Homeward Bound is anything but home. On arrival, the first thing that strikes you is the fledgling, dilapidated exterior and property which strikes a sense of Auschwitzian despair deep in the gut. One may feel an urge to run, to flee the area and never look back. I wish I'd gone with my gut instinct instead of spending two months in this rathole. The unit is divided into two or three different "individualized" programs, but basically it is a sanctuary for repeat drug offenders who somehow manage to win a judge's sympathy and avoid jail time. I was a client in 2010 and resided on the fourth floor, which "specializes" in treating drug and alcohol abusers who also have an HIV diagnosis. The program is ruled over with an iron fist by director Kerri Cascio, an arrogant, smug and obnoxious aging *** hag who very rarely makes an appearance on the unit, except to occasionally address the residents when staff members "drop the ball" and lose control of the clientele because of their inconsistency and favoritism, often based on sex or race. I was discharged from the program with only a few days remaining until I was a "successful" graduate...for returning late on a medical pass, yet another client who used drugs on his pass was allowed to stay and eventually, enter their "aftercare" program. And to further add insult to injury, after I had packed my things up and was sitting in the visitation area waiting for my ride to take me home, Miss Cascio made a point of coming outside to personally order me off the property. She began loudly shouting insults at me, with the intention of embarrassing me in front of as many people as possible. It was only after I broke down in tears of frustration and had every eye in the place focused on me, that she felt satisfied enough to turn her attention elsewhere.
The kitchen is one of the few things about the program that is more frightening and pathetic than Miss Cascio. The kitchen staff regularly serve spoiled and outdated food items to clients, under the premise that they are lucky to have anything to eat at all. I firmly believe it was the fact that I had reported these conditions to the city health department that resulted in my dismissal.
The staff are probably more frightening than the clientele. Although most of them are "recovering" alcoholics and addicts, it is clear that many of them are so stoned that they can't even conduct a class without running to the bathroom every ten minutes for a toot or to pop a pill. To make matters worse, there was a male staff member who was having sex on the roof with one of the female clients that was in my treatment group. Miss Cascio also allowed this girl to remain in the program, when it was clear that the girl had no intention of "staying clean". If you truly love a person in your family who is suffering from addiction, please send them somewhere else. Homeward Bound exists solely for the purpose of recieving grants from the state, many of which mysteriously never seem to cover the things they are intended for, such as fresh, quality food, plumbing, repairs, and class materials. Summary: Homeward Bound is anything but home. It is only a matter of time until the program implodes upon itself. Until then, the only thing this program accomplishes is to lower the property value of the homes in the neighborhood. The one thing I thank Homeward Bound for, is that they gave me the motivation I needed to get the heck out of Texas, and back to California where I belong. After an experience like that, I have remained sober for just over a year now! I never want to go through something like this again. Thank you for taking the time to read this.