After a person successfully completes detox and an inpatient rehabilitation program, they may not feel completely ready to return home. Sometimes, a person who is participating in an outpatient rehabilitation program feels that they should not be in their existing home environment and may begin searching for alternative housing options that offer an environment that is supportive of sobriety.
What is a Sober Living House?
Sober living homes offer a great option for many people who need continued help to maintain their sobriety and create a daily routine that does not include substance abuse. These small group homes have proliferated across the United States in recent years, including in Dallas, Texas.
As sober living homes have become more popular, states like Texas have started to examine regulations around these living arrangements. Sober living homes sometimes offer visits from therapists, support group leaders, or medical practitioners, but for the most part, residents of sober living homes seek treatment outside the house.
Instead, house rules require some drug testing, and the presence of alcohol and drugs is prohibited unless they are medications prescribed by a doctor or psychiatrist.
Sober living facilities are, overwhelmingly, not covered by insurance or state funding. Residents have often gone through medical treatment and therapy that is covered by insurance, and they are now seeking employment or education.
Residents make rent payments, just like they would for an apartment, and they cover their own expenses, including groceries, medications, healthcare, phone bills, and more. Since most residents have already undergone the most intensive period of treatment for their addiction, sober living homes do not exist to offer treatment but to help with the transition back into the real world.
Sober Living Benefits & Their Protected Status
For the most part, sober living homes are protected by housing discrimination laws. Most states require that residential, medical recovery services apply for a license with the state’s Department of Healthcare Services.
Since sober living homes normally do not offer medical and therapeutic services onsite, they are not required in Texas to be licensed; however, they can request a license voluntarily. Licensing is an important step in regulating sober living homes to ensure a standard of quality and fair treatment of residents.
This licensure also protects residents and employees from discrimination. Sober living homes are typically located in residential neighborhoods, and in many places, long-time residents complain that the presence of people recovering from addiction makes the neighborhood less safe. This is not true, and residents should be protected from discrimination in the neighborhoods they choose to live in.
The federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on their disability or mental health condition, and this includes those recovering from addiction. However, it does not protect people currently abusing substances. Sober living homes have strict regulations around drug testing and ingesting intoxicating substances, including alcohol and tobacco, which are legal for adult use in the U.S.
Licensure also creates a standard rule set for sober living homes, expectations of hygiene and affordability, and questions for applicant screening. Most sober living homes, including those in Dallas, do not require much from incoming residents. Residents must have gone through at least 30 days of rehabilitation and have a plan to pay for their expenses.
Laws and Regulations for Sober Living Homes in Texas
Dallas, and the state of Texas, protect people living in sober living homes in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act. Requirements for Texas sober living homes and similar facilities are outlined below.
- The facility must comply with federal laws outlined in ADA, including ease of access to the building.
- The facility must issue documentation regarding occupancy as required by the city and county government.
- The facility must be safe, clean, well-lit, and well-maintained.
- The home should have adequate supplies, including furniture, space for all residents, and appliances.
- Private space is provided for onsite counseling sessions.
- There is no smoking, drinking, or drug use on the premises.
- No firearms or illegal activities are allowed on the premises.
- Any religious leaders who require alcohol as part of their services, such as communion, may bring four ounces or less onto the site.
- Animals on the premises, including pets and service animals, must be vaccinated and supervised.
Since Texas does not require sober living homes to register with their city or county government, or through the state Department of Healthcare Services, there are few requirements that these homes must meet.
One way to find the best sober living homes is to seek out online reviews. It can be equally important to go through regulatory organizations, such as the National Alliance of Recovery Residencies, which have lists of member sober living homes that meet the organization’s requirements.
The Texas Recovery-Oriented Housing Network (TROHN) is a member of the National Alliance of Recovery Residencies, and the organization offers help finding sober living and other transitional recovery housing based on acceptable standards. TROHN also offers a way for anyone involved in the recovery process to file grievances and understand their rights. As a member of NARR, TROHN offers standards for Texas sober living homes, including that the facility:
- Is guided by a mission and vision focused on recovery.
- Adheres to legal and ethical codes.
- Is financially honest and forthright.
- Collects data to continue to improve.
- Operates with prudence, within the local and national laws.
- Communicates the resident’s rights and requirements clearly and immediately.
- Promotes peer advocacy and social-based recovery.
- Supports housing choice by the resident.
- Protects residents’ privacy, in accordance with HIPAA laws.
- Is staffed and governed by peers.
- Promotes health, primarily through sobriety.
- Is physically, emotionally, mentally, culturally, and socially safe and competent.
- Inspires purpose in residents and cultivates community.
Registering as a sober living home in the TROHN network requires adherence to these guidelines and more.
To serve students attending college or university who need to live in a sober environment, the concept of sober living homes is becoming more popular in campus living. The Association of Recovery in Higher Education has many sober homes and dorms on college campuses across Texas, including at Baylor University, Texas Tech, University of Houston, Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas at Austin, Dallas, and Rio Grande, and the University of North Texas.
Sober Living Homes in Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas, is a large city with over 1 million residents. It is also home to one of the largest airports in the world: Dallas/Fort Worth. With so many people and hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, Dallas is a great place to be.
It is also a great place for those in recovery, with plenty of options in sober living homes, where residents can work on maintaining sobriety and continuing addiction recovery.
Here are several sober living home options in Dallas.
Angels Recovery House & DVO Ministries
A sober living home for both men and women over the age of 18, this recovery facility offers a safe living environment, peer support, resume and job hunting help, and more, based on Christian values. People seeking a faith-based sober living home can contact them at
Chapter House Recovery
Based on the 12-Step recovery process, this sober living home is men-only, and it has been combined with an intensive outpatient program. This helps them to seamlessly offer therapeutic and social support to residents.
This recovery residence for professional men located just north of downtown Dallas offers upscale amenities, private rooms, and a professional staff to support those living in recovery.
Hickory Wind Ranch Recovery Community
The main business is based in Austin, but Hickory Wind Ranch offers a sober living home in Dallas. The group believes that becoming and staying sober requires care from a family, including chosen family, and they aim to offer that style of support and community.
Patton Sober Living
Both men and women are welcome in the sober living homes provided by Patton Sober Living. The group uses a 12-Step recovery approach to help people maintain their sobriety and focus on the future.
One of American Addiction Centers sober living facilities, Resolutions Arlington is near Dallas and can support all of your sober living needs. There are Separate men’s and women’s apartment-style quarters and support when you need it most.
This is a women-only facility offering compassionate and comprehensive recovery support. In addition to a focus on 12 Steps, Windhaven provides life skills training, a family program, employment and education help, and individual case management.