer have lower levels of depression, increased life satisfaction, and an improved sense of well-being. Also, researchers found that those who volunteer have a 20% decreased risk of death. Why? We’re not sure, but we’ll take it. Volunteering is proven to have other health benefits, including physical health benefits and mental health benefits. At Royal Life Centers, we volunteer to help those in need. The effect that your volunteer work has on those you are serving includes: increased self-esteem, disease management and acceptance, parenting skills, healthy behaviors, mental health, survival time, and improved relationships with health professionals (Casiday).
Providing your time to a good cause is an esteem-able act that will provide healing in your recovery journey. Volunteering in your community will reduce stress and bring about a sense of community, which is a building block of recovery. Understanding that you are part of a bigger picture, but can still make a massive impact, is a very humbling and real experience. Real life experiences are impactful in the recovery process, and serving others less fortunate than yourself will provide you with an overwhelming sense of gratitude that you just can’t get from something like a support group. Treating your alcohol or substance use disorder doesn’t always have to look like intensive therapy within an addiction center setting, you can continue healing and bettering your recovery in ways that are outside of yourself.
At Royal Life Centers, we offer programs that treat addiction in every stage of recovery. Our treatment programs were designed to follow guests through the stages of the recovery process, offering guidance and support through out each step of the way. At Royal Life Centers, we have both inpatient and outpatient treatment services. We provide individualized, comprehensive addiction treatment at all of our treatment facilities. In our rehab centers, each guest will collaborate with their case manager and primary therapist to develop a treatment plan specifically tailored to meet their individual needs and goals. Royal Life Centers uses proven effective methods of addiction treatment, and only the best practices. We provide intensive therapies for substance abuse treatment, including: individual therapy sessions, group therapy, behavioral therapies, adventure therapy, acitivity therapy, and equine therapy.
Royal Life Centers offers treatment options including: medical detox, a residential inpatient program, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), an outpatient program (OP), sober living and graduate housing. In all of our short term and long term treatment programs, Royal Life Centers offers volunteering opportunities for our guests to get involved in the community. We believe in the power of being active members of a community, and giving back to it.
Royal Life Centers stands firm in our belief that there is no better way to get involved in the community than by participating in community service at any level you can. For more about Royal Life Center’s community involvement, please click here.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, please reach out to our addiction specialists at (877)-RECOVERY or (509)-596-2269. Our team of addiction specialists make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.
“Arizona.” Homelessness Statistics, National Alliance to End Homelessness, endhomelessness.org/homelessness-in-america/homelessness-statistics/state-of-homelessness-report/arizona/.
Casiday, Rachel. (2019). Volunteering and Health: What Impact Does It Really Have?.
State of Homelessness. National Alliance to End Homelessness, endhomelessness.org/homelessness-in-america/homelessness-statistics/state-of-homelessness-report/.
“Washington.” Homelessness Statistics, National Alliance to End Homelessness, endhomelessness.org/homelessness-in-america/homelessness-statistics/state-of-homelessness-report/washington/.