Over the last year, FARR achieved these “top ten” milestones:
- At present; FARR has completed the certification of 48 programs operating 352 recovery homes that provide safe, dignified and peer-supportive housing to 1,424 individuals from Miami to Jacksonville and Daytona to Naples. The certification application pipeline currently includes another 49 providers operating 387 homes serving an additional 1,645 persons in recovery. Our application velocity has steadily grown to the current rate of 18 new applications for certification each month.
- Each of these programs has submitted documentation to support their compliance with FARR’s forty-eight (48) standards and our code of ethics. Each provider has been, or is preparing for, an onsite visit by trained inspectors who work collaboratively with operators to ensure documented policies, procedures and protocols are implemented in the residential setting.
- FARR has hosted, sponsored and otherwise delivered educational seminars statewide covering Standards, Support Levels, Ethics, Social Model Philosophy, Farr’s Certification Process, Fair Housing Rights and the development peer-to-peer programming that builds Recovery Capital.We continue to collaborate with municipal, state and federal policy makers to develop legislation (HB 21 & SB 326) that both honor FHAA & ADA protections of persons in recovery and provide operators a path to achieving voluntary certification, effectively linking commerce opportunities with compliance to standards and ethics.
- FARR has successfully raised industry awareness regarding the need for the SUT community to unite in defense of ethical practices. We continue to refer grievances related to patient brokering and insurance fraud directly to the law enforcement agencies who possess the authority to properly address these issues.
- FARR forges alliances with organizations such as FADAA, DCF, Chambers, Civic Groups, Foundations Network, Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC), Young People in Recovery (YPR), C4, NAATP, ARCO, Suncoast Harm Reduction Project, Rockers in Recovery (RIR) and the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition to fortify our position as a leader in the Florida Recovery Support Services sector and to more effectively fulfill our vision through collaboration.
- Recently, a dozen FARR Certified Residences commenced a “Recovery Measures” pilot project to survey residents regarding Quality of Life (QOL) and Assessment of Recovery Capital (ARC). As this project evolves, we hope to chart the group progress through transition from clinical services to recovery support services; the first such study to be conducted in the state of Florida.
- FARR integrated our proprietary certification software with our soon to be released, upgraded website. This integration will deliver unparalleled efficiencies for the administration of the certification process. Additionally, FARR Members gain access to a “member only” section that provides visibility to their profile, total transparency regarding certification status of all applicants and a resource library that will continuously be updated with high-quality materials of import to our members.
- FARR is nearly finished with the implementation of our Member Database, Committee Management and Grievance Resolution cloud-hosted software solution. This customized application is the first of its kind and the engine that will drive our organization well into the next decade.
- Committed volunteers remain our greatest asset. The FARR office currently operates with a single paid employee. Recently, we were fortunate enough to attract an intern who is completing his degree in public health from the University of Georgia. FARR Board, Officers and Committee Chairs collectively volunteer hundreds of hours monthly to carry our vision forward. Thirty four additional volunteers staff our Advocacy, Education & Training, Ethics & Standards, Events, Outreach and Residents committees. Both as an organization and as individual participants, we are learning how best to direct this grassroots energy towards actionable paths.
Presently; FARR is in discussion with members of both the Florida House and Senate regarding what has become a systemic problem surrounding rent assistance, scholarships and case management fees. Peer-supportive, transitional living programs, at their best, prepare residents to take on the challenges of life and, in so doing, experience the great rewards that originate from developing true self-esteem. Encouraging these individuals to treat their insurance card as their Amex Card is the antithesis of our primary purpose. Addressing issues related to the distinction between true hardships –vs- marketing inducements is now one of our most pressing tasks. The entire industry must achieve resounding clarity regarding not only what is and what is not legal as it relates to “free rent inducements”, but also what is and what is not in the resident’s best interest. In the current climate, the “Good Guys” find it increasingly difficult to compete with those who would sacrifice client care in exchange for expedient marketing “gimmicks. Ultimately; it is the residents themselves who suffer when clinical service providers offer this self-serving “benefit” to persons seeking guidance and support as they transition from dependence on external care to self-reliance.
FARR is nearly finished with the task of preparing our infrastructure to assume responsibility (and accountability) for administration of the voluntary certification process contemplated by House Bill 21 and Senate Bill 326. At our current pace, we project that by this time next year, FARR will have successfully certified over three (300) hundred providers operating up to 2,285 homes serving a capacity of greater than 18,000 beds statewide. Translated into deliverable services, these operators provide upwards of 6.5 million safe, sober and supportive days/nights to Floridians who live, work and/or attend university in their respective communities. FARR Certified Residences statewide are now engaged in partnership with business and civic organizations to support community improvement projects. As these partnerships grow in number and scale, we will update our website monthly with a tally of the volunteer community service hours donated by residents to their local communities.
While FARR will require non-recurring, state funding to fulfill anticipated legislative mandates, once we’ve established adequate staffing, we expect to soon achieve the goal of becoming self-supporting through revisions to our Partners in Excellence platform and the delivery of continuing educational opportunities related to certification. Given FARR launched our mission in earnest but four short years ago, the collective energy of many has delivered significant value to the recovery community. Offering the very best recovery support programs anywhere in the world, FARR Certified Members provide tremendous value to those who seek freedom from the bondage of addiction. We will all work collaboratively to sustain that reputation.