The New Model of Jobs, Friends & Sober Living in England
Follow-up on Jobs, Friends, & Houses: History, Rationale, & Business Model
Jobs, Friends & Houses (JFH) is a company that is revolutionizing the addiction treatment scene in Blackpool, England. This initiative provides training and jobs for people in recovery while also creating community resources in the form of attractive housing to aid their recovery. Building homes symbolizes a shift in the recovery landscape’s ‘riskiness,’ lowering stigma and allowing the entire community to believe in and support recovery.
Compared to an earlier publication that detailed a case study of a specific incident in which a JFH worker intervened in a violent attack, and how that experience shaped and strengthened the participants of JFH, this study by renowned researcher David Best provides a more comprehensive overview of how Jobs, Friends & Houses (JFH) operates.
WHAT PROBLEM DOES THE STUDY TRY TO SOLVE?
Negative recovery capital is a major impediment to alcohol or drug addiction recovery. Negative recovery capital is a stumbling block to obtaining and maintaining long-term recovery. In the United Kingdom, stigma and hurdles to recovery housing and paid employment have made it difficult for people in early recovery to transition to a stable state.
This research looks at a social enterprise business model that aims to eliminate negative recovery capital, among other things. Jobs, Friends & Houses (JFH) involves recovering patients in a construction program that is connected to recovery housing that also provides jobs.
WHAT METHODS WERE USED TO CONDUCT THIS STUDY?
The recovery housing authors used a qualitative pilot study to investigate and provide a preliminary analysis of Jobs, Friends & Houses (JFH), its influence on early participants, and the therapeutic landscape of recovery in Blackpool, England. Structured interviews were conducted with 11 program participants, including two office staff members. Two key stakeholder interviews (JFH’s founders) were semi-structured, in-depth interviews that focused on the organization’s history, growth, and experience. The interviews took place over several sessions. In addition, a resource mapping exercise for the community was undertaken.
WHAT RESULTS DID THIS STUDY OBTAIN?
Jobs, Friends & Houses was investigated for its history, reasoning, and business approach (JFH). JFH is a for-profit social enterprise. A social enterprise company uses commercial tactics to increase support for individuals and the environment while also making a profit for outside shareholders. People in recovery from addiction can get training and work at JFH.
The program aims to create safe and appealing housing options for residents in a community known for low-cost, low-quality private rentals. JFH thinks that doing so will increase the social contagion of healing and foster community members who are productive.
JFH is engaging a workforce of trained professionals who are in recovery (e.g., joiners, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, bricklayers, chefs, and project managers) and are mentoring and training program trainees.
JFH’s early success was enhanced in part by a network of established local connections to official treatment providers, groups providing recreation and leisure activities, and mutual help networks.
WHY IS THIS RESEARCH SO IMPORTANT?
Stable recovery is built on the development of supportive social networks, a safe place to live, meaningful activities, and a sense of purpose and hope, in addition to conquering acute dependency.
Many of the recovery needs that go beyond abstinence may be met by a social enterprise approach. To facilitate mental, lifestyle, and community reforms, it is critical to develop recovery-supportive services outside of the therapy room.
- It is too early to give meaningful data on the viability of the social business or the long-term influence on participants’ recovery trajectories because this is an exploratory qualitative study.
Scientists are frequently trained to assess the effects of interventions on people, not communities. As a result, recognized frameworks for assessing the individual and environmental impact of social entrepreneurship models are lacking. Future studies should establish acceptable metrics of community impact to evaluate the performance of social entrepreneurship models at the community level.
- Families and individuals pursuing recovery: A social enterprise model is designed for people who want to maintain their recovery rather than start it. Its high visibility in the community and good perception may entice people to make the behavioral changes required for recovery. Its prospective design includes comprehensive tactics to address persons in recovery’s ongoing needs and desires. Because the social enterprise model is new, its efficacy has yet to be determined.
- For Scientists: Because this is a qualitative study, the findings cannot be generalized. Nonetheless, the participant’s depiction of Jobs, Friends, and Houses (JFH) demonstrates the importance of conducting efficacy studies to ascertain the program’s impact on long-term recovery and positive community contagion.
- For treatment professionals and systems: A social enterprise model does not directly involve the provision of treatment services; rather, it entails forming relationships with providers of treatment. Your contribution to a social enterprise model is seen as a valuable community asset. You might be interested in learning more about community organizations like Jobs, Friends & Houses (JFH), which can assist your patients in expanding their recovery networks and increasing their recovery capital. For policymakers: A social enterprise business model has the potential to help both individuals and communities. It is not a charitable organization and may generate substantial benefits for the community (e.g., safe and attractive housing options). As such, consider sponsoring research to determine the efficacy of a social enterprise model. Additionally, consider donating to groups such as Jobs, Friends, and Houses (JFH) that assist individuals while also improving the community.
Best, D., Beswick, T., Hodgkins, S., & Idle, M. (2016). Recovery, ambitions, and aspirations: An exploratory project to build a recovery community by generating a skilled recovery workforce. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 34(1), 3-14.
Our sober house directory is a great tool to help you find homes, but it’s up to you to find the right fit. While certification and a good outward appearance are a start, do more digging before you commit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! While many homes offer fantastic sober living, we’re partial to Vanderburgh House, but that’s because they helped build this directory. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to open a sober house, we would encourage you to reach out to Vanderburgh Communities, the first organization offering sober living charters in the United States. Keep your head up and take it one day at a time!