One of the most accurate and succinct descriptions of experiencing halfway house living is “Spartan.” In ancient times, men and women were often forced into the wild to have an opportunity to build character, survival and combat skills and an appreciation for society.
Most people who underwent ancient trials died from their inability to cope with weather conditions and brutal, primitive conditions. Those who survived re-entered society with a brand new set of skills, a new outlook about their place in society.
The modern halfway house reflects the ancient ideals of rehabilitation, transformation and character-building. Some people who have lived in a recovery house say it’s like a prison without iron bars. Others say it is a sketchy environment that leads to relapses in poor judgment. Others still, will testify that their time spent there was an outright blessing that helped them see a manageable path to a clean future.
These facilities are refuges for all types of men and women with legal troubles arising out of the abuse of many substances. By far, these shelters are used by recovering alcoholics who have undergone medical rehabilitation and are continuing a supervised program like Alcoholics Anonymous. In many cases, time spent in these residential centers is the result of a bargain with the local judicial system for the avoidance of extended incarceration periods.
Recovery residences can be smaller homes approved by the state to house recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, or they can be more like a large institutional dormitory. For these reasons, a wide range of personality types and backgrounds can end up living together. This can be extremely stressful for the residents. Fortunately, strict programs, work and activity itineraries, and supervision moderates the resident’s unique needs.
1. Financial Requirements for Halfway House Living
Residents of halfway house are required to pay a “room and board” fee. This fee is usually established by the state and promotes the training of self-reliance and the desire to secure regular employment. Residents usually have equal access to appliances, meal prep facilities, personal quarters and storage room.
2. Personal Obligations While Living in a Halfway House
Residents of these facilities must respect the privacy of other residents. In most cases they must also keep accurate and detailed journals about how their time is spent. This includes sleeping hours, house work contributions, employment schedules, and weekly meetings with court-ordered supervisors. Cleanliness and security are a top priority. In some halfway houses, coed non-fraternization is also strictly maintained.
3. Zero Tolerance Policy in Recovery Homes
Recovery houses are overseen by a litany of state and legal authorities. For this reason, there is usually a zero tolerance policy regarding all house rules. Recovery houses are meant to bridge the gap between hardcore intensive rehabilitation and a new semi-independent existence. Breaking the rules of the house can result in re-admittance to an institution, or probationary discipline. It is understood, that once an individual agrees to living at a recovery house, they are capable and willing to obey all policies. Some house are more strict than others. Some are surrounded by environments that make relapse more enticing. Regardless of location and living arrangements, zero tolerance is under the auspices of the house landlord, superintendent or assigned officer.
Alcoholics living with a long period of recovery and adaptation can find living in a recovery home to be difficult and nearly overwhelming. From recovery sickness symptoms to psychological problems, transitional alcoholics can choose to make living at a recovery home excruciatingly unbearable, or a prime opportunity to rediscover life without substance abuse. There are innumerable examples of recovering alcoholics who made the most out of transitional housing, and have used societal resources to the extent for a complete reintroduction into society.
Do you need support on your road to recovery? Learn more about sober living in Chicago at Stairway to Freedom.