04 Oct On the New Life House Experience
Many people – former and current parents and house members – have written about the New Life House and how it has turned the lives of their loved ones around, providing them with the foundation needed to start a new life away from drugs and based on the solid principles learned during the months of residency at the house: integrity, responsibility, discipline, self-awareness, giving, respect for family and each other, faith in a bigger power, and much more. I will probably be repeating much of the same praise for what the New Life House has done for my son, and for us as parents, but suffice it to say that from the first family visit when I went down to Torrance to check out the program, I was convinced and sold on it – as I described it to my wife and few friends, it seemed like the perfect program that would benefit most (if not all) of today’s teenagers and young men (and women, if the program was also available for them) for the very basic and essential life lessons and principles that it teaches.
Of course, it was not easy to convince our son to join. But from the very first moment and throughout his initial interactions with the house staff, members, and the program, it was clear to us that slowly, but surely, he also saw the value of the experience and what he was and would be getting from it. Observing him I would say the first 1-3 months were the most challenging – mainly giving up on all the things (privileges) he had enjoyed in the past, past friends and relationships, and probably all the bad habits that had gotten him here in the first place. The house rules and chores, protocols of daily house life, focus on accountability, ownership of, and responsibility for past and present actions, emphasis on communication and transparency, and on character building, re-building, and shaping, and the practices during discussion and family sessions, are all part of what makes the New Life House program so truly great and effective.
As our son enters a new phase of his life upon graduation from New Life House, he seems a truly changed person – much more confident, self-assured and self-aware, responsible, caring, certain and committed to his future path, and above all free of all the destructive habits that had led him astray. Finally, a new person that we can communicate with! As parents, we still have our worries about the future, but we also have a newfound sense of confidence, that the tools and experiences gained from the New Life House program have given our son what is needed to overcome future challenges and difficulties. Also knowing that the community and network around him are there at his disposal. As parents, we have also become much more aware and appreciative of the experiences and lessons learned during this journey with our son, and fortunate to have met and shared these experiences with many other wonderful parents and young men during their journeys. Finally, we have come to know the truly great people who run and manage the New Life House program; we have learned so much from them and it’s truly amazing to find so much emotional and social intelligence and common wisdom in the ways they run the program. Any level of appreciation and recognition for their commitment, hard work, and dedication is truly not enough.
– Anonymous Parent from the New Life House Community