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RECOVERY VENTURES CORPORATION

Rating: 2.13 stars   32 reviews 5,857

Nonprofit Issues:

Mental Health, Job Training, Human Services

Address:

PO Box 452 Black Mountain NC 28711 USA

Mission:

Recovery Ventures Corporation offers long term residential treatment and aftercare for those who suffer from drug and alcohol addictions and provide opportunities to restructure their lives, in a safe and healthy environment that promotes self-sufficiency, personal accountability, emotional growth, and a positive interdependent lifestyle.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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www.recoveryventurescorp.org

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Reviews for RECOVERY VENTURES CORPORATION

Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I spent five months here. RVC is a joke all it did was teach me I could work 15 hrs a day and only sleep 4-6 hrs a night with no day off for a month at a time. We only went to 1 NA/AA meeting the whole time I was there. They have only had 200 graduates since they opened in 2002. While I was there they had 10 graduates return due to relapse and 1 out of 6 people relapsed at the jobs we were sent to.
I would not recommend this place to my worst enemy.
While I was there I only spoke w my children one time it caused more damage to our relationship it did not help at all!!!

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Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Yesterday I had to spend 12 hours in the car rushing to pick up my son from the bus station in Asheville, NC where he had been taken by the staff of Recovery Ventures. He had been kicked out of the program after an alleged threat to another patient. He was responding to a threat that he had received from the other patient.

After being dismissed from the program my son was told to leave the premises. Many of his clothes were taken. Several packs of cigarettes were taken, and his $300 application fee was retained by RV. He was taken to the bus station. I had to drive 5 hours to pick him up. I feel that his life was pl;aced in jeopardy because the bus station closed before I could make the drive to get to him.

My son says the patients are REQUIRED to tell on the other patients; otherwise they are penalized. This does not foster healing. Shame on them.

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Rating: 1 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

