ABOUT NEW LIFE FOR YOUTH
Located in Richmond, Va., New Life For Youth is a nonprofit, Christian-based organization for individuals with “life-controlling problems,” including issues with substance abuse. The organization offers two gender-specific residential programs that typically last 12 to 18 months. While information about age requirements are not offered on the facility’s website, prospective clients must be willing to commit to at least one year of treatment in order to be admitted.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
The center’s website notes New Life’s residential programs, which have been operating for more than 40 years, are highly structured and involve four distinct phases, with an optional fifth phase for clients who are interested in pursuing ministry training.
The three-month Orientation phase includes a 30-day probationary period designed to help clients (which the facility refers to as “students”) adjust to the program. Each student’s progress is evaluated after this one-month period, and if it seems a good fit, they’ll continue on with the program.
The second phase – Induction – also lasts three months and involves vocational training, chapel services, Bible study groups, recreational activities, and individual and group teachings. According to the facility’s website, in order to complete this phase, “the student is expected to follow instructions, have a teachable attitude and respect for the people around [him/her].”
Phase three, the Training phase, is designed to prepare students for a smooth reentry into society. It lasts three months and includes life skills workshops, vocational and academic training, practical mentorship opportunities, and community awareness and involvement.
During the last month of phase three, each student is individually assessed and personalized plans are created for the fourth phase of the program, Re-entry. Each program is unique to each student, and may include options such as employment, attending college or technical school, or participating in the New Life For Youth internship program.
A recovered former heroin user and his wife founded the facility in the early 1970s. While there is currently no information provided by the facility regarding its treatment staff, one former client noted all staff are in recovery and cited this as a major strength of the facility.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
The facility offers two separate gender-specific campuses. According to the center’s website, the Men’s Ranch is set on a 118-acre farmin Beaverdam, about 45 miles north of Richmond. It can accommodate up to 100 students. Women live at the Carmen Torres Mercy House for Women, which is located in Richmond proper.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
The five alumni polled by Best-rehabs.com at the time of this writing provided mostly positive opinions of New Life for Youth. All alumni indicated they would recommend the program, and gave the facility an average 4.6 out of five stars for the staff’s level of experience and training.
Alumni also gave the center 4.2 stars for the overall treatment effectiveness. However, they rated the center’s holistic offerings and counseling options the worst with three and 3.2 stars.
An anonymous reviewer described the facility as “extremely helpful and very patient oriented,” and Pamela wrote to Best-rehabs.com that going through the program changed her life. “This place is about helping people not just with drug addiction issues, its about restoring lives. Wonderful place,” she wrote.
Complaints were minimal. One anonymous alum noted a need for more employees, while another told Best-rehabs.com that there were few opportunities to exercise — yet overall, the surveyed alumni gave the facility an above-average rating of 3.8 stars for its exercise and leisure opportunities.
According to the center’s website, clients are expected to help with the cost of treatment, but the center will not turn away an applicant due to an inability to pay.