Within the daily operations of her marketing and referral company, entrepreneur Jean Krisle became disheartened by the staggering number of people in need of addiction treatment who had no means to pay for it. Those individuals—as many as 70 percent of the people who called her service—were often at rock bottom.
Surely there had to be a solution.
Just a few weeks ago, Krisle launched what she considers to be one unique solution: 10,000 Beds, a not-for-profit organization that gathers donated scholarships from treatment centers and matches them to individuals in need. Her goal is to award treatment scholarships plus one-way airfare and incidentals to 10,000 people by 2018.
Krisle and colleagues thus far have verbal commitments from centers nationwide for several hundred donated beds, with contracts coming in on a regular basis. Each center has pledged one bed, once per year, but some are willing to give more.
“We’re particular,” Krisle says. “We’re not just going online and asking centers to donate a bed. The board and the advisory committee and I are working with our existing relationships.”
In many cases, the team has visited or is already familiar with the donating treatment center. Nearly all are accredited by the Joint Commission or CARF, and several are state-licensed, not-for-profit providers willing to donate to 10,000 Beds.
The organization has already placed several clients in its initial weeks of operation. Krisle says 10,000 Beds is a spare-time, all-volunteer project that has instantly grown to take on a life of its own because of the enthusiastic response from treatment centers.
Krisle has 40 years of experience in the not-for-profit world and says 10,000 Beds is a no-risk, tax-deductible philanthropic opportunity for treatment centers that want to put every available bed to good use. Each donating center will need to consult their own accounting resources to realize the tax deduction, but she says the opportunity is worthwhile.
“It’s a really generous gift from a treatment center, and some have gone up to 90 days of treatment,” she says. “I can hardly contain myself I’m so excited about it.”
The hard work for her clinical team is in reviewing the high volume of applications 10,000 Beds receives.
Process for patients
Potential awardees must fill out an online application sharing their stories of how they became addicted, their substance of choice and what they plan to do with their lives in the future. Krisle says it’s important to vet applicants to help determine their motivation and engagement.
“We can tell if this is someone who just wants free treatment or if it’s someone who has hit rock bottom and burned all their bridges,” she says.
After the application review, the potential client is contacted by phone for an initial conversation with a 10,000 Beds clinician. The next step is to connect the client to an appropriate treatment center that would conduct its own assessment by phone before committing to the placement. If all goes well, 10,000 Beds can have the patient en route to the center the next day in many cases.
Krisle’s team intends to maintain close partnerships with participating treatment centers to ensure 10,000 Beds isn’t viewed as “a dumping ground for patients who can’t pay.” The next 90 days represent a critical launch period for the organization, in which outreach will include more connections with treatment center donors nationwide and fundraising efforts for airfare and incidental expenses.
“Whatever it takes, it’s going to be worth it,” she says.
For now, Krisle is looking for bed donations, particularly for female sex addiction, which she says has been hard to place.