How to Open a Sober Living Home in California

These structured living environments can help recovering addicts re-enter the community following outpatient or residential treatment. They are environments free of substance abuse where individuals can receive support from peers who are also in recovery. There is no time limit on how long someone can live in a sober living house.

  • The support model at these homes is informal, and residents do not typically get professional services from the sober living home directly.
  • The changes began in the late 1940s and came into fruition in the late 1950s.
  • Some sober houses, including Vanderburgh House, will accept residents who are new to recovery provided they are willing to stay sober.
  • The truth of the matter is that we never really have had any criminal problems.
  • In your business plan for your sober living home, you should also explain how you plan to attract residents, what you will charge, what services you provide, and how to gather operating capital.

Ken Schonlau expressed it through founding the Sober Living Network dedicated to the proposition that every community should offer a safe, sober, affordable and decent place to live while in recovery. Ken’s stubborn insistence on this core mission created a durable organization that continues to thrive following the passing of its founder. Ken’s legacy symbolizes the continuing spirit that prompted the first 12-step house operators to act on their own initiative to provide peer-based, recovery-oriented sober housing. This new system minimized use of inpatient hospitalization, confining 24-hour care to short-term treatment in specialized residential community facilities. However, state planners responsible for implementing Short-Doyle legislation ended up relying primarily on family members for living arrangements. Thus, the new community-based outpatient approach did not work well for many persons with alcohol or drug problems.

Tips for Starting a Sober Living Home

While sober living houses have research touting their efficacy, it is also important to remember that they are still environments where you are living with others and the focus is on staying sober. They first came into existence when a group of active participants in the Alcoholics Anonymous group created a “12-step” residence. This was a home, typically placed in low-income housing, that enforced policies around sobriety and required attendance to AA meetings.

What does it mean to live a sober lifestyle?

For some people, being sober may mean not experiencing any measurable effects of drugs or alcohol. To others, it could mean more than just avoiding using recreational or prescription drugs or drinking alcohol, but achieving good mental health.

If you’re having a hard time adjusting to a sober life, reach out to a mental health professional who specializes in addiction and substance use. Halfway houses tend to be more affordable than sober living homes because they are built like dorms, have less structure and privacy, have fewer amenities, and are usually congested. On the other hand, California sober living houses are typically private residences offering their occupants comfort, privacy, and better services. The origins of Oxford House provide a compelling example of a sober house surviving the loss of public agency support.

How do I Choose the Right Sober Living Home?

Some characteristics of the houses themselves made it difficult for them to fill the housing gap created by the demise of custodial care. Since 12-step houses operated on a purely voluntary basis, most would not accept inebriates brought to the door by police. In addition, applicants to sober housing typically had to find a way to begin their sobriety before approaching the 12-step house. Individuals currently using or withdrawing from substances were usually not accepted.

Some examples of additional services may include transportation to appointments, recovery coaching, meals and gym memberships. But when considering some of the services offered, make sure they’re services that help support your sobriety. Part of living in recovery is “showing up for life,” meaning doing things for yourself that make you a successful, contributing member of society.

Transitional Housing

One challenge of owning a sober home is maintaining a good house manager. The house manager will set the tone for the environment and the success of every resident. Thus, you might consider how you’ll find solid applicants for house managers. In addition, your house manager will set the culture and reputation in the community for your sober living home. One of the primary reasons that many people choose to invest in sober living homes is the desire to help people. Through your involvement with sober living, you’ll find it extremely rewarding as you touch many people’s lives.

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