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Mens Residential Programme

What we do


Odyssey House Mens Residential is a 6 month residential therapeutic community. The primary goal is to foster personal growth. This is accomplished by changing an individual’s lifestyle through a community of concerned people working together to help themselves and each other. Residents receive extensive assessment, group therapy as well as education and recreational opportunities. Through participation in a variety of activities, residents learn skills which assist them with day to day living.

What is a Therapeutic Community (TC)

The Therapeutic Community (TC) is composed of diverse individuals who choose to belong.· Its primary goal is to foster change.· The vehicle is a social learning process imposed mutually by a community of individuals committed to recovery.· The "community", composed of all its members (staff and residents) serves as peer, therapist, teacher and role model in the complex change process called recovery.· It is a highly structured and therefore, supportive environment with definite moral boundaries encompassing a code of behavior and communal belief. 
This community both rewards and sanctions behaviours as appropriate. When fully developed there is an intensive treatment regime emphasising group therapy, skills development and self-esteem that improves with useful functioning within the community.

The Therapeutic Community makes use of encounter groups, therapy groups, one to one counselling, work projects, education groups, role modelling by senior residents and staff.

Social learning occurs through intensive daily experiences and all activities are considered part of therapy which is directed towards encouraging the individual to engage in "right" living patterns (practice).


You will go on a Residential Support Subsidy (RSS) benefit while you are at OH. This covers the costs of the program i.e board / power / meals / laundry costs / basic medical needs


It does not include clothing / dentist / food outside of main meals. You will also receive a amount from Work and Income into your personal account. This amount will vary depending on personal circumstances i.e child support / fines etc.

Family and Whanau

Contact with family/whanau, and support people, is seen as a valuable part of the programme.

Any contact with family/ whanau or support person either via letter, phone call or face to face requires pre-approval by a staff member. This pre-approval will involve staff contacting the family or support person to discuss guidelines regarding visiting / contact.

The number of visitors at one time is limited to a maximum of 4 adults. Children under 16 do not need individual approval and are not included in the 4 adult maximum.

Visiting Times 
Visits for residents are on a Saturday afternoon from 2:00pm – 4:00pm.
Family day is once a month (usually first Saturday of each month) and visits are 10.30 – 4pm, so you can have lunch with your loved ones
Special Visits
If a visitor is unable to attend during the above session, it may be possible to arrange an alternative one off visit, via residents writing a proposal which staff will need to approve.
Christmas at Odyssey House
Christmas Day is celebrated with residents and staff onsite. Boxing day is a whanau day where family and close friends (up to 4 adults each plus children) are invited to celebrate Christmas with us onsite.
If Christmas and/or Boxing day, fall on a weekend day, passes for level 3s and 4s will be available on either of the following two days, as per normal public holiday rules.
Community Dinner
Community Dinners happen 2-3 times per year and are an opportunity for current residents to eat together with their families and staff; alongside a ceremony recognizing their achievements within the programme. Anyone due to graduate the program will graduate at community dinner.


Dinner with Dads
Weekly on a Wednesday from 5.30 – 6.30pm, children of any age can come and have dinner with their dad / step dad

Dinner with a Loved one
Every second Wednesday, if you do not have your child come for dinner, then please feel free to invite a loved one for dinner (must be an approved contact)

Timetable and Activities

Odyssey House is quite structured. Each day follows a timetable which sets out the activities of the day.  Below are various activities that are encompassed into a weekly schedule. All residents are expected to participate in the programme’s activities.

Wash-up dishes, vacuuming, tidy surroundings etc.· An emphasis is placed on making the environment clean and tidy and this is a structured part of every day.


Residents will be in at least one therapy session on most days. Sometimes the group will have an educational theme or be open for discussion on treatment issues.· Attendance at groups is compulsory·


Personal time is for showers and other personal needs such as doing your washing etc. We also have a comprehensive gym that may be used at this time.

These groups are designed to learn about Odyssey House and how the programme operates.



These happen every day and the purpose is to bring everyone together to organise any functional activities and other discussions relevant to the programme day.· Morning meeting also is where the group interacts and has fun to help get the day off to a good start.


Activities/recreation occurs throughout the programme.


Work with keyworker on treatment plans



17 years and over



 - We support becoming smokefree

Meets criteria for DSMIV or DSM5 for substance dependence / substance use disorder

Not requiring a medical detox

 - This will need to be arranged prior to admission 

Odyssey House supports those already established on OST

Odyssey House can support a number of legal conditions including EM Bail and Home detention


People are screened for entry on the basis of determining whether they present any threat to the safety of others in the Therapeutic Community, and also whether Odyssey is the appropriate treatment agency for the specific problems facing the individual.

Referral Process



An AOD comprehensive assessment, no older than 6 months is to be completed by authorised MOH agency. This is attached, along with the referral (IAM) form / Consent form, and sent to Please also attach any mental health assessments, or previous AOD assessment, and any other information which would be helpful for us to make an informed decision


Odyssey admissions staff consider the application, more information may be requested. A bed date will be given or referral declined



After bed date has been given, then closer to admission date, an Odyssey staff member will contact the resident to prepare them for their admission.



All referrals must come via an Alcohol & Other Drugs assessment completed by an agency approved by the Ministry of Health prior to entry into the Odyssey House Christchurch Programme. 
In Canterbury the referral agencies are: 
Christchurch Central Service (CCS)
Salvation Army 
City Mission 
Youth Speciality Services 
Pacific Island Trust

He Waka Tapu

If you are unsure of the authorised agency in your area, you can contact Christchurch Central Service

Ph. 03 338 4437

Tollfree: 0800 384 437

Orientation Book

See the Orientation Book for further information on:

 - Admissions

 - Bill of Rights


We use the following methods to keep our community safe. Weekly urine screens, breathalyser tests, saliva screens and room searches.

Anyone returning a positive urinalysis result, positive breathalyser result, or is found with contraband is questioned about the result. If there is no appropriate reason for the positive result (eg prescribed medication), the resident may be discharged from treatment.· This process helps to keep the programme safe and drug-free.

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