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Summer Solstice 2020
20th Anniversary
Friday, June 19, 2020. Learn More

July 23, 2015

Resident Council: Healing from Within

The Hopewell Resident Council was established to support our goals and mission. A charter is in place that explains the purpose, responsibilities, membership, decision-making process and reasons for the establishment of the Resident Council at Hopewell. The main function of the Council is to enhance quality of living and peace across our therapeutic community. The Council implements and improves community functions. At Hopewell, we believe it is beneficial to the development of our residents to stay involved in the decision-making and healing process.

There are certain criteria that must be met by residents who wish to serve on the Resident Council. They must be in the third phase of treatment, and must have transitioned out of the first two phases exhibiting virtuous behavior and personal growth. It is important to set criteria that encourage residents to reach goals they set for themselves.

Equality and cooperation with staff, volunteers and residents are keys to success at Hopewell. These are hallmarks of the Resident Council. We want to ensure our residents feel they are an important part of the Hopewell community. We want them to be engaged, motivated and connected with the farm and staff. The Resident Council has been a success, and we are sharing this success story with other communities with the hope they may emulate this practice for themselves.

Here are some of the core reasons why the Resident Council is so successful.

  • Makes residents a valuable part of the Hopewell community.

The Resident Council allows our residents to gain independence and decision-making power. It is important to allow residents have a say in their own treatment and ensure they are motivated and healing.

  • Promotes understanding of resident needs.

Residents are very communicative with each other. The Resident Council gives the residents a voice to communicate on behalf of fellow residents, and in a timely manner.

  • Teaches responsibilities.

A position on the Resident Council is earned. This prestige gives residents motivation to reach this special level of growth and acceptance. Once on the Council, the members are entrusted to recommend events, plan activities and focus on realistic goals and outcomes for these activities.

  • Turns frustration into energy to solve problems.

Having a problem and no power to solve it can be one of the most frustrating situations any human being may face. The Resident Council gives residents the opportunity to turn their frustration and negative energy into a force for positive problem -solving. When residents are given the power to facilitate change, they are more resilient and able to bring about positive change.

  • Improves morale.

Involvement with successful events has a positive effect on morale. It is wonderful to see the residents pull together to complete a task and enjoy the outcome.

A note to other communities: Peer councils are a wonderful tool to ensure residents feel important and vital to the success of an organization. They are not always easy to establish, and need to be monitored by both the residents and staff. Always ensure residents are patient and understanding with each other through the process. At the end of the day, you will have the opportunity to see resident councils plant their ideas, watch the planning grow and see their resulting happiness bloom.

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