A Little About Us ...

by Douglas W. Denton

Executive Director

 

You might say that Homeward Bound came into being because a nice young man from a good family found himself in some bad trouble.

 

One of his family’s friends was Isabelle Collora, a Catholic laywoman with a fierce opposition to injustice and a great desire to help people who needed it. In 1974 I was a young criminal justice advocate hoping to make a difference. I joined with Isabelle. We tried to help to help that young man but we couldn’t save him. We never forgot that failure. It’s fired our efforts ever since.

 

We named our first venture Associates in Justice. Our partnership has lasted 34 years, helped more than a hundred thousand people, and led the state of Texas toward multiple reforms.

  • In 1980 we began Texas’ first prison diversion project offering residential programs for first offenders. We named it Seidler House, after Catholic priest Father Andrew Seidler, Isabelle’s mentor.
  • In 1985 crack cocaine hit Dallas like a bomb. Responding to a request from the city and county, we started a substance abuse treatment facility, Trinity Recovery Center.
  •  In 1988  our substance abuse treatment facility, incorporated as Homeward Bound, became the first  in Texas to accept HIV/AIDS clients.
  •  In 1996 Homeward Bound pioneered same-day assessment and admissions, eliminating waiting lists in order to give immediate treatment, a practice that has since become a standard of evidence-based treatment throughout the nation.
  •  In 1999 Homeward Bound was chosen as the lead substance abuse treatment agency in the Medicaid managed care pilot known as NorthSTAR, which led to the expansion of substance abuse treatment for Medicaid patients in Texas.
  • In 2003 Homeward Bound developed the statewide program for person infected with HIV who were experiencing significant substance abuse problems.
  • In 2004 the State of Texas asked Homeward Bound to establish a continuum of substance abuse care on the Texas/Mexico border. That program has grown to offer services to the Hispanic population, veterans and Native Americans in West Texas and Southern New Mexico.
  •   In 2005 Homeward Bound became the largest residential substance abuse provider in Texas.
  •  In 2010 Homeward Bound started Texas’ first psychiatric crisis residential program (sub-acute psychiatric care).
  • In 2013 after 33 years, Seidler House moved from a 24-bed facility, 3,800-square-foot facility to a 24-apartment complex occupying almost an acre of land.
  • In 2013, Homeward Bound opened an outpatient clinic in rural Ellis County offering services to adolescents.

 

Those are the milestones in our partnership together. We’ve also conducted research for the National Institute of Drug Abuse-Clinical Trials Network in collaboration with the UT Southwestern Medical Center Department of Psychiatry.

 

The majority of our clients are referred to us by emergency rooms, councils on alcohol and drug abuse, and other social service agencies in 18 counties located in North and Central Texas, as well as the nine border counties of Far West Texas. We are also a resource for judges and probation officers looking for somewhere to send drug offenders other than jail or prison.

 

Isabelle and I have worked within the system to make it better. From the beginning we wanted social workers, counselors, judges, probation officers – all the hard working people of good intentions who labor in the Texas substance abuse prevention and treatment system – to have alternatives to incarceration. Those we’ve helped create cost far less and are far more effective than imprisonment at returning people to health, sobriety, employment and good citizenship.

 

The story continues.

 

 

 

 

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