Residents in Betel enter and exit voluntarily and we recommend that they stay for a minimum of 12 to 18 months.
Residents soon discover that life at Betel is not a goal-oriented programme, but rather a commitment to daily choices – to aspire to the values and pursuits of a new and healthier lifestyle, as modelled by mature Christians.
Many men and women express how quickly they feel accepted and as part of a large family, which is not surprising, since the structure and environment at Betel is like that of a family that often compensates for broken family ties.
Community leaders and their immediate family members live on-site and are part of the family atmosphere.
In Betel’s “advance at your own pace” environment, residents observe and learn character-building principles.
They live them out at home and in Betel’s social enterprises, building solid foundations for a stable future – off the streets, with the desire and skills to work, and living free of dependency on drugs and alcohol.
When a new resident enters Betel, they are assigned a “Responsible”, a more experienced Betel member to help them learn the daily routine and help solve problems.
The first couple of weeks, new residents stay at home while going through withdrawal, adapting to their new environment and learning how Betel works. After this, they are assigned to work with a team in one of Betel’s social enterprises. Betel’s charitable businesses vary according to each country, depending on what is most successful for each culture.
Residents help to fund their own recovery by actively participating in our social enterprises. This significantly reduces the burden on their families and the government while restoring self-dignity and a sense of purpose.
As residents’ motivation and stability improve, with time and experience, they are gradually given more responsibility for supervising household duties, monitoring daily work teams, managing Betel’s businesses and house leadership. Their example helps to encourage less-experienced residents. The result is a community that is peer-motivated and guided.
In addition to learning transferrable work skills, basic life skills, and being responsible for their own care, they also learn to care for others. They share in the preparation of the community meals, in the cleaning of the house and in the laundry, all while caring for the newer residents when they enter Betel.
Over the years, many residents decide to stay long term in Betel to help others as they have been helped and realise their potential as leaders in Betel.