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SMALL BUSINESS SCENE: OCTOBER 2008: BREAKING EVEN IN SIX MONTHS<br />ROB WIDING, BA. | Victoria House Collaborative LLC | @vichouserob<br />I began Operating Erie County, PA's first Privately Owned/Operated Residential Group Home for Persons in: Post-Acute, Medic/Legally Approved - Men in Recovery from Alcohol/Drug Addiction.<br />As an Alcoholic in Recovery, the business model is based on my own many failures, while using personal failures to build a simple model of affordable accommodation.<br />We provide an unique approach to the traditionally under serviced/funded niche with core principles of: Simple House Rules, Short-Term fixed Stay Agreements, fixed-all inclusive rates, emphasis on Personal Responsibility and Accountability, 1 person lockable personal rooms and common areas.<br />Victoria House provides: Safe, Affordable, Clean, Drug/Alcohol Free, easy entrance & accessibility of various medical; mental/physical & Spiritual Services available through existing Governmental and/or Charitable Organizations whom provide what our For-Profit Enterprise is not in the business of providing.<br />Victoria House fills a previously unfilled gap allowing for Individuals to have the opportunity to make decisions away from Old: People, Places and Things which heavily contribute to the extreme >80% rate of recidivism from the best inpatient programs w/in 3months of discharge. Given the City of Erie having the highest rate of Poverty in Pennsylvania with 1/4 living 250% Federal Poverty Baseline, high crime rates, thirty year continuous decline in population and exodus of the onetime regional manufacturing Hub. <br />The rate of Relapse, Probation/Parole Violations and wasted money is staggering. Eire is hugely indebted and its small taxable base; adding this dire economy and level of available resources on a Government Level and leadership paying no attention to anything but maintaining the Same People, in the Same Networks and Maximize their Own Personal Gain alongside no actually qualified people with expertise in the most key areas ensures endless lack of foresight and optimism; if backup to support plain lies; drag a union in or tax exempt company in stimulus grants withdrawals.<br />Foresight to recognize this critical period of basic re-tooling of life skills and accountability of peers to experience critical body chemistry changes/attain proper diagnosis' of underlying treatable mental conditions which dramatically increase the percentage of men reaching 3month and 6-9month basic hormonal/chemical and brain synapses re-adjusting within the symbiotic neuron-transmitters; their Realignment and correct electrical pulses controlling all brain information exchanges. <br />Identifiable and "acceptable" functional capacities for the individual to attain; typically in tangent with assorted: Depression/Anxiety, Slight to Sever Mood Disorders, Attention Deficit, Schizo/Affective and other related Disorders mostly untreated/undiagnosed Clinical Conditions.<br />The addition of active participation in the Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous programs introduced while in Clinical Detoxification/Rehabilitation facilities and/or continuation of participation in these essential programs when released from incarceration and/or under Standard Probe/Parole Terms mandating Signed Meeting Attendance Lists via the assigned Agent Monitoring and/or Drug Courts.<br />The Vision and Purpose of Victoria House is to give the Individual the Opportunity to experience a very rare opportunity to arrest both the lifelong: a) Mental Obsession and b) Bodily Allergy which has the Disease of Addiction a tremendous liability on every aspect of society and crippling effects on the Economy.<br />Finally, with depressed housing conditions and complete inability for Government to maintain the lowest level of Services; most actually increasing the revolving door system due to the nature of their complex bureaucracies and wasteful programs and referral networks, accompanied by long periods in between discharge/parole and a first, initial assessment of the individual typically 2-4 wk.’s and return to dysfunctional living arrangements, near always with drug of Choice being around via alcoholic or drug addicted family members/friends; alternatively into subsidized Housing Authority Buildings in Single Person Efficiencies and in high crime/drug/alcohol areas; the condition is Hopeless.<br />Through the unique model developed, housing can be purchased (often w/out Mortgage or financing needs) easing burdens on municipal safety officers, maintenance crews and mostly aesthetic improvements ensuring the neighborhood has revenue generating via property taxes, employment, population which supports both local businesses as well as very motivated persons via necessity to attain work or enroll in education programs from GED to Technical Studies; often attaining enough stability and local community support to move to the next level of becoming a Contributor/producer (most by then even if unable to find work have impressive resume's through volunteer work with Charitable Organizations unable to make payroll and as a causal effect of the 12 step program when done correctly; has a 100% success rate up until the current moment; of, in conjunction with consistent medical professionals/clergy/sponsors etc. People get better. <br />Soon, a sense of discipline enters people’s lives and a clear purpose emerges. Not wishing to lose this, we develop, though in no way even close to perfect, nor better than anyone else. We simply have to live with rigorous honesty and the "Need" inside to be doing what the next right thing placed in front is daily; something not always worked out and clarity often lacking in: what the right thing is (It takes me a week of starring at two different tiles to make a decision on which ones to get, I have issues), sometimes however we are blessed with people in our paths whose purpose is to reinforce and remind us just where we come from and who we are; other times to eliminate any doubt or self-created illusions that someone like me is like everyone else; providing a great smack in the face of a reminder of how blessed I am to be in whatever my situation is right at this moment.<br />Unfortunately, endless laws, ordinances, changes, ambiguity on every level of the system and fear everyone who is fighting to maintain their positions/jobs in wasteful programs have created the most unbearable climate of distrust, fear, circle walking from bureau to bureau over every conceivable needless waste of petrol, lawsuits between public/private entities, increases in corruption and HUD, DOJ, and Human Relations Investigators coupled with the withdrawal of even faith based Groups whom like municipalities received with no understanding or planning beyond the next election or one tax exempt organization using grants to put other tax exempt as well as and in particular Private Business who have demonstrated the ability to perform better results, while creating jobs and paying taxes, while rejuvenating and if nothing else, using private money to fix community health and safety hazards which is what every vacant house and lot is as both the tax exempt and Governmental Positions/Companies/Networks are in need of dramatic cuts; abolition of industry/bureau or Charity which now have contracts which cannot be paid, are in the middle of lawsuits and investigations for breaches of laws ranging from public corruption to the intentional conspiracy to put Private Business Out of Business through bully, intimidation, breaches of law against protected classes of citizenry and obstruction of justice in non-cooperation with under resourced investigative bodies whom receive no funding from their federal bureau to perform the clearly defined function/s of the Boards, Panels, Commissions etc. Allowing the Local Authorities to sanction via made up fines, illegal local ordinance changes, locking of arms with the tax exempt organizations with the same self-interests, wrapped in cute packaging of all sorts.<br />All that’s inside however; restricting access to all funds where they are supposed to be appropriated, falsification of/omissions of, from public record legal challenges, appeals and suits and use influence over the few other dependents to ostracize and choke off any possibility of there ever being new enterprise, the lifting of people from poverty, continued population decline, stricter and scandalous regulations, fines, fees, taxes, theft and worse to both keep their own jobs and in many cases avoid long prison terms. <br />http://victoriahouserob.wordpress.com/<br />http://slideshare.net/victoriahousellc<br />http://linkedin.com/in/victoriahouse<br />