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Manhattan Bowery Project - Final Narrative Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
69 pages
This report describes the accomplishments and activities of the first year of the Manhattan Bowery Project, a voluntary alcohol-detoxification program for skid row males established by the Vera Institute and the City of New York.
Prospective patients in the Bowery are offered help and a place to dry out by the project's two-man rescue team. If that help is accepted, the team takes the man to the project. The 5-day program consists of 3 days of intensive medical supervision during withdrawal, and 2 days of counseling and planning for aftercare. Referral programs for aftercare used by the project include the State hospital rehabilitation units, the general psychiatric wards of Central Islip State Hospital, Camp LaGuardia, and the project's own aftercare clinic. During the first year of operation, the project admitted 2,387 male patients. Most of the patients were white, ranging in age from 21 to 72. Recidivism is high and is a major cause of staff frustration. However, the majority of the patients are willing to seek further treatment and do attempt to make some changes in their lives. Drug therapy is part of the treatment at the project. Recommendations for duplication of the detoxification program emphasize the benefits and advantages of the voluntary nature of the program and the nonhospital setting. Project statistics and a volunteer's typical day are appended. Footnotes are supplied.