By Joana Arcangel, Program Coordinator, Project Return Peer Support Network/Hacienda of Hope

This article is the first part of a two-part series about the amazing work Hacienda of Hope is doing in California. Check back next week for Part 2.
WRAP plays a big role at Hacienda of Hope—a facility operated by the Project Return Peer Support Network (PRPSN). Hacienda of Hope opened its doors in 2013 as one the first peer-run respite care homes in Los Angeles County, and PRPSN was California’s first staff-facilitated peer-support program for people with mental illness. The WRAP initiative at Hacienda of Hope was developed with training and support from the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery.
We are located in the Century Villages at Cabrillo (CVC) in Long Beach, which is an inclusive community of programs that provide a variety of services to various populations, including veterans, low-income families, and individuals who deal with mental health issues. At CVC, we often work together and use collaborative efforts to provide services to our members.
One of our keys to success is that our team is staffed with people who identify as peers—those who have found recovery from the stigma, isolation, and hopelessness associated with mental illness. We share our lived experience to instill hope and provide guidance and support to those who are facing difficulties that challenge a person’s mental health and wellness.

Hacienda of Hope

Funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Hacienda of Hope was developed to meet individuals’ need for respite in times of crisis and distress when there is no clinical danger. It gives guests the opportunity to develop a wellness and recovery plan along with other practical tools for promoting a positive reinforcement of values, relationships, health, and life skills that would not necessarily be available in a psychiatric setting.
At Hacienda of Hope, we utilize our organizational core values—hope, empowerment, recovery, mutuality, and integrity—to find common ground with our guests and visitors to promote a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment. We promote our peer-run respite care home as a means to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness; provide alternative options to hospitalization, which can decrease homelessness; help people rediscover their strengths, needs, dreams, and aspirations; and encourage independence and personal responsibility in one’s recovery and life. Much of this wellness work is aided by our use of WRAP.
“WRAP is a constructive way that individuals can create their own plan in writing to share with their own circle of trusted supporters, who can then be able to recognize, sometimes before we do, our tendencies to isolate with problems or avoid discussions of issues that can trip us up. To gain hope and trust in this process with the people closest to us is what replaces the power of traumatic experiences from the past. We can take back the power over our troubling mental states and live to empower others on their way to recovery from fear to faith,” says Scott Nyland, who facilitates our Hearing Voices Network group at Hacienda of Hope.
Guests at Hacienda of Hope typically stay for 3 to 5 days. During this time, they receive support with daily living activities, attend peer-run support groups, participate in extracurricular and recreational activities, and are linked with outside services and community support. The groups include WRAP, along with Walking Meditation, Music, Spiritual Enlightenment (discussions on spirituality), Your Voice (based on practices by the Hearing Voices Network), and more. Our support groups are facilitated by staff, interns, and volunteers and are open to both guests and other adults who would like to participate.
In Part 2 of this article, we will meet some of the individuals, both staff and guests, who have been affected powerfully by Hacienda of Hope’s WRAP program.
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