Ready. Willing. Able.

Our goal is to see clients live a stable, healthy life after leaving a Harvest House program. While there is no cookie-cutter solution to helping people achieve health and wholeness, there is an approach that has a significant impact on the lives of the people we serve. This impact is there even though we don’t always see ‘successful’ outcomes. 

Core elements of change.  

So, what makes a Harvest House client successful? When we ask clients who have completed our programs, they often highlight the same key points. They mention the importance of having a team that believed in and empowered them. They talk about the importance of the family atmosphere, genuine love, forgiveness and opportunities for growth, and wrap-around support. And almost every single time, graduates leave words of encouragement to future clients, with tips like “trust the process.” 

Achieving health and wholeness is a process. As much as we want instant healing, the process requires key elements to facilitate change: being ready, willing, and able. Sometimes clients come to us with these elements complete, but many times this is not the case. 

Ready, willing, and able.  

Assessing a client’s readiness, willingness, and ability to change guides case managers in developing service plans with clients that meet client’s unique needs and goals. 

Readiness is a mindset. We typically see a client is ready after a deeply emotional experience that serves as a catalyst for a mindset shift.  

Willingness to change is achieved when a person’s self-worth is high enough that they believe they deserve the positive outcomes they are yearning for.  

Ability to change usually depends on circumstances such as access to resources and capacity limitations. This is where our case managers work on making sure that clients have the tools, connections, skills, and action plan steps to bring their change to fruition. Being ‘able’ requires intellectual and emotional maturity as well, and it can take time to master those skills.  

For clients that aren’t quite ready, willing, or able to bring in the changes required for a stable life, we spend a lot of time and effort trying to get them there. There are countless barriers to overcome, but through years of experience, we know that a little caring support goes a long way. 

Peace, wholeness, and stability. 

Anyone in social work will tell you that it’s heartbreaking when clients can’t get past certain hurdles. But, regardless of metrics, focusing on the individual person and these elements of change allows case managers to have the most impact. A client may have numerous ‘failures’ before they experience a ‘success,’ and along the way, we are not identifying the person as the behavior. Instead, help transform these experiences into learning opportunities. 

A previous client, Preston, once said that in a meeting with Jim Rouches, Director of Addiction Services, “it was the first time someone ever told me that I wasn’t bad.” Preston was told his whole life that he was ‘bad’, so he would unconsciously reinforce that notion with his behavior and choices. This one comment ignited a revolutionary change in his mindset. It liberated him from being trapped in that subconscious cycle, opened his heart to ask for and receive forgiveness, and inspired him to make better choices moving forward.   

Jim says that from his experience in the Harvest House Freedom program, “most people are ready when they walk through our doors. It’s the stages of willingness and ability where our services are pivotal.”

“We work with a person to identify with them why they are worthy of a good life. When they remember their worthiness, they become willing to invest in their future. It is the platform of the Harvest House programs that give them the ability to make their desired changes.”

Another previous client, CJ, recently composed a heartfelt letter to Jim from jail. CJ intimately shared how his experience at Harvest House many months ago is still helping him, even though he did not complete the program.   

“If you’ve read that story, you’ll see how Mr. Tucker positively enabled CJ by filling a hole that he would never be able to fill on his own. CJ was receiving the love and it was impacting him deeply, even though no one could see it at the time. 

“CJ’s story is a good testament of who we are and what we do. Even though CJ is not considered a successful graduate of the Freedom program, the work we did during those 5 months positively impacted him. It transformed him into someone that was ready, willing, and able to find peace, wholeness, and stability.” 

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