A House of Refuge is a kind of halfway house for the mentally ill where the patient can recover from his conditions without having to undergo a long-term rehabilitation program. Mostly, this is provided to people with severe mental illnesses and who have very few prospects of regaining their previous jobs or other services. This centre gives the person living there the opportunity to resume their old habits, but with better assistance so that the person is not forced to take up dangerous activities again.
The House of Refuge also provides the required psychiatric help in such a case. The members of staff in the House of Refuge are trained to assist the person living there in regaining mental health. They are the ones who will take care of the person’s welfare and also educate him on life’s lessons. Their main task is to encourage the recovering addict to lead a productive social life. They also provide the people with proper living conditions and a sense of belongingness to the society.
Since a House of Residence is a place for the recovering addict to go to recuperate from his illness without attending a lengthy rehabilitation program, most people who have a serious psychiatric disorder choose this kind of centre for their stay. However, many people with psychiatric disorders do not go to House of Refuge because they think that it might be an isolated place. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest problems faced by those people, who do not go to a House of Refuge centre and might even end up living on the streets.
A House of Refuge requires residents to adhere to rules and guidelines imposed by the centre. The rules might include having to limit their contact with other inmates of the house and they might also need to follow a daily regimen. The residents can also be asked to regularly participate in spiritual or religious sessions. But the most important rule at the House of Refuge is that the residents should take their treatment very seriously. They must treat the House of Refuge as their home and follow the rules laid down.
Another reason why many people choose House of Repoidences instead of a rehabilitation centre is that it is a small house where there is plenty of available space and the residents don’t feel like they are trapped inside the walls of a large building. They feel more comfortable living in a house of refuge because they don’t feel like they are being separated from people they love. However, there are times when the House of Refuge becomes a home for the wrong kind of person. Some of these people might prey on vulnerable people who are in dire conditions and need extra care.
There have been cases when the House of Refuge has turned into a house of horrors where the residents were abused and subjected to different types of treatments. The abuse could range from sexual abuse to physical abuse and the abuses might go on for years until the victim decided enough was enough and decided to leave the house. Sadly, many cases of residential rehabilitation centres for people with severe psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder end up in a house of refuge homes where the resident is locked up against his will and is basically left to fend for himself.
Another very common scenario in a house of refuge is that the resident does not follow even the minimal rules set out by the authorities. He tends to do drugs and drink alcohol in the premises of the house and becomes completely lawless. The police are called in but the resident ignores their calls and doesn’t come back when they request for him. The house of refuge becomes a haven for drug users and the temptation to relapse is too much for the resident to resist.
In some cases, the residents of a house of refuge have begun to form a mob like groups and begin to disturb the lives of other inmates and sometimes attack the staff and authorities present there. Such actions usually occur during periods when the resident cannot take any action against his bad habits. The authorities cannot security an addicted person permanently because he will always commit his crimes again. The house of refuge rehabilitation centre is thus formed as an intermediate care centre where the patient can get proper counseling and be taught proper life skills.