Only a half-hour drive south of Dallas sits this quiet house on top of a hill where a lot is happening. Casa Colina is a 90-Day Faith-based Residential Treatment Center for Men. I visited the facility last week and was quite impressed. They help men recover from the destructive ways that drugs and alcohol have ruined their lives. The families of these men also recover much of what was lost to the disease of addiction. Many of the guests have discovered that other places have not been as helpful as Casa Colina.
So, I walked around and asked them why this place works when other places haven’t. They expressed how it’s possible to live with a group of people but still be isolated and lonely. “This is a real community” was a common response. It reflects the genuine nature of Christian love and care that so many places only give lip service to.
“You have to drill down to the shame and get it out; you can’t cover it over” was another common explanation of why the Casa Colina experience is effective. They elaborated, “dealing with shame requires transparency in front of other people who then see your dark side but still accept you as a worthwhile human being.”
All the comments I heard reminded me of the healing power of Christ. One person reminded me of the truth that “He who knows me best, loves me most.” So, I saw first-hand how loving the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul provided the foundation of healing through reconciliation with our Creator. But more, I saw how openly loving one another made the healing effective at a foundational personal level and introduced a truly new level of living a productive and dignified life.
I sat in on a staffing meeting which gave me a feel for the professional quality of the workers. They were competent; they care deeply; they are healthy personally and spiritually. I’ve seen places where it was “just a job.” None of that here. There was lots of pride of contributing to something good.
The driving force and visionary behind this facility is Chico West. He’s as excited about what’s happening to these men as he is modest about his role in it. He is committed to providing an effective program and receives his gratification from watching men graduate with a new view of life and new tools to help find their positive role.
I saw a couple of men ready to leave after 90 days. They left behind lives of restlessness, irritability and discontent for future of peaceful, wise, goal-oriented contribution.
Several words and phrases resonated with me on the drive home: Safety; Transparency; Dignity; Poise; Confidence; Trust. I’ve long believed “Healing requires relationship,” but it’s always reassuring to see a concept working in real lives.