Choosing the Right Sober Living Home

Choosing the Right Sober Living Home

A good sober home offering accountability, structure, and support can be the key to long-term sobriety. While there are countless sober living homes located across the country, finding the right home to support your recovery journey can feel overwhelming. 

The staff at Vanderburgh House are committed to helping our guests find the best placement to fit their recovery needs, personal preferences, and budget. However, we know that a Vanderburgh Home might not be exactly what you are looking for, so we created this guide to help you in your search for the right sober living home. 

1. Consider the Neighborhood

The first thing to think about when choosing a sober home is the location. You want to live somewhere that will set you up for success. Consider these questions when asking if a sober home location will be the right fit for you: 

  • Is the sober living home located in a safe neighborhood beneficial to your recovery? 
  • Is the sober living home close to your work or school? 
  • Can you easily get to a grocery store, doctor’s office, or other necessary appointments by walking or public transportation?
  • Can you access any public transportation nearby? 
  • Are there recovery meetings nearby? 
  • Are there nearby recreational activities for you to participate in?

2. Research the Home 

With the countless number of sober homes across the country, you want to make sure you choose a home that is properly regulated and recovery-focused. You can tell if a sober home is high-quality based on some of the following criteria: 

Certification and/or Licensing: A great way to tell if a sober home is committed to high-quality care is if they are certified or licensed. Look for sober homes that are backed by well-known organizations like the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) and its affiliates, such as the Massachusetts Alliance for Sober Housing (MASH).

Strict Zero-Tolerance Policy: Sober homes that have a strict zero-tolerance policy towards drugs and alcohol ensures that the environment will remain sober for all guests. 

Clearly Stated House Rules: Check to see that the sober home has clearly stated rules, such as a guest handbook, to show that the staff is committed to the well-being of the residents. This will also ensure that you will be living in an environment that will hold you accountable for your behavior. 

3. Learn About the Guest Rules 

Make sure you learn about the rules and regulations of the home. You want to make sure that the house rules align with your needs and offer the accountability you will want to succeed. Does the home have routine drug testing? Is there a curfew? Are there meeting requirements? Make sure to understand how the house functions and that you agree with the rules before making your decision. 

4. Tour the Home 

Once you are down to a few options, it is always a good idea to see the home before moving in. Reach out to the staff or House Mentor to schedule a day to visit to see the home for yourself. Make sure to ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I feel comfortable here? 
  • Would I want to live here for an extended period of time?
  • Do the current guests seem happy and comfortable? 
  • Is the atmosphere positive or negative? 

You may also want to consider bringing someone you trust to get a second opinion. If you are unable to visit the home yourself, look online for photos and reviews to get a better idea of what the living situation is like. 

5. Know the House Mentors and/or Staff 

Before you apply to sober living, you’ll want to know who is present in the house for mentorship. Is there someone physically living in the home for peer guidance and day-to-day assistance? Are they in recovery themselves? How do they keep guests accountable for their sobriety? If there are no House Mentors or staff living in the residence, you should ask the management how guests are held accountable and what kind of support is available. 

6. Understand the Financial Requirements 

Most sober living homes charge a monthly or weekly fee to cover room and board. You will most likely need to pay for your own food, hygiene products, and transportation costs. It is best to talk to the staff or intake team at a sober living home to answer questions you may have about sober living costs.

7. Red Flags

Some red flags to be aware of when looking for a sober home include the following:

  • Rundown or Unsafe Facility: Sober living homes should be well-maintained environments. It is always best to tour homes in person before moving in because you cannot always trust information found online. Check to make sure the house is kept clean on the inside and on the outside and that all kitchen and bathroom facilities function properly. 
  • No Admission Requirements: All sober living homes should have admission requirements to ensure that guests moving in understand house expectations and are motivated to live a life in recovery. 
  • No Regular Drug Testing: Drug testing allows a level of accountability for the house and ensures that all guests remain drug and alcohol-free while living in the home. 
  • Lack of House Rules: Sober living homes need house rules to function properly and keep a level of safety and respect within the home. Rules may include house chores, quiet hours, and curfews. 

8. Other Considerations 

Another thing to keep in mind when looking for the right sober home is to see how flexible they are with the length of stay. Some homes require a minimum length of stay, others have no requirements. It is impossible to know just how long you will need to stay in a sober living environment before moving on to an independent life in recovery. Look for homes that allow you to stay as long as you need until you are confident to be on your own. 

🏠 Find a Sober Living Home Today 

Choosing a Sober Living Home doesn’t have to be difficult. Vanderburgh House works to ensure our guests are placed in a sober home that will best suit their needs. Check out all of our homes on our website to learn more about the homes in your area.