Finding Hope


A closer look: LGBTQ-friendly residential recovery programs for substance use disorder in the Treasure Valley

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 21:13:52-04

BOISE, Idaho — As 6 On Your Side previously reported, the mother of an LGBTQ daughter was outraged by a question on the Boise Rescue Mission's New Life Recovery Program application, asking for her adherence to a heterosexual lifestyle.

The question on the publicly-available application reads, "Do you understand that our program holds to the biblical doctrine that only a heterosexual lifestyle is an acceptable lifestyle to God? Are you willing to adhere to this? ___Yes ___No."

As long as the Boise Rescue Mission does not run on taxpayer dollars, they reserve the religious freedoms to ask this.

It's on an application for a Boise program that offers a free live-in program for recovering addicts, who can stay on-site and work on their recovery for months. The mission's CEO and president, Rev. Bill Roscoe, estimates an 85 percent success rate from its roughly 500 graduates.

"We want them to know, in our program, we teach this. Because to that person-- if this is offensive to you, you're probably not going to do well in our program," said Roscoe.

6 On Your Side's Madeline White takes a look at what other options are available for low-to-no income LGBTQ people struggling with subtance use disorder in the Treasure Valley:

Boise mother Marianne Morrison said her LGBTQ daughter is now homeless and struggling with increased addictions. She said she is desperate for a residential, hands-on program like this.

"I tried to help her get into a sober living house. Well that wasn't enough structure for her," said Morrison.

And many alternatives are pricey. A program specialist at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) said she worked for the private sector in a 90-day residential care program and that cost those patients $90,000.

"I mean it's-- it's so expensive, and that's just what makes it so hard for people to be able to access care," said Holly Walund, programs specialist at the Division of Behavioral Health, IDHW.

Now Walund said she hopes to help change lives by working with low-to-no-cost, public state-approved programs-- ones that don't require having insurance to use them.

"We want to be able to remove barriers and help people access treatment, regardless of age, gender, orientation, or anything like that," said Walund.

In the Treasure Valley, of the programs funded by the IDHW, residential adult treatment programs of up to 30 days include Port of Hope in Nampa and Lifeways in Ontario. But for any stays longer than that-- sadly-- you're out of luck.

There are plenty of outpatient programs locally, but more long-term resources may be coming. With Medicaid expansion going into effect January 1, IDHW may be able to find "different ways of supporting and treating them for different ways throughout their entire journey, from crisis all the way to recovery maintenance," according to Walund.

Walund added that with Medicaid expansion next year, folks who are land within 138 percent of the federal poverty level may likely be eligible to receive long-term treatment in ways not currently available.

Walund says those in need of help in recovery with substance use disorders should not be discouraged to call the IDHW's contractor BPA's Substance Use Disorder Services at 1-800-922-3406, or click here to learn more. BPA will help eligible folks access free care of different kinds in the Treasure Valley.