Life at Milestones
Independent Living Skills
Students have two hours of scheduled time per week with their therapist, but will receive additional support as needed for conflict and crisis resolution, as well as adventure-based intervention. This time can be spent processing and practicing deep self-exploration, either in the office or out in the community, practicing skills, tools, and growing edges. There is an abundance of creativity and flexibility in deciding how to best use therapy time.
Students are responsible for keeping their bedrooms and common living space clean, ensuring not only a clean environment, but also teaching independent living skills. Life Skills teachings are geared to teach students practical life skills and are scheduled every other Sunday afternoon. Life Skills are led by both Milestones staff and members of the community. Skills include, but are not limited to: how to change a tire and jump start a car battery, first aid, and CPR certifications through the American Red Cross, resume building and job interview skills, basic household budgeting, and time management.
Milestones students work together to create and implement their own process and system of dividing chores and responsibilities related to the communal living areas of the house. Staff are available if support is needed; however, students are encouraged to navigate this process as a team. Cleanliness is an expectation at Milestones, and students are asked to make sure their bedrooms and communal living spaces are clean before school and maintained throughout the day. Sundays are appointed deep clean day, a time for students to spend extra time cleaning and organizing the house.
Students take on other household responsibilities such as shoveling snow, raking leaves, taking the garbage out, watering the indoor plants, and helping plan, shop for and cook meals for the house. These tasks help students prepare for independent living in their future as they learn the basic skills of supporting a healthy physical household.
Students are encouraged to seek out employment opportunities while living at Milestones if it will supply value in their growth and therapeutic journey. Students are supported by staff in navigating the employment process as they seek more independence and responsibility in the community. Located just a ten-minute walk away, downtown Kalispell is home to many restaurants, coffee shops, small businesses and grocery stores where students have the opportunity to find work. This process is overseen by the house therapist and residential manager to determine clinical appropriateness and readiness.
After the first Milestone, students work with staff to plan meals for everyone in the house to enjoy. The students of the house have an abundance of cookbooks to use as they wish as they discover new and tasty recipes. Staff provide hands-on aid in how to follow recipes and instructions. The students are encouraged to meal plan and food shop for their meal with staff. Immense value is found in students and staff shopping together, a true teaching moment as students learn how to read a food label, compare prices, shop for sales and manage quantity.
Students help facilitate community service opportunities, working together with staff to research and plan volunteer projects and other ways to engage in the community. Students often choose to spend time at the local animal shelter, food bank, women’s shelter, Special Olympics, and local political campaigns for candidates of their choosing. We believe that service is an essential element of human wellness and is required of all students during their stay at the transition house.
Milestones supplies many activities and hobbies for our students to take part in as a group or individually during free time in the house. The house has an abundance of arts and crafts supplies, dozens of books, plenty of yoga mats and yoga accessories, two televisions located in the shared areas and plenty of board games. Across the street is a community park where students are often seen kicking around a soccer ball or just lying in the grass surrounded by beautiful mountain views.