If you are reading this commentary and are considering either going to this facility yourself or sending a loved one, please take the time to read this, as well as the other reviews!!! Prior to actually going to this place myself, I don't think I likely would have believed some of the negative reviews posted about it. I would have thought that many of the harsh reviews detailing awful conduct and conditions MUST be the result of someone who was carrying a grudge for some reason - like maybe a client who couldn't or wouldn't finish the program, who was just mad and bitter toward Recovery Ventures staff or something. Such is often the case when dealing with occasional cases of really negative reviews, after all - especially those coming from a clientele made almost entirely up of addicts and alcoholics. After having been to Recovery Ventures myself, I can EASILY attest to the fact that, believe it or not, the descriptions given in the other one-star reviews are accurate!!! I can also say, with a fair amount of certainty, that the only reason that this place was given so many one-star reviews is simply because giving a "no-star" review is not an option on this website.
I left Recovery Ventures a year and a half ago, during which time I have remained clean and sober of my own accord; not as a result of anything I gleaned from the program. Even now, a year and a half later, the thought of my experience at Recovery Ventures still sickens me, and my heart goes out to any who remain in the program due to a lack of resources on the outside - the fear of which is wielded like a weapon by Recovery Ventures staff to try to dissuade clients from leaving. From the moment you arrive, once your ride has left, they begin stripping you of any form of identity or control. Not only do they take your driver's licence, cash, and any cards you may have, but also you cannot even keep a single piece of paper with even a phone number on it. They don't want you to have the temptation of calling anybody who may come to pick you up or who may be a drug connection, etc. The problem with that is, if you don't have your own mother or father's current phone number memorized (or other close friends or family) you're out of luck. You and your belongings are strip searched, and you are not allowed to keep any clothing you bring unless it is a good several sizes too big. They take any clothing they deem "inappropriate" and "donate it to the warehouse." The warehouse is where they store any clothing and goods taken from clients upon arrival, and later let other clients shop from the stores for free after being in the program for a few months, and the rest they yard-sell! You are NOT allowed to have your belongings set aside to either send home or have someone pick up! This bothered me because I was very careful to pack in the week prior to going, and I followed the instructions on the list dictating what I could bring exactly. Over half my stuff was still taken, many items I bought new for the trip, and I have never seen them since.
If you receive food stamps or are eligible for food stamps, they take them over and garnish them during your stay, and even after if you leave if you're not on top of them from the moment you leave to stop it (like what happened to me). Keep in mind this place gets tons of food donated, gets a couple hundred dollars worth of food stamps per person per month in the case of most clients, AND they're garnishing the wages you earn working for them at local businesses for 16-hour days, weeks on end without a day off. Legally that should include a LOT of overtime pay. Of this money, also keep in mind that you live in a house PACKED in with clients on the outskirts of town (usually 6 clients per small room on bunkbeds) so rent is cheap. Also, one of the main places where you and other clients work every day serves massive amounts of food to their guests (which you prepare, serve, and clean after). While working, you get free meals from the food that is served to the guests, which you can eat on a designated 15 minute break, but if you'd rather smoke, then you don't eat. You cover your own medical and med costs in advance. So where does the extra money or food stamps go? Good question - because even though most clients only required one meal per day at the house, since others were covered at work (if you had time), you are constantly sorting through old, expired food at the house - as if they can't at least afford to get cheap un-expired food!
Your first couple of months there are spent wearing extremely baggy clothes - a belt is necessary, not a fashion statement. You work - LITERALLY, NO EXAGGERATION, 16 hour days with 2 or 3 short cigarette breaks, for often 2-3 weeks without even a single day off. After working, if there is time left, you get to attend one single "group" for one hour, which is lead by another client in the program who has been there for several more months than you. I never saw a medical professional of any form, therapist, nor counselor. Only other peers who had been in the program longer, could take leadership roles, and all is governed by 2 staff members (if in the female house) which themselves are graduates of the program who decided to stay and work. After working your 16 hours and attending group for an hour (which is kind of a messed-up ratio, if you ask me) you arrive at home and do household chores every night, and try to squeeze in a quick bight of food on-the-go, while getting laundry ready to run during the night for the next work day, and grab a quick 8-10 minute shower. After all of this, you're extremely lucky to get 4 or 5 hours of sleep. You certainly do NOT have a set "bed time" to make sure clients get enough rest. Bed time is when all chores are done and you are checked after and ALLOWED to rest. After arriving in the program one afternoon and beginning work the very next morning, by my 14th day in a row working 16 hour stretches doing a good amount of manual labor, with minimal sleep and no day off, I actually fell asleep WHILE WALKING into the work building. Finally they said they'd give me a day off. I was so glad I thought I was going to a least get one solid night's rest. WRONG. I was allowed to sleep a couple hours later than others who left to work like usual, but was then woken up early to do yard work before going to work a night shift!! So my "day off" was actually half a day off, which they used to have me do yard work.
One of the worst experiences I had there, which I totally agree with what other's said about this - was the weekly "conflict resolution group." Where they got the joke of a name for this group, I have no idea, because if anything, this group stirred up more conflict than everything else combined! Every single Tuesday night, every single client is REQUIRED to enter 3 other client's names into a box which gets taken to group the next day. Each person is supposed to not only name 3 other clients with whom they have some sort of grievance, but also berate, pick on, cuss at, belittle, and tease the person whose name was they chose. You are not allowed to refrain from participating, and you cannot say that you did not have a problem with at least 3 people in the house. (If you do, you could get "move-time" - see below). The whole program - men and women both - gather under one roof out in the country, and together listen as each person who had made even the smallest infringement upon the rules is made to stand while violations are read off (each violation of in-numerable rules causes 3 days or more of "move-time" during which you have to stay "on the move" working and doing chores without the short breaks others get). After the violations are listed, men and women's the groups separate. Each of the 2 groups gathers in a big circle with one chair in the middle for clients to sit in, one at a time. Each time someone sits in the middle, anyone who entered that person's name is supposed to "blow up that person's character defects larger than life" while the person sitting in the middle listening to all of this yelling, cursing, and belittling often cries, but is not allowed to respond unless specifically asked to by a staff member. The two staff members, one in particular, had some of the most vulgar, incendiary, and downright nasty things to say to clients. Girls were called b****es, wh**es, c***s, etc. The staff seemed to encourage this type of talk during these groups!! One staff member, who claimed to be a Christian, would often yell G.D. type curses at the girls. I found that to actually be the most offensive, but was afraid to say anything. I've been around, and took part of, plenty of cursing in my life, but it's one thing to flavor your vocabulary, joke around a bit, or vent some frustration, and quite another to use such profanity in what is supposed to be a professional setting and "therapeutic community."
