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. 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.
Benefits of Sober Living Homes and 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 US.
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 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 these standards for Texas sober living homes:
- The home is guided by a mission and vision focused on recovery.
- The facility adheres to legal and ethical codes.
- The business is financially honest and forthright.
- The facility collects data to continue to improve.
- The business operates with prudence, within the local and national laws.
- The home communicates the resident’s rights and requirements clearly and immediately.
- The facility promotes peer advocacy and social-based recovery.
- The home supports housing choice by the resident.
- The home protects residents’ privacy, in accordance with HIPAA laws.
- The home is staffed and governed by peers.
- The facility promotes health, primarily through sobriety.
- The facility is physically, emotionally, mentally, culturally, and socially safe and competent.
- The home 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.
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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 214-498-8510.
- 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. Call them at 1-888-448-9696, or visit their website.
- The Esperanza Apartments: The goal of this sober living home is to provide social structure, peer support, and an upscale, relaxing environment to aid in recovery. There are several floorplans with different levels of resort-style amenities. They can be contacted at 877-959-8797, or by email through their website.
- Gaston House: This is an all-male sober living home with a focus on Alcoholics Anonymous-style recovery. This home requires prior primary treatment for addiction and a minimum 25 hours per week of meetings. Call their offices at 214-902-9881.
- Gratitude House: Another men-only sober living facility, this upscale group home offers residence in the beautiful, tranquil countryside, with easy access to the city for other services. They can be called at 214-451-7130 or contacted through their website.
- 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. Their phone number is 512-765-5711.
- 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. They can be contacted at 877-553-1248.
- Recovery Inn: This is a sober living home focused on women over the age of 18 who have maintained a minimum of seven days sober. The group offers 12-Step immersion, spiritual support, employment programs, life skills development, and more. Call them at 214-341-6000 for more information.
- Real Deal Recovery: This sober living home for men provides safety, a focus on productivity, and positivity to help residents remain sober. With a dual focus on physical health and spiritual wellbeing, this group helps men to become functioning members of society again. Contact them at 469-657-5560.
- Recovery Road: This is another all-male sober living group, with two homes side by side to house 15 residents total. The company does not cram everyone into dormitory-style housing and instead ensures that everyone has enough open space to socialize or get some quiet time. The home offers a recovery coach, fellowship activities, weekly meetings with a chemical dependency counselor, groceries included with rent, and even a gym membership. They can be contacted through their website or at 469-900-9320.
- Rolling Hills Recovery: Based on the 12-Step program, this sober living home offers a safe environment for people continuing to recover from addiction. Their focus is on overcoming from addiction through Christian values. Their phone number is 214-298-8350.
- Skylight Sober Living: This all-male community focuses on the power of change with the help of God and Christian faith. There are two homes: one for young adults and one for working professional men. Heated floors, a jacuzzi, and a rec room with a pool table are just a few of the amenities offered by this facility. Contact them at 214-361-2587.
- Windhaven House: 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. They can be contacted at 877-373-9898.
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