Embracing behavioural-based entry
Earlier this year, Siloam Mission celebrated a major shift in policy with the adoption of a
“behavioural-based entry” approach – a new strategy to ensure a safe and respectful
environment for everyone at Siloam’s facilities.
This transformative change began taking shape with the launch of the organization’s new
strategic plan last year, where Siloam’s leadership pledged to implement best practice
approaches, including that of behavioural-based entry. This began a gradual shift away from
requiring guests to be sober, and toward a new set of expectations for everyone at Siloam –
guests, staff, volunteers, and visitors.
Those core expectations are:
· We are Safe
· We are Respectful
· We are Focused on Needs
Substance use often stems from traumatic events in a person’s life, and can lead to addiction or
amplify pre-existing trauma. By welcoming individuals who are using substances, Siloam
Mission aims to alleviate stigma and shame, easing people’s journey towards healing.
The reality is that sobriety should not dictate access to shelter or services at a place like Siloam.
It is equally possible for a sober person to be aggressive, while a person using substances can
be compassionate, supportive, and empathetic. A behavior-based entry approach guarantees
that services are accessible to everyone, driven by well-defined expectations.
It has now been more than a year since Siloam Mission began gradually implementing this
change, and staff have reported significant positive results within the community. From
improved safety, more community members accessing detox programs and beginning recovery,
to greater inclusion and dignity for clients, this change is directly contributing toward the Mission
of Siloam: to share Christ’s compassionate love to all who are in need of support, healing and