One thing that will always stand out to me is the realization I had that, unlike in almost every OTHER recovery setting I have experienced, where I could ALWAYS pick out one or more people who had something I wanted in life, who were living well, and whose life and behavior after recovery I could look to as an an example, at Recovery Ventures, the opposite occurred!! There was not ONE staff member, male or female, whose lifestyle and/or behavior I felt I would like to embody. Similarly, of those clients who survived months of the program to be given leadership roles, not ONE behaved in a manner I found either respectable or desirable. Once I realized this, I really started taking note of what type of individual and personality characteristics survived the program. The only characteristic which seemed to be pervasive was a lower socio-economic status. I don't mean for that to come across as snobby at all - it's just an observation. It did seem as though those with a higher degree of education, morals, and reasoning skills, were less likely to succeed. Those with less formal education, less question of authority, with more of a follower type of attitude, who seemed to really find personal satisfaction in any type of advantage or authority they could have over their peers, were those who seemed to succeed and thrive in the program. I would say I'm sorry, but it truth I'm not: I could not find anyone whose recovery I respected. I certainly did not want recovery at the cost of my personal beliefs and morality. I couldn't stoop to the level of verbally abusing others and ordering others around to get what I want. It may work there at Recovery Ventures if you're willing to get it that way, but it by NO means in the only road, as they'd like to brainwash you into thinking.
When I was finally fed up with the program, after working as hard as I could, while being as respectful and rule-abiding as possible, I talked to staff about wanting to leave. They try to make you believe you won't be allowed even a single phone call should you want to leave. They also try to make you think no one will want to come get you. You really have to keep a calm, cool, level head to survive there with your wits intact. It's either brainwash and conform, suffer in silence, or escape. And trust when I say, others tried to escape some nights. Luckily I had not burnt all my bridges and was able to have someone come pick me up. I felt badly for some of those I left behind. Some wanted to leave so badly, but had no resources or any way to reach friends or family. Many, many faced either jail or losing their kids if they chose to leave, which when I heard a statistic that something like over 2/3 of the women faced jail if they chose to leave, it's no wonder that some are forced to succumb. I personally would prefer jail. At least there I could get adequate rest, and would actually be in GREATER contact with family and friends by mail or phone than at Recovery Ventures. That's another issue I had with the program. I was told that I wouldn't be allowed to contact anyone on the outside for my first 45-60 days. What I didn't know was that even after being in the program for that long, if you accidentally break too many rules (and small, COMPLETELY, un-intentional breaking of the rules happens ALL THE TIME, for pretty much everybody) your program could be started over. Once you finally get past the first 45-60 day level (which can be extended or re-started depending on your performance) you are allowed to write ONE letter out to a close family member (not a friend or fiance). Before your letter is sent, it is read, and if anything negative whatsoever is written about the program, it will not be allowed to be sent. Once that person writes back, and only if that person writes back, are you allowed ONE 10 minute phone call with that person. That phone call, along with what few others you can earn, is monitored on speakerphone, and again, nothing negative can be spoken about the program. You are told of this in advance. In essence, they give you no room to speak openly or complain about the program without fear of either getting more "move-time" (since speaking ill of the program is against the rules - check your handbook!), or getting your mail or phone privileges taken away. Suffice it to say that if you are reading this and you have a loved one in the program, trust and believe, you won't be hearing the whole story of what is going on for your loved one until they are WELL away from the prying eyes and ears of other peers or staff. That's another thing - you feel so isolated even when in a crowd within the program because everyone has to fend for themselves and staff and the way the rules are structured both discourage having any kind of personal confidence in another client. You are left with no one to confide feelings to without fear that they will be forced into talking about something you may have told them in confidence.
Here's a little example of how easily "move-time" is given out. This is what happened to me. I made my bed before going to work one day like every other day, but that day, while at work, others had to move my bedding and belongings to another bunk bed to make room for another client. While at work, "bed-checks" were done, and I was written up and given 3 days "move-time" for "messy bed" even though I hadn't been the one to re-make the bed. Could I question this ruling? NO, because the proper response for any circumstance that arises is to "just say okay". Client's are repeatedly told to "just say okay." If one person tells you to do something and then another person tells you to do something else which may even contradict the first, what are you supposed to do? I would have thought the answer to this question when posed it by staff would have been to ask a superior staff or peer member which task to do. That answer would've been wrong, according to staff. The correct answer was to "just say okay" to each person and do both tasks quickly, quietly, and efficiently.
If you are okay with just saying "okay" all of the time, while being worked until you're aching, under conditions of sleep deprivation, while having little or no contact with loved ones, and being made to suffer insults and cause others hurt in group, then by all means, hit up Recovery Ventures right away. If not, then please, please be strong, ask around and find a better place to aid with recovery, and don't sacrifice your life and who you are just to "live". Good luck, and prayers to any out there still suffering from addiction or alcoholism. You're not alone, and you are valued, whether some would have you think it or not!!!

