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How to Choose a Good Halfway House 9 Dec 2016

How to Choose a Good Halfway House

Many people find that, depending on where they live, choosing the right halfway house can be an easy endeavor or a serious undertaking. Where I live, is one of the biggest recovery capitals in the world, so there are literally thousands of different options to choose from. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all options are GOOD options. Here are some of the Do’s and Don’ts when looking into choosing a halfway house.

First of all, it should be all about structure. A good halfway house will encourage you to get back on your feet, rather than providing you with a cheap place to live for a few months until you relapse.

Signs of a Good Halfway House

  • Enforcing the guidelines for the clients to have a job
  • Having a sponsor in the fellowship of their choosing
  • Working a program in that fellowship
  • Being drug tested regularly
  • Having a curfew

A surefire sign of a good halfway will be that you are required to pay your own rent. They will provide you with structure such as finding a job, a sponsor, working your steps, and having a curfew. From my own experience, my very first halfway house required that all clients stayed on early curfew (8 pm) until we had a job for at least a week, had a sponsor, and were attending meetings five days a week. At first, I thought this was too intense, after all, I had just come from living for free at my mom’s house while all the money I made was funneled into my drug addiction, I definitely wasn’t used to having all of these rules. However, after some time passed, and I got used to the structure, I came to really enjoy having it. We had to be out of the house every day from 10 am to 4 pm and the rent was $225 a week. I started to really enjoy paying my own rent (as crazy as that sounds) because I finally felt like I was becoming somewhat responsible. Eventually, when I moved out, I was already used to doing chores, paying the rent, and supplying myself with groceries, I started to feel like, dare I say it, an actual grown up.

Another good sign of a respectable halfway house is the requirement or encouragement to participate in an IOP or intensive outpatient program. This will also add some structure to your life and will ensure that you are being drug tested at least once a week. Moreover, if you attend IOP or OP, you will be able to work one on one with a case manager and a therapist. They will help you get back on track if you have any legal issues, are looking for government assistance, help with finding a job or just with your overall mental state. IOP can also give you a good opportunity to get some time in group therapy, where you can learn more about addiction, how to prevent a relapse, and you will absolutely learn some communication and interpersonal relations skills.


Depending on your specific needs, there are also some other helpful qualifiers when looking for a halfway house. For example, if you are without a car, it can be helpful for you to pick one that may be close to some commercial areas, such as restaurants, grocery stores, shopping malls, etc. If you have children, there are halfways in certain areas that provide assistance to mothers with children.

Signs of a Bad Halfway House

A couple signs of a not so good halfway house are usually that this house will provide no structure. For example:

  • No curfew
  • No necessity to have a job
  • No concern on if you work a program or not
  • Allow guests of the opposite sex into the home.

In the area where I live, we call them “flop houses” which pretty much means that the owners are charging the clients insurance as rent, and dictate that the client must attend the IOP that they run (double the money). I’ve seen houses where clients are allowed to use, so long as their insurance is still paying the rent. There is also an issue with “couples houses” and couples house and flop houses are usually one in the same. A couples house, i.e, where people in relationships can live together, are generally not a good idea for people trying to recover from drugs and alcohol. Usually, people new to recovery have a hard enough time staying sober, without the influence of another person potentially bringing them back.

Freedom From Addiction

If you have found yourself suffering in addiction, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then Holistic Recovery Centers can help. We give you the jump start to recovery as well as teach relapse prevention including learning healthy outlets in sobriety . Our program is unique in that it doesn’t just treat the addiction, it treats the whole person. For more information on our program, call 1-877-723-7117 today.