How to Start a Halfway House

How to Start a Halfway House

 

What is a Halfway House?

Halfway Houses are transitional living places for those in recovery from drugs or alcohol. They are also called sober houses. Some people go to halfway houses from a treatment center, prison, or a homeless situation, while others go there to be in a sober and clean environment to begin the recovery process. Some residents are in halfway houses due to court orders.

Aspects of a Halfway House

Many halfway houses are run by people who themselves were at one time a halfway house resident. The houses accommodate either men or women. Most halfway houses require residents to pass breathalyzer and drug screening tests. Some houses have curfews.

Make sure the house is located so that your residents can easily get to AA and NA meetings. In recovery, we are self-supporting. Be certain that you are clear on what is expected from you and what you expect from your residents. Assign cleaning chores, including making their beds and keeping their rooms tidy.

Choose a house near public transportation for those of your residents who do not have their own transportation.

Why You Should Start a Halfway House

You should only open a halfway house if you are passionate about the cause. And, if you are passionate, it can be done with little or no money. There are various grants and loans available to get a house started. Learn from experience and check with someone who already has a house to see how to open one.

How to Start a Halfway House

Step 1: Acquire the licenses and permits needed to operate a halfway house in the community you select.

Step 2: Purchase or lease a property. Your financial circumstances may dictate this choice, but county, city, township and other lawmaking agencies frequently require property ownership before they are willing to sanction a halfway house in a residential neighborhood. Once you find one or more likely properties, have your top choices inspected by a certified building inspector to avoid “buyer’s remorse.”

Step 3: Renovate the property. Unless the home you buy was operated as a halfway house in the past, you’ll likely have to modify it to accommodate zoning laws that sanction the number of people you can house there, or any personal limits you’ve placed on resident capacity. Purchase insurance to cover the house and its contents, and add liability coverage to protect your personal assets from lawsuits. A regular homeowner’s policy isn’t adequate for a group home.

Step 4: Hire staff and create policies, rules and regulations. Having staff in place before the first resident arrives is a huge advantage, because experienced halfway house employees can help you write an operations manual and set rules, regulations and policies that will guide both clients and staff. Make sure you run background checks on everyone, from counselors to housekeeping employees.

Step 5: Set up the accounting aspects of your halfway house so it operates smoothly well into the future. Accurate records are important if you want your sponsors to continue making financial contributions, and it goes without saying that finding additional sponsors will be an ongoing activity.

Step 6: Implement programming. Residents released from rehab programs require an inordinate amount of structure in their lives so they can learn to become responsible members of both the halfway house and the outside world. Establish tight schedules that include mandated housekeeping chores, group counseling sessions, one-on-one therapy time, recreational activities, job searching and life skill building time. Plan social events, meetings and include alone time.

Remember: It is unlawful to discriminate in housing. The Supreme Court has ruled that recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are a protected class under the handicapped provisions of the Federal Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988. If you seek a house in a good neighborhood, you’ll find it.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.sba.gov

http://halfwayhouse.com

http://smallbusiness.chron.com

http://soberhouse.net

 

 

 

 

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

Half way house

Half way house

Half way houses essentially are transitional living spaces for anyone who is in recovery from drugs and alcohol. You may also know half way houses as sober living or sober living houses, this is because in some states it is legally required that those terms be used. The people who go to half way houses usually go after they have been in drug treatment, prison, or have been homeless. Other people go to half way houses merely because they want to be in a sober environment to begin their recovery. There also some people who are court ordered to half way houses.

Half way houses can be private homes, apartments, or facilities specially built to provide support services to residents. Half way houses are not usually run down or scary. Depending on the location and type of half way house, they are fairly nice. Half way houses are usually decorated, come with all the furniture, amenities, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms that can hold one or two residents, pools, backyards and more. The half way house is not only a place for people to get sober but also a place for having fun sober and socializing.

For instance, in a half way house there are rules dealing with curfew, how many meetings a resident has to attend, whether or not a resident has to have a sponsor and during what times they can be in the house. Most half way houses are trying to help you get sober and also get your life back on track. So some half way houses have rules that say you must be out looking for a job, volunteering or working-if you aren’t doing those things than you can’t stay there. When it comes to curfew at a half way house it usually starts out fairly early and after a resident has been there for a while and successfully followed the rules, gets later. There are also chores that must be done daily and punishments for not doing them. The whole point of a half way house is to teach accountability, responsibility and sobriety. The strictness of the rules at a half way house varies from house to house.

More often than not half way houses require their future residents to pass a breathalyzer and a drug test. This is because if you were to have substances in your body, you may need the help of a medical facility for detox. The withdrawal symptoms from drugs can be very painful and sometimes fatal so it is best if future residents can’t pass a drug test or breathalyzer to go to a medical detox.     

Half way houses are quite frequently run by people who are also in recovery and were in a half way house at one point in their life. Half way houses usually are separated by gender. This means that most half way houses are either for only women or only men. The person who runs the half way house determines this. The person who runs the halfway house also determines some of the half way house rules.

A half way house merely is a residential place for those who need a safe place to transition back into the world again and to do it sober.

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

Sober Housing and Sober Fun

Sober Housing and Sober Fun

By Jenny Hunt

One of the great things about living in sober housing is that you get to meet other people in recovery. You are able to develop relationships with other men and women who have been through similar experiences. You have the opportunity to create a recovery support system. Most of all, you get to make new friends and have sober fun.

For most of us, the idea of “sober fun”- having fun without the use of drugs or alcohol -is a foreign concept to us in early sobriety. Many of us spent a lot of time using substances in social atmospheres in order to feel more outgoing and fun. Because of this, we associate fun and enjoyment with drugs and alcohol, and can’t understand how one could exist without the other.

It’s actually funny that we associate drugs and alcohol with fun, because, for many of us, using and drinking was not fun at all towards the end. Many of us were isolated, depressed, and bored. A lot of people come into treatment and cannot remember the last time they laughed or even smiled.

Nevertheless, we are still apprehensive about sober fun. Even if we recognize that sobriety is necessary for us, we can’t possibly imagine that it would be a good time. I’ve heard many share that when they first walked into a 12-step meeting and saw people laughing and smiling, they were convinced that these people were lying about being sober. How could a sober person be that happy? How could anyone have fun at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting?

The fear that life will be boring and awkward once we get sober is a pretty common one. If there is one thing I’ve learned on my journey, though, it’s that no one would stay sober if it really was boring and awkward. No one gets sober to be miserable, and no one would stay sober if they were miserable. The hard part is learning to be social without the aid of drugs or alcohol.

One of the reasons that living in sober housing is so beneficial is that it is a great place for us to begin to learn to have fun in early sobriety. Meeting new people, making friends, and participating in AA or NA fellowship activities can introduce us to the world of sober fun. Because everyone who lives in sober housing is in recovery and is usually required to be active in a 12-step program, your roommates in sober housing can be the best place to start making new friends and getting involved in sober fun activities. Dances, campouts, picnics and potlucks are just a few of the activities which may be organized by the fellowship or your sober housing community.

It may be a struggle at first but every day gets better, and before you know it you are starting to enjoy sobriety and being around sober people. You will come to realize that you actually have a lot more fun when you are sober than you ever did when you were using or drinking.

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