From Survival to Flourishing: Maslow’s Hierarchy

If you’ve ever taken a psychology course, you may recognize this pyramid. It’s a visual representation of a theory proposed in 1943 by psychologist Abraham Maslow. The theory suggests that each need must be met and built on, starting from the bottom and the most basic needs, to achieve one’s full potential in life.

At least 75% of men coming to TRY are penniless and homeless, unable to meet their own most basic needs. As a result, these men go into survival mode, trying to find food, clothing and a permanent place to sleep. With no money, no job and no one to direct them toward a positive change, they must make a lifetime decision in a matter of moments. Facing more jail time or shelter-hopping as the only “permanent solutions” to their immediate problem, they often select the path that leads them back into their old, negative relationships, illegal activity and addictions.

TRY offers an alternative solution, a way to permanently alter their life’s course through participating in a holistic program. TRY provides a home, clothing, and food. The men live and work in community, following the rules of a structured environment. With their basic needs met, the men are able to focus on developing healthy relationships and gaining self-esteem. Through spiritual and recovery support, job and life skills training, and personal and relational growth the participants advance through the program’s stages, culminating in finding a job and stable housing. The program is completed when the man is capable of meeting and maintaining his own needs.

At TRY, we believe Maslow’s Hierarchy is more than a theory – and TRY is more than just another program. TRY works to keep men from returning to prison, and we have the proof: 102 men have completed our program and while one man has returned to prison, 101 have returned to their communities and stayed out of prison.

TRY works.

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