What is a House Manager?

Often, when you are a resident at a sober house, there will be one person who is designated “house manager” of the property. Sometimes the house manager lives on property, other times they live in a separate residence but spend much of their time at the sober house. In some of the bigger sober houses, there may be more than one person who is managing the property.

Basically, the house manager at a sober house is responsible for enforcing the property rules and managing the other employees at the sober house. Each sober house has its own rules, but there are some general rules that are enforced at most sober houses. For example, drugs, alcohol, and weapons are prohibited at a sober house, as is any drug paraphernalia. A sober house usually has a curfew, and bed checks are performed (by the house manager or other employees) nightly to make sure that everyone is home by the designated time. House managers are also responsible for giving drug tests regularly and taking the appropriate action if someone relapses.

Enforcing the rules is not the only job of a house manager of a sober house. They are also there to provide support and advice to the newly sober residents of the sober house. They often give advice on the program, getting jobs, and connecting them with other people in the program that have more sober time. A house manager is usually intimately involved in the lives of the residents at the sober house, though the degree of involvement varies from one house to another.

At the sober house I lived in, our house manager gave rides to meetings and job interviews, helped the girls write resumes, and taught the girls who needed it how to clean, do laundry, and make a bed properly. She was always available by phone if we needed advice, and when girls would relapse, she would come over in the middle of the night to drive them to detox (which was the house policy).

Some sober houses were more lax than mine, with house managers that were not really involved in the resident’s daily life. In those houses, residents would go to the house manager to request overnight passes or if they were going to be late for curfew, but other than that, there was very little contact. On the flip side to that, there were also sober house managers that were far more involved in mine. In some sober houses, the house manager keep track of what each girl (or guy) is doing daily, who they are hanging with, if they are calling other sober people on a daily basis, etc. This type of sober house is very beneficial for those who struggle in early sobriety, because it provides a stricter environment that is more similar to a treatment center. Girls that are very young and have not lived on their own before or girls that have behavioral problems in treatment are often referred to this type of sober house. Your therapist in treatment will suggest the right halfway house, and house manager, for you.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

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