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Giving Back with Elliot Bags

Royal Life Centers understands the importance of giving back to the various communities we are a part of, which is why we strongly encourage guest and staff participation in our community-centered activities. At all Royal Life Centers locations, both guests who want to volunteer and guests who need community service hours hand out bags, each containing food, water, hygiene products, a blanket, and a poncho, to the homeless in the neighborhood.

Our Elliot Bags are distributed in the names of former guests who have passed away; the idea comes from the mother of one such guest, Elliot B. We also offer full treatment scholarships to two homeless individuals to each of our RLC locations. Once one of these individuals has completed our program, we invite another homeless person who wants substance abuse help to receive treatment at our facility.

We believe that giving back to the community reinforces our company values and mission and brings our guests and staff together by uniting them around a common goal. Because We Care, we are committed to providing the best in substance abuse treatment and helping to build solid, lasting foundations for addiction recovery— and building these foundations starts at the local level.

By helping to foster a community in which people look out for one another, we can spread positivity and help counter the stigma of substance abuse. Too often, those dealing with substance abuse are blamed as solely responsible for their addiction. In reality, substance use and alcohol use disorders are chronic, relapsing brain conditions that have many contributing biological/genetic and environmental factors.

One study cited in the Drug Policy Alliance‘s “Stigma and People Who Use Drugs” fact sheet found that people with substance use disorders are less likely to be offered help than are those with mental illnesses or physical disabilities. Further, people with substance abuse issues are often associated with criminal activities and behaviors. This fact underscores the issue of how someone may be hesitant to seek treatment because of perceptions surrounding drug and alcohol addiction.

Substance abuse is a special problem among the homeless population, as many homeless people have a substance use disorder and little or no access to treatment. A study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that over 45 percent of people living in homeless shelters or on the street on a single night reported chronic substance abuse. Data collected by the 100,000 Homes Campaign over a six-year period found that over 40 percent of homeless people living on the street say that they have been treated for addiction.

Very few recent studies on the relationship between substance abuse and the homeless have been conducted, leaving a gap between the many people who need help and the treatment that they could have access to, which is why we are so passionate about the work we do in our communities to help the homeless— from handing out Elliot Bags to offering full scholarships. Our goal at Royal Life Centers is to offer quality addiction treatment to anyone who needs it.

Want to take a stand against substance abuse stigma?

  • Recognize people as people, and not as their addiction or DOC (drug of choice)
  • Don’t assign labels to people
  • Understand that substance use disorder is a complex brain disease, not a choice on its own
  • Offer support and listen without judgment


At Royal Life Centers, our goal is to provide the best in addiction treatment. If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder, please reach out to our admissions team today at (877)-RECOVERY. We are available 24/7 to speak with you about our various programs and answer your questions.

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