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Rating: 1 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

If you know what's best for you..you will NOT send yourself or send anyone you care about to this program. This place is somewhere you would send someone you absolutely hated and wanted to be miserable. This program is awful. This place is a work camp. You get treated like the scum of the earth. The so called women's staff members consist of 2 women pretty much. Two of the most horrible women you will ever come into contact with but they've convinced themselves they are the greatest things on earth! If you've ever had a conversation with either of them...you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. The staff members of the mens house is not as bad as the womens but they still have some scum of the earth portraying themselves as "examples". Any positive feedback you have read about this place was set up. Don't even bother watching the video on Recovery Ventures that they have posted. It's about 10 years old and majority of the people in it are still using today. Recovery is hard...but RV makes it a nightmare. They convince you that you are a sorry human being without them and you must stay and work for them if you ever want to stay clean. If you look up the definition of a "cult" it should have the RVC logo next to it. I would compare it to a concentration camp. Ask any family members that have been...well if you get a chance to talk to them ever.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

SHUT IT DOWN!!! FIRE THE STAFF!!!!!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 1 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I did not go to this "place" personally, but my son did. STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE! They work you 16 hrs a day with little to eat, just to bring in money. It's all a money racket. They steal your personal items with the words "this is going to be donated to the house". BS. And of top of all that, they will stand you up in front of 100-150 people and intimidate, humiliate and commence to tell you what a piece of crap you have been, are, and always will be. Some people were so desperate to leave there, they were packing their clothes and leaving in the middle of the night...on foot. Keep in mind this place is in the middle of nowhere on top of a mountain. Nothing but mountains all around. It sounds more like a "Nazi Treatment Center", to me. Sometimes, if you make a mistake, they will start your program all over again...which means you've accomplished nothing. Start over from day 1. So now you've got another 18 months in this hell hole. I'm a recovering addict and have been clean for 11 years, but I was appalled at some of the things he told me. They try to brainwash an already broken person...spiritually, emotionally, and mentally broken. So, it doesn't take much, sometimes. Most of the people going there are desperate, and the staff knows it, so they take advantage of it. I'm writing this because I hope that if someone is considering this place, maybe they will reconsider, and find somewhere else. There are much better places than this, for free. We've all made bad choices in addiction, but that doesn't give these people or anyone else the right to treat you like an animal. Remember, those that run the place have done the same things that you have.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fire the entire staff, and revamp the entire program to a humane, effective, substance abuse treatment center.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

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Rating: 1 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

When i was in detox and i watched the video for this place,i thought for sure it was legit. Well when i got there it was nothing like they said. The woman's staff verbally,mentally,emotionally abuse their associates. They want you to think that they are all u have and basically cut all communications off with your family. There is no therapy nor do u get positive feedback. At one point they had me convinced that my family didn't want to help with my meds,and in reality the staff members were constantly trying to get money from them,and that's when my family did their own research and realized it was all a scam. I was there for 2 months and all i did was work and on top of that i was in there for alcohol and one of my jobs required me to work around alcohol. I saw so many women leave in the middle of the night. I finally got to see my family in December on family day and when they got there my soon to be mother in law asked me did i want to come home and i left,my leader came to the car telling to get out of the car and i said no,i felt more broken down in there. There is no positive reinforcement,all i ever saw was women being broken down and treated with no respect. They will take away your selfworth and make u feel like your not worth anything. I have been home since December and have maintained my sobriety,i have been sober for 6 months. I do have to say i did meet one woman in there and she was one of my leaders,i can honestly say if all the staff members were like her i garuntee most of us would of nevered left.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

