FAQ

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. Those who are currently dependent on drugs or alcohol are required to complete an inpatient rehab prior to admission. 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 recommended length of stay is six to twelve months, it is an individualized program. Some people choose to stay much longer and many continue in our step-down program in Rutland, VT.

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 managing emotions, and our consulting psychiatrist offers therapeutic insight as well. We offer many AA/NA meetings and weekly Coping Skills, and Hearing Voices groups. When a new resident joins the Ranch, they are assigned a team. Each team is led by a Master's Level Clinician, who meets with each resident at least once a week.  They, along with the other team members, also join the resident for their psychiatry appointments. Speciality therapy (DBT etc) with a local clinician is an option some residents choose. Almost all participants in the transitional program in Rutland see individual therapists. For those who are interested, we are fortunate to be able to offer equine therapy on the weekend for an additional fee.

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. We offer 7 AA/NA meetings each week, clinician led Dual-Diagnosis support groups, and a sober coach is available to work one-on-one with residents throughout their stay. 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 has individual one-bedroom apartments for seven more residents. Another 40+ residents live in privately rented apartments around the city of Rutland.

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

The daily fee for Spring Lake Ranch Therapeutic Community's Ranch program is $385. The daily fee for the Royce Street Program is  $290. 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 pay $100/day for the first 60 days. Further reductions take place over time. The fee does not include medications, or 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?

Spring Lake Ranch is a private pay facility. Insurance can be utilized for medications, medical costs and often for therapy but as we are not an approved provider, they do not cover our daily fee.  We do have scholarship funds available to families that qualify.

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?

The Sarcka Scholarship Fund, named in honor of our founders, exists to support individuals and families who might not otherwise be able to afford the Spring Lake program. It is made possible by donor support and proceeds from the sale of Ranch-made products, primarily maple syrup. It is our hope that the funds can provide an opportunity for a person to have a successful stay at the Ranch and not stop short of their goals due to a lack of funds. However, the funds are limited, and we have a responsibility to manage these funds diligently. Therefore, we must consider each request carefully.

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 Rutland Program is not the best fit for a given resident, in which case Spring Lake Ranch will make treatment recommendations for the individual's next step.

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?

No experience is required to do the Work Program--we teach you everything you need to know. 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, works in the People Kicthen to make pesto and ganola for framers market as well as snacks for the Ranch.  Gardens crew also oversees our year-round farmers' market booth in Rutland, and does most of the holiday preparations. The woods crew busies itself in our 700 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, construct various out buildings, 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. The Ranch also has opportunities for internships on the Work Program, paid sheltered employment, and paid work on the Rutland Program maintenance crew.

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. You can bring a lap top and the internet is avaible at certain times of the day.

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

After admission, we ask that families not visit for the first month to allow the resident to settle into the community. All visits must be discussed in advance with the resident's advising team-- surprise visits present a considerable problem. We respectfully request that residents have no more than one visit per month. 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.  We do not allow e-cigarettes.