How Do You Find The Right Sober Living Home?

Transitional living or Sober Living Homes are very important after Inpatient Rehab when those with substance abuse disorders are very vulnerable to relapse.  In order to ensure sobriety,  the staff  at a SLH holds its residents accountable for their sobriety goals; it’s a balance between structure and independence.

Of course, many Inpatient Rehabs give recommendations before you leave their programs,  (or you ask for your own referrals) but remember to always visit the Sober Living Home before you sign on the dotted line.

Consider these points while Evaluating A Sober Living Home:

  • Examples of some common recovery services that are available at a reputable home:
  • volunteer placement for opportunities.
  • educational planning for pursuing a degree.
  • mandatory drug and alcohol testing.
  • employment assistance: resume writing, submitting applications, practicing interviews.
  • access to peer recovery groups or non-12 step support groups.
  • requirement that you check in with your sober coach, program coordinator or another mentor figure.

Other considerations:

  • Is there a house manager to oversee the house staff?
  • Are new residents screened?
  • Is it in a safe location, away from crime and drug dealers?
  • Does the house provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, local resources?
  • Who would be your housemates?  Men, women, LGBTQ, or those with special needs?

What is the Cost of A SLH Home?

In Los Angeles County, researchers found that normal fees for 5 Sober Living Homes ranged from $300 to $1,350 /month with an average of $650/month.

Questions to ask re: price:

  • Is a security deposit required?
  • What forms of payment are accepted?
  • Are utilities included?
  • Do you have scholarships?
  • Is the home free for a few weeks until I can secure an income?

What Is The Difference Between a Sober Living Home and A Half-Way House?

A half-way house is a residence where people can live after they’ve been in a treatment center or in prison and are ready to began their transition to independent living.  Some of the residents are court-ordered or homeless.

These houses cost less, but are more crowded with fewer amenities.  They are run by government agencies and have less structure and privacy.

Sober living homes are more like residences.  They most likely have a smaller low resident to staff ratio.  At reputable sober living homes, the residents are screened.

Red Flags for Sober Living Homes:

Keep in mind that Sober Living Homes are not funded nor licensed by the government.  They do not offer formal or clinical substance abuse treatments.  They are not typically monitored by state licensing agencies.  Nevertheless, you should expect the following:

  • A clean appearance
  • A safe building
  • More than basic housing
  • No insects or rodent infestation
  • Appliances that work
  • Walls and windows in good condition
  • Adequate lighting
  • Bathrooms in good working order
  • No sleeping arrangements outside the house
  • Regular inspections
  • Has residents’ records and admission requirements
  • Strict household rules
  • Has mandatory drug testing

Sources for this article:

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting. Currently, she is targeting her writing about recovery to parents whose children have substance abuse disorders.

Leave a Comment