When I watched the video online I was so happy!! I had finally found a place for me!!!WRONG. This place is a joke and I would not reccommend it to anyone. Everything on the video is completely opposite. Once u get there they take all your belongings and send you out in public to work without makeup and in rags. Everything all the other negative commentators have said is absoutly TRUE!!!!! I couldnt have said it better myself. If you enjoy working and smelling like a dog and eating out of date rotten food then this is the place for u. Staff consists of previous clients who have kissed enough butt to get where they are now. I had a staff member repeadily say and I quote"I d ont do this for the money"". I say Yes u do. Do the math . I was there for over 90 days and followed every rule and couldnt wait to get out of there. If not for my roommate I dont know where I would be. I saw so many women escape during the night just because they couldnt take the abuse anymore. I have been in active addiction for the better part of my life and was truly hoping I had found the right place, needless to say I was very disappointed. I have managed to stay sober since leaving there and I look foward to entering a new program soon. Take my advice. DO NOT GIVE THESE PEOPLE ANY MONEY. There is no therapy there. The time I was there I was counseled by PEERS and thats all. I have been in addiction longer than most of them have been alive. Cursing is an everyday allday thing. However they do refrain from namecalling until it is alloweed at their so called conflict resolution group. The final straw for me was when senior staff member called 2 associates a name I cant put on here. Take my advice and please please dont contribute to these peoples pocketbooks any longer. If the state is not investigating them they certainly need too.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

burn it down

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

It is horrible!!. Nothing but drama, treats you like your a child, not even a RECOVERY PLACE, more like a damn DAYCARE! i left after 6 days, waste of my time and money, couldnt even get the 250 back, they are a bunch of thieves…screw this place...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Being at this rehab was horriable. All a bunch of drama queens. They verbally abuse you and Suzy is open to anything with the guys. The staff likes to relapse and use all the food stamps and make you eat bad expired food. CON ARTISTS ALL OF THEM. You can all see your leaders.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

Dear Marcus Dupree, I emailed you and would be glad to share any information I have with you. I hope I may be of some help.
In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to use this space to write a bit more about my experience with Recovery Ventures Corporation, since I cannot post another review due to the fact that I already posted one on September 25th of this year. This week I achieved just over 4 and a half months sober. Contrary to what I was told by RVC staff and one superior associate in particular, I was able to maintain my sobriety without the so-called help of RVC. I think it is important for people to know that there is potential for healthy success and progress without the negativity of those in the program who do not expect you to succeed. I was flat-out told by the lady who did my intake into the program, and I quote, "you're gonna drink as soon as you leave. You wantin' to leave is your addiction callin' you. You're gonna die. Even if you don't drink when you first get out, you'll be drunk within 24 hours." Well I'm here to tell you that it was NOT my disease of addiction "calling me to leave." It was my good sense, and disgust with what I found to be a disturbingly bad program.
If you have read this and would like more detailed information as well as my personal experience with this program, PLEASE read my actual review! Also please take a second after reading it to click "Yes" if you found the review to be helpful.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Replace the program entirely.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 1 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

