Who is being served? Adults, families, children, veterans, people who lost their homes in the mortgage crisis, people who work but don't earn enough and have been forced to choose between food, clothing and paying the rent. Others are homeless because the economic downturn eliminated their job, medical bills forced them to sell everything, disability, domestic violence, mental illness, chemical dependency, etc. Participants are often experiencing multiple lifestyle challenges.
What are the needs that iRest addresses? Homelessness is intrinsically stressful and devastating to self-esteem. Additionally, people who are homeless often have to cope with anger, substance abuse, poor boundaries, depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and various somatic symptoms. iRest helps people develop a new relationship with these challenges, and enables participants to develop a sense of security and a capacity to respond effectively in the moment to the many challenges that they are engaging.
What makes iRest appropriate and effective for this population? *iRest teaches an attitude of “welcoming” that leads to greater insight, understanding, empowerment and engaged action with self, others and the world-at-large. *iRest teaches deep relaxation and stress reduction techniques that allow participants to feel more at ease with themselves and others. *iRest provides participants with effective tools for self-healing that enables them to experience a greater sense of safety and control in their lives. *iRest provides tools that enable participants to process negative emotions and beliefs in the challenging circumstances of their lives. *iRest helps participants restore their inherent ground of peace and ease of being that enables them to experience equanimity as they navigate the difficult and challenging circumstances of their lives.
Where has iRest for homelessness been offered? *COTS' Mary Isaak Center, Petaluma, CA (cots.org) *N Street Village, Washington, DC (www.nstreetvillage.org) *Alpha Home, San Antonio, TX (www.alphahome.org) *SAMMinistries, San Antonio, TX (www.samm.org) *Homeward Bound of Marin's Voyager Carmel Residence, Marin County, CA (hbofm.org)
What iRest research is being conducted regarding impact with people who are homeless? The Committee of the Shelterless (COTS), the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and the Center of Timeless Being (CTB) are collaborating in an ongoing research project (iRest for homelessness, anxiety, well-being) that was originally developed through the COTS/IONS ‘At Home Within’ program.
Read the COTS research paper prepared by Cassandra Vieten, PhD., Executive Director of Research at IONS: View summary here; View poster here iRest is one of the most effective and comprehensive programs that I've encountered for healing of trauma and enhancement of psychological well being. One great strength is that it is accessible to a wide range of populations, including veterans, homeless people, those who are seeking to enhance their personal and professional lives, and advanced practitioners who are dedicated to liberation. I can't recommend it highly enough. --Cassandra Vieten, PhD Psychologist, Mind-Body Medicine Researcher, and Executive Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Research has been conducted in New York and is currently being set up at the Washington VA using iRest for resiliency and substance abuse recovery.
What have iRest for homelessness participants said about their experience? Participants report relief from anxiety, sleeplessness and anger-related problems in their job and interpersonal relationships. Staff members at the homeless shelters report less acting out among participants who are taking the iRest program, and that staff can more easily do their job.
iRest at COTS
Since 1992 I have managed a nonprofit agency in the San Francisco area that shelters and supports homeless people (COTS). We rarely have enough resources to provide people with the deep healing they need. For years our staff has searched for a cost-effective approach to support those who have suffered repeated trauma and who struggle with the challenges of homelessness, mental illness, and recovery from chemical dependency. Integrative Restoration (iRest) has been wonderfully successful in providing the support we've been seeking... Read more. - John Records, Executive Director, COTS (Committee of the Shelterless), Petaluma, CA