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1. What should I do to apply for admission?

Call us any time, day or night, at (802) 492-3322 to speak with an admissions coordinator.

2. For whom is Spring Lake Ranch a good fit?

Spring Lake Ranch has successfully treated adults and young adults – over the age of 18 – with all kinds of diagnoses, including thought disorders, mood and behavior issues, substance abuse histories, and personality disorders. We approach every individual with an open mind, but the Ranch is not suitable for those who are medically unstable, acutely psychotic, suicidal, or violent.

3. What is the average length of stay?

While the average length of stay is between five and six months, it is an individualized program. Some people choose to stay much longer, and some leave us after a short visit, and some continue their stay in the Ranch’s step-down program in Rutland.

4. What kinds of therapy does SLR offer?

Therapy comes in many forms. Therapy at Spring Lake Ranch comes largely through work and community involvement, living life alongside kindred spirits and healthy role models. Along with this milieu therapy, we also have a number of groups that meet around common challenges like Dual Diagnosis and relationship issues, and our consulting psychiatrist offers therapeutic insight as well.  We offer many AA/NA meetings and weekly Coping Skills, and Hearing Voices groups. Hauschka artistic therapy is offered to individuals and groups in our newly-renovated art and pottery studio.  More traditional talk therapy with an outside practitioner is an option many residents choose. Almost all participants in the transitional program in Rutland see individual therapists.

5. What help does SLR offer for substance abuse issues?

Just for starters, time at the Ranch is time spent in a sober and safe environment, time to recuperate and strategize for change. Our Dual Diagnosis support groups, both on the Ranch and in Rutland, offer residents a chance to come together to share their challenges and advise each other, with the guidance of our experienced staff. All incoming residents are asked to complete a short educational course about addiction in all its forms. And there are regular 12-step meetings both within our own community, and reaching out into the Rutland area. We also take advantage of our proximity to attend meetings at the Bill Wilson house, the home of the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.  For those seeking supplemental help with addiction issues, there are several Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselors in the Rutland area, as well as a dynamic addiction treatment program at Evergreen Center.

6. How many residents are there at SLR?

There are 33 beds at the Ranch, though we do reserve one or two for guests or respite use. Our Royce Street transitional home has room for six individuals, and our Washington Street townhouse is home to eight individual one-bedroom apartments for eight more residents. Another 45+ residents live in individual apartments around the town of Rutland.

7. What are the costs? What do they include?

The daily fee for Spring Lake Ranch Therapeutic Community’s Ranch program is $350. The daily fee for the Royce Street Program is $215. This fee includes the program fee, room and board, and access to the Ranch’s consulting psychiatrist. It does not include medications, personal expenses, medical visits, or outside therapy.

Residents in the Independent Apartment Living program accrue fees based on services used. These fees can range up to $3630 per month, in addition to medications, and the usual costs of maintaining one’s own apartment: rent, utilities, food, personal expenses, and incidentals.

More specific information about costs can be found in our Financial Information & Service Agreement.

8. Does SLR take health insurance?

Because Spring Lake Ranch is a non-traditional setting and not a hospital, it can be difficult to get health insurance coverage. The Ranch is willing to work with families and/or Residents by providing information in the pursuit of insurance reimbursement. If you are going to seek insurance reimbursement for the Ranch fee, it is very important that pre-authorization be obtained prior to arrival. For a more complete picture of what you can expect from your health insurance coverage, please see our brief guide, Using Your Health Insurance to Pay for Fees at Spring Lake Ranch.  In the event that insurance does not cover the entire daily fee, families are responsible for the difference, and will be billed accordingly.

9. Does SLR Accept Medicaid and Medicare?

Just as with private health insurance, these plans usually cover the cost of medication, medical office visits, and outpatient therapy, but typically do not cover program fees. 

10. Is there any financial aid available?

After a resident has been at Spring Lake Ranch for two months, he or she may apply for assistance from our Sarcka Scholarship Fund. Because the need is great, and the resources few, assistance might not be available, but we make every effort to help. Financial aid is also extended to residents of our Royce Street transitional house. 

11. Where do I go when I leave the Ranch?

To make full use of the Ranch’s services, individuals are advised to proceed to our transitional living program, where they can pursue employment and educational opportunities while still maintaining ties to our close-knit community. Sometimes the transitional services aren’t the best fit for a given resident, in which case Spring Lake Ranch will assist in any way possible the transition to home, school or another facility.

12. Can I enroll directly into the transitional program?

From time to time, it makes more sense for a resident to bypass the therapeutic farm and move directly to the Rutland program.  We consider these requests on an individual basis.  For more information, speak to an admissions coordinator at 802-492-3322.

13. What kind of work do residents do?

There are generally four work crews. Our farm crew takes care of our cows, sheep, chickens, and pigs, and runs the haying operation every summer. Our gardens crew tends to our  vegetable and flower gardens, lends a hand in the kitchen, oversees our year-round farmers' market booth in Rutland, and does most of the holiday preparation. The woods crew busies itself in our 500 acres of forest, felling, limbing, bucking, splitting and hauling the wood we need to heat our buildings and run our substantial maple sugaring operation. On the shop crew, residents build and repair furniture, fix tools, and keep our engines running. Other projects include sewing, cleaning, painting, landscaping, and all kinds of other work required to keep the Ranch running through all seasons.

Residents who transition to our programs in Rutland have access to Vermont VocRehab and VABIR for vocational services, and there are many job opportunities in the area, including paid sheltered employment at the Ranch and with the program in Rutland.

14. Do you work outside year-round?

Vermont winters can be intimidating, but can be tackled with proper outfitting and foresight. Some crews move indoors during the wintry months, offering residents warmer options, but there will be some exposure to the elements, so proper winter gear is necessary for all residents.

15. What can I bring, and what should I leave at home?

Click here for a comprehensive list of what to bring and what not to bring.

16. Can I bring my cell phone?

In the interest of residents using their time at the Ranch to focus on recovery, cell phones, smart phones, and other hand-held electronic devices that connect to the Internet should not be brought to Spring Lake Ranch. 

17. Can my family and friends visit me at SLR?

Visits from family and friends are welcome, but must be discussed in advance with the resident and his or her advising team; surprise visits present a considerable problem. Visitors are welcome to join us for meals and activities.

18. Can I take college classes while in your programs?

While we are not a school, we are able to offer residents opportunities for completing a GED or pursuing their educational goals to some degree. In addition to adult education services, residents might take one or two classes at Vermont Community College, Castleton State College, or College of St. Joseph. Residents work with their teams to determine whether this is a possibility,  the timing, and the course load.

19. Can I bring my computer and will I be able to access the Internet?

The Ranch provides desktop computers with limited Internet access in the living room of the Main House.  Residents may bring their own laptop computer, which can access the wireless Internet connection in the Main House outside of work program and therapeutic program hours.

20. What do residents do when they’re not working?

A well-rounded life includes a lot more than just work. Recreation is an important aspect in all the Spring Lake Ranch Therapeutic Community programs. In Cuttingsville, we rely heavily on the resources available right at our back door, and the Rutland area offers all kinds of exciting resources.

21. Does SLR cater to special diets?

Vegetarian options –often supplied from our own garden – are available at every meal. There is always a salad bar option with a wide selection. People with more restricted diets (vegan, kosher, gluten-free, etc) should consult with the kitchen about strategies for rounding out mealtime choices.

22. Is smoking permitted?

We strongly encourage smoking cessation, and offer support and resources to that end. For those who choose to smoke, smoking is allowed in designated areas. There is no smoking inside any Ranch building or vehicle.