Press Release March 9, 2017 10:35 PM
Battling an addiction can be a lonely and isolated journey with a large part of society holding a negative stigma toward addiction. Many people believe that treatment is the answer, and while it is a start, re-integrating into society causes many addicts to resort back to old habits, and they are unable to maintain their sobriety.
CJO House is a private residence that underwent many upgrades before becoming a sober living facility.
“We believe in the programming that we provide,” said Shawna O’Brien, Founder and CEO of Sober 4 Life Inc. “We believe in having a clean, safe environment for these guys.”
Eighteen men from the area will come here after treatment to re-adjust to normal life.
“It is our goal to connect the men with good, healthy people and relationships which could provide them with a potentially safe exit strategy. Regarding housing after this, we want them to have some money saved, and learned to manage their finances in a responsible way. Achieving these goals will allow them to go and live even more autonomously and independently than in this home, but still have a healthy support network around them,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien’s knows the struggle with addiction all too well. At a young age, she was the main support system for her older brother’s battle with heroin.
“The life he lives today is remarkably different than the life that he had been living. I couldn’t imagine his life continuing without his sobriety. It was after he lived in a similar sober house that I decided to dedicate my efforts to helping others with addiction.”
“The most valuable thing I have to share with anyone is my experience,” she said. “Whether it’s my positive experiences or my negative experiences, hopefully, somebody can learn from.”
O’Brien knows she faces some challenges with the men.
“I would imagine we’ll have a lot of different people from various walks of life. We will try to be accommodating to all of the men while at the same time making sure all the residents are holding up their end of the bargain, and communicating with them if they lack in any area,” she said.
She also knows the experience will be nothing short of rewarding.
“The relationships I have developed when trying to help people are the most fulfilling thing I’ve discovered in my life so far,” O’Brien said.
Those interested in living in the facility can apply on the Sober 4 Life Inc. website. O’Brien said every application would get a response, even if the person does not qualify.
There are requirements to living in the sober house including 30 days of sobriety before moving in or a direct release from a rehab facility, a minimum of five recovery meetings each week, meeting with a recovery mentor on a weekly basis, and employment, enrollment in school, or 10 hours of volunteering per month. There is a not minimum stay nor is there a maximum limit to the time the men are allowed to stay.
Now that the sober home for men is complete, O’Brien said she might explore the option of a second home. She said people recovering from addiction are an under-served population in the area, and she plans to offer more services and support in the near future.