Recent News

Remembrance

In remembrance of all those who perished on 9/11/2001, Royal Palms viewed the film FLIGHT 93. The facilitators prefaced the film with reassurance of support if needed. Our residents were reminded of the coping skills they could also employ. All the residents were enthralled and there was an air of dignity in the room. It was mentioned that many of our residents were toddlers and babies when this horrific national tragedy occurred.

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Rest from COVID

The last 16 months have been a struggle for everyone due to the pandemic. Opportunities to soak up sun rays at one of Southern California’s most picturesque and beautiful beaches were limited. However, recently our residents of the luxurious Rena B were privileged to partake of this leisure-filled, therapeutic, safe, and sober outing. Enjoying the beach while clean and sober meant residents being present to the feel of the sun and salt air, the sound of the waves and music, the smell of the ocean and sand, and the connection with one another and the staff. Now that's a sensory experience that is good for the soul and recovery. Our beach outing was good for the residents and for the Rena B staff (Brandon, Jennifer, James, Nicole, Donnie and David) who worked together to make the trip happen. The teamwork strengthened our connections and the setting allowed us to bond in a new way after working hard for the last 16 months. And it reintroduced many of us to the beach after years of not visiting.

Grant to address Stimulant Use Disorder

Social Model Recovery Systems was recently awarded a grant to address Stimulant Use Disorder in communities of color who have been negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. A Peer Specialist will be joining our team at Mid Valley Outpatient to improve participant engagement and connections with culturally mindful community resources. We are grateful for this new opportunity and are excited to bring additional recovery support to our participants.

This grant is supported by the MAT Access Points Project, which is funded through the Department of Health Care Services California MAT Expansion Project and is administered by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation.

The MAT Access Points Project is funding a network of organizations throughout California to address the opioid crisis by supporting prevention, education, stigma reduction, treatment and recovery services for people with opioid use disorder and substance use disorder, and by increasing access to Medication Assisted Treatment. $9.93 million was awarded to 55 community-based organizations throughout the state for prevention, education and stigma reduction efforts focused on communities of color and other communities disproportionately impacted by Opioid Use Disorder and criminalization of Substance Use Disorder.

For anyone interested in this Peer Specialist position, please look in our “Employment” tab for more information.

Stepping Stones goes out to play!

Stepping Stones recently celebrated the opening of its new playground for the kids living with their mothers while in treatment. The playground’s design, equipment, and labor were a generous donation from the Champion Foundation.

The ceremony was hosted by Chaplain Dave Truax who acknowledged Chris and Retha Champion and the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Also in attendance were staff and residents of Stepping Stones, the workers who installed the playground, and SMRS’ Bruce Boardman, Tim Stevens, and Chris Abernathy.

Many thanks to the Champion Foundation for helping us to ensure the safety and happiness of our children with this beautiful playground!

Earth Day 2021

The River Community residents and staff are fortunate to be in the beautiful surroundings of the San Gabriel Mountains. On April 22, 2021, we took the opportunity to show our appreciation by cleaning up large mounds of trash around the property and down the river path. We suited up in safety gear, put on our gloves and grabbed several boxes of trash bags. After about 2 hours of work and conversation about progression and being of service, we sat by the river and enjoyed a nice lunch followed by earth inspired vegan chocolate-mint cupcakes.

 

 

 

Denim Day 2021

The residents and staff of Mariposa and Rena B recently celebrated Denim Day. Residents were encouraged to creatively express themselves through art. Staff and residents alike actively participated in designing, painting, and writing words of empowerment, advocating against rape and sexual assault on pairs of denim jeans.

The story of Denim Day begins in 1992. In Italy, an 18-year old girl was raped by a driving instructor. The instructor was taking the young lady for her first driving lesson. He drove to an isolated area and sexually assaulted her. She reported the rape and the man was convicted. However, he later appealed, the appeallate judge overturned his sentence, and was released from jail. The judge said that because the young lady was wearing tight jeans she had to have helped the perpetrator remove her jeans. And by doing so, this made it consensual sex not rape.

The women from the Italian Parliament were so enraged with the overturning of this conviction they went to the Supreme Court in jeans to protest. For the past 29 years, Denim Day is a day to bring awareness and remind people that there is no excuse and no invitation to rape!
 

 

 

Trans-Gender Day of Visibility (March 31)

 - Celebrate your Trans loved ones today and every day -

Royal Palms LGBTQ+ residential treatment program has not only the pleasure but the honor of celebrating our staff successes. Sophia is one of those success stories that is worth sharing as she has walked through trials and tribulations to be the woman who she is today. Sophia adds so much value to Royal Palms, as she presents with a desire and approach that comes from a place of acceptance, love, sincerity, and education for our residents. Sophia has chosen to work in the field of substance use to help others like herself who not only struggle with addiction but through transitioning to a new life in so many ways.

Jacob Adrian Pifher was born June 9th, 1994.

“Living in a body that never felt right, going through life trying to fit in and be accepted, I was continuing to live a lie because I was afraid, and where I come from there was no one else like me. I didn’t have the support to “come out.” I finally made a decision that would change the rest of my life. A day after my 19th birthday, on June 10th, 2014, I came out to my family that I was going to start transitioning to a female. I had to explain to them that I never felt right. Being born a male, I never felt like this was the body I was meant to be in. My parents struggled with this concept of life and it was new to them. After I came out, I lost a lot of family members. I didn’t have any support aside from my therapist. I had to educate myself on how to take each step to transition, as no one had experience doing this before that I knew of, not even my therapist.
 

“Three months after coming out as transgender, I saved up money for the first time so that I could move forward to acquire a name change, legally becoming Sophia Nicole Pifher. This day I started living my true authentic life. One year later, I started hormone replacement therapy. The changes were indescribable, from emotions to physical changes – mind you I didn’t know anyone during this time to talk to about these changes I was experiencing. All I knew is I started feeling right - every step of the way. Six years and 10 months later, I am glad that every struggle has been a learning experience on how I can help others through the similar process. I love the person who I’ve became to this day.”