Personal development is a never-ending activity in every aspect of my life. It's better that I change actively, than sit and wait for others
Having recently hit rock bottom in my life, I was given the opportunity to stay in a crisis residential housing program called Coastal Star. Prior to hitting rock bottom, I never would've even known that facilities such as this one exist. Now experiencing these facilities firsthand, I'd like to spread awareness to potential clients, providers, and the community as a whole.
Though this place does well at selling itself to the public and those who fund it, it can be perceived drastically different when done so firsthand.
What Is Coastal Star?
Though it can feel much like a prison sometimes, Coastal Star boasts itself as a top deliverer in the crisis recovery and adult crisis residential program fields.
Coastal Star is located at 401 South Tustin Street, Building D, Orange, California 92866.
The area in which Coastal Star is located is lower scale and almost industrial, though there are residential buildings just across a runoff river from the facility itself. John Wayne airport is located so closely nearby that you can watch jetliners flying in at low altitudes over the mountains at all hours of the day.
What Are Coastal Star's Values?
According to the placards on the wall of their lobby, Coastal Star's values are as follows:
- Equip people with skills and appreciate their strengths
- Enhance the lives of individuals and families
- Promote racial and cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Act with integrity
- Partner with people for positive change
- Provide a safe space to talk about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and heterosexual issues and concerns
If you would like to know whether or not Coastal Star upholds their expressed values, read through to the end of this article. I will be addressing that from the perspective of being a client later on.
What Are Coastal Star’s Goals?
The goals of Coastal Star vary from client to client and the range of goals that can be set during a person's stay too convoluted to list. However, a staff member who agreed to comment if given anonymity had this to say about what Coastal Star's goals are:
"Here at Coastal Star we want nothing less than each and every client to receive the help that they deserve. If you are struggling, we want you to be able to look back at your stay and say, 'Thanks for helping me get on the path to recovery,' at the very least."
Being a current client as I write this article, I'd agree that this is in fact their stated goal, and most staff members fight tooth and nail for the clients who are willing to fight for their own recovery.
What Is the Facility Like at Coastal Star?
The facility at Coastal Star has a number of different rooms and offerings on-hand. Throughout the day, as a client you'll be spending time in places such as:
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- One of the two available sun rooms
- The group room
- The kitchen/dining room
- The overlook on the second story
Each level of the facility has two client restrooms and two laundry rooms. Unfortunately, there is only consistent hot water in one of the restrooms and clients often opt not to shower. Other than the showers, though, you'll always have somewhere to chill and hang out.
What Staff Are On-Hand at Coastal Star?
There are staff members on hand at Coastal Star 24/7. These staff that are always available in some way are as follows:
- Recovery Counselors
- Program manager
- Clinical manager
- House Coaches
There is always a nurse on hand at Coastal Star, no exceptions, and the same thing goes for recovery counselors. Therapists are available during standards operating hours, and they'll often make extra time for clients who wish to put extra work into their recovery.
Recovery counselors are the most common and abundant staff on hand, and if utilized properly they can be your best resource during your recovery.
Are There Outdoor Activities at Coastal Star?
Though the outdoor activities at Coastal Star are very limited, you have a myriad of options to choose from. These choices include, but are not limited to:
- Fruit picking
A client favorite here, and especially helpful for some during their crisis recovery, would be picking from the apple and lemon trees available in the garden. The clients regularly pick the lemons and apples and produce drinks and food from what they pick.
There is no lack of outdoor activities at Coastal Star assuming a client is willing to self-start, and sometimes get a little creative with their routine planning.
Coastal Star Highly Values Exercise and Recreation
Though it can seem like an afterthought to those clients who lack the will to self-start, Coastal Star does its best to provide an environment conducive to physical fitness and recreation. If it isn't the yoga classes offered twice per week by an official yoga instructor, its the workout equipment made available for use to all clients.
The fitness tools made available to clients are as follows:
- Yoga mats
- Stationary bike
- Varied outdoor and indoor sports equipment
For those who prefer to work their mind rather than their bodies, there's an even greater selection of equipment, such as:
- Drum set
- Decorative materials
- Educational entertainment
Needless to say, at Coastal Star you will never find yourself wanting so long as you truly set your mind to conquering your boredom and obtaining contentment.
Does Coastal Star Have Regularly Scheduled Groups and Treatment?
The treatment program for crisis recovery at Coastal Star is centered around mental health, but it must be said that the presented schedule is much different than the actual schedule clients adhere to.
As pictured above, you can see that every hour of the day has been planned to some degree, and you'd never need to worry about thinking for yourself under such a system. This system regularly falls by the wayside due to staff being unable to facilitate the groups.
Understaffing at Coastal Star costs many individuals a beneficial recovery situation, and the scheduling conflicts are where this facet of the recovery program fails everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coastal Star
Q: Are the staff at Coastal Star kind to the clients?
A: Though staff are required to provide an environment conducive to crisis recovery, the staff at Coastal Star are human like anyone else. Sometimes they can be rude to clients, and most of the time they are quite professional.
Q: Are the facilities at Coastal Star clean?
A: The facilities at Coastal Star are shared, so they are only as clean as the clients make them. During my stay, the facilities were mid-grade by my standards—not egregious, but not boast-worthy.
Q: Does Coastal Star take walk-ins?
A: Coastal Star requires you to be referred by a service such as a crisis unit. They do not take walk-ins under any circumstance.
Q: Would you recommend Coastal Star to others?
A: I would recommend Coastal Star to anyone who needs a safe place to transition into housing and long-term treatment plans. However, this is a short-term care facility only and should be seen as such.
Q: How long is the program at Coastal Star?
A: The typical program at Coastal Star lasts two weeks, but it is case by case up to 30 days or more. There have been individuals granted more than thirty days in special cases, and some who are removed prior to completion.
Q: Is Coastal Star a Co-Ed facility?
A: Yes, Coastal Star is a Co-Ed facility.
Q: Does coastal star allow visitors and conjugal visits?
A: Coastal Star allows visitors, but physical intimacy is strictly disallowed and discouraged during your time in the program.
Q: Do clients tend to feel better after completing the program at Coastal Star?
A: According to staff who answered under the condition of anonymity, most clients feel that their goals for their recovery were met during their stay at Coastal Star.
Q: Do clients get to keep their personal belongings such as phones at Coastal Star?
A: Yes, assuming your personal items do not pose a threat to you, others, or the facility, you get to keep all of your personal belongings on you during your recovery program at Coastal Star.
Q: Does Coastal Star do psychodynamic therapy?
A: Coastal Star's therapy program does not do psychodynamic therapy. Their main focus is on cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy theories and techniques.
Q: Does Coastal Star uphold its core values?
A: If it were not for the core values being nailed into the wall of the lobby, I don't think I would even know what the core values of Coastal Star are. They want me to get out of here and on my feet again, and most of the staff are doing their best in that regard.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Kyler J Falk