I was a client at Recovery Ventures Corporation (which I may refer to by their abbreviation, RVC, during the course of this review). I ultimately found this program to be quite unhelpful, and in many ways, rather detrimental to a client's hope for future success in life as a clean and sober productive member of society. I would like to preface many of the statements and opinions that I will share here by saying that I tried my best to give this program a fair and unbiased look when I entered and participated to the best of my ability. Despite my best attempts to thrive in the program and attempt to see reason behind the way the program is structured, what I found in what was supposed to be a “recovery” program, or “therapeutic community” was rather like a sort of modernized American slave camp governed by intimidation, negativity, and sleep-deprivation.
When a client enters the program, they are referred to as an “associate” (RVC terminology for client), and any friends and/or relatives who brought them there are made to leave prior to staff beginning intake paperwork or even going through the associate’s belongings. One document I was made to sign allowed RVC to attempt to garnish my food stamps during my stay. I left the program approximately 2 months ago and I’m still having problems getting my food stamps back. My food stamp caseworker just informed me last week that RVC was still applying for my food stamps as of September.
Another document I was required to sign after my ride left during my intake stated that any clothing or personal belongings that I had which were determined not be allowed into the program would be donated to the RVC warehouse. This later allowed over ¾ of my clothing to be taken away, even though I followed the directions on the list of what I could bring. I brought clothing and toiletries exactly according to the sheet I was sent which listed what items were allowed. Once I got to the house I’d be staying in, staff designated two of my superior associates – who were clients who had been in the program for approximately 8-10 months – to go through my belongings. Unbeknownst to me, (and unmentioned on this list of items allowed) clothing had to be several sizes too big to be allowed. Also, white shirts, tank tops, and thong underwear were not allowed. If my memory serves correctly, 7 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts, 6 shirts, 6 pairs of underwear, and 1 dress were all taken and donated to the warehouse. I was not allowed to have staff set aside the clothing to be returned to me upon discharge, nor were they willing to hold the clothing aside so that family or friends could either pick it up or have it sent back home. Nothing I brought was vulgar in nature, skimpy, too tight, nor had any references to drugs or alcohol. Needless to say, I was quite upset because I had followed the guidelines as best as I could while packing, but I just grit my teeth and tried to keep a positive attitude. I never saw these items again.
We slept in bunk beds which averaged 4-6 females per room. At any given time, approximately 18 associates plus 2 staff members lived in that one house alone. While there, I found out quickly that there were so many rules that they were literally un-countable. These were detailed and watched for down to the most insignificant or miniscule infringement, but also included rules which staff could not even explain a basis for. The solution to any problem, however, was to “just say okay.” The words “Just Say Okay” became a sort of mantra. As an associate, you are repeatedly told that the only appropriate response is to “just say okay.” You are NOT to question any direction or order given, nor can you try to stick up for yourself if you are wrongly accused or question anything if told to do something contrary to what someone else has told you to do. Your response is supposed to always be “okay”.
Wednesday night conflict resolution group was almost barbaric. The purpose of conflict resolution group was “to blow up one’s character defects larger than life to avoid conflict on the floor”. (We each had to recite this at some point). They really meant it when they said to blow up one’s character defects. Each week by Tuesday night, every associate had to pick 3 other associates with whom they had some type of conflict or grievance, whose names they had to put into a box prior to the Wednesday night group. This was mandatory – you could not say that you did not have a problem with anybody, or that you couldn’t think of 3 people. Doing so could result in “move time” (RVC terminology for getting in trouble and having to stay on-the-move working and doing repetitive chores without the same breaks the other associates get for 3 days or more per infraction). On Wednesday night, everyone sits in a circle with one chair in the middle. One by one, associates are called to sit in the middle, and any time the associate in the middle was someone whose name had been entered into the box, each person who had entered that associate’s name had to blow up that person’s character defects larger than life in front of everybody. I have been around plenty of cursing, arguing, and yelling in my life, but the screaming and cursing which took place during each of these groups was downright astounding. Staff members had some of the filthiest mouths!! It seemed encouraged. The person in the middle was quite often brought to tears, and was not allowed to talk back or respond to comments unless staff specifically asked them to. If I were to write some of the things that were said in this review, this whole page would likely be taken down.
During the day, we worked 16 hour days. At night, getting 4-5 hours sleep was the norm, but was not always the case. Sleep was a top luxury. Groups were held once per night, but you could not always attend depending on your work schedule, and also most of the groups were lead by other associates. Every moment of every day you feel like you are constantly being monitored for any type of subversive behavior. “Move time” is given out very easily and very frequently, with no chance of trying to stick up for yourself if something was perceived wrongly or reported wrongly, and is a great method of control, as one is scared to say anything out of line if it means having to be on the move for 3 days at a time, or 3 plus 3 plus 7, plus 3, etc…
Wearing extremely baggy clothing, working for weeks without a day off, being deprived of sleep, being watched around every turn so you can’t even confide in another associate without fear of retribution, and not being able to write or call family can all be extremely depressing. Also, once you are given the privilege to write a family member after being in the program for 45-60 days (unless you get in trouble and have to wait longer) your letter is read before it is sent. If anything negative is said about the program, the letter is not allowed to be sent. Same goes for incoming mail and phone calls. Once you write a letter out and receive a letter back, you are allowed one 10 minute phone call which is held in a monitored setting on speakerphone. No chance is given to speak candidly or honestly with those on the outside without fear of getting in trouble and getting more move time. I could go on and on, but for now I just want to go ahead and post this review. I will try to continue it later if anyone wants to hear more detail…. ***

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Shut it down and start over.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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