Recovery Orientation

While many people think of “recovery” as referring to addictions, in this context a recovery orientation focuses on overall individual well-being. It ensures that clients have access to a range of supports that enable them to nurture and maintain social, recreational, educational, occupational and vocational activities. A recovery orientation is a key part of Housing First. Recovery orientation is often linked to trauma-aware practices.

This requires a focus on the client’s individual needs and an understanding of where the client is coming from and the issues they have faced in the past. Recovery-oriented services or trauma-aware practices include developing policies and procedures with clients to ensure that they won’t re-traumatize people. It means providing clients with choice and working with all members of family including children. Recovery-oriented services will often involve clients in the role of leaders – usually through peer mentoring or involving them on boards or committees – to help them develop strengths but also to solicit their lived experience.

Young people, and adults, who have experienced abuse may have problems developing positive relationships with peers, employers, colleagues, landlords and service providers. Mentoring or conflict resolution training can help these individuals develop positive healthy relationships. Trust building is an important component of creating social relationships and may need to be developed before other components of community engagement.

The use of motivational interviewing techniques is very helpful to enable clients to develop their own recovery plans. Overall, it’s important to remember that recovery doesn’t end with finding housing; it’s an ongoing long-term process.