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5 Things You Should Know Before Opening a Sober Living Home

by Olufisayo
Sober Living Home

Opening and operating a sober living home is a business endeavor that is both personally and financially rewarding. However, like any other business venture, it also comes with its fair share of challenges.

As a successful owner and operator of several sober living homes in Houston, Austin, and Colorado Springs, I know the importance of balancing the wisdom of successful entrepreneurs in the industry and forging a path of your own to create something that is uniquely yours.

If your goal is to open a sober living home, I want to provide you with a valuable resource to help you get started, based on some important lessons I’ve learned along the way. With that in mind, here are five things you should know before you open a sober living home.

1. A sober living home is much more than just a house.

Starting a sober living home isn’t as simple as purchasing a real estate property and renting it out to people in recovery. The purpose of a sober living home isn’t just to provide a roof over your residents’ heads. Instead, high-quality sober living homes provide a purposefully-designed supportive, safe, and structured living environment where residents can thrive and develop resilience as they adjust to a sober life.

To effectively establish a residence that provides these essential functions, you will need to conduct a need analysis and create a business plan that outlines your overhead costs, budget, resident criteria, policy handbook, and staffing needs. Your planning process should also include researching zoning laws in the area where the home is located and establishing a filing and bookkeeping system for tax purposes.

2. Licensing and regulations vary by state.

Before you open a sober living home, you must familiarize yourself with your state’s licensing and regulations regarding sober living homes. For example, in Texas, sober living homes are not required to be licensed but operators can voluntarily request a license.

According to Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 464, any facility providing substance abuse treatment services must be licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services Department, with the exception of faith-based chemical dependency treatment programs offering non-medical recovery services.

Since most sober living homes don’t provide medical or therapeutic care on-site, licensure is not usually required. However, the Texas Administrative Code still requires Texas sober living homes to adhere to certain standards and requirements.

3. Quality is key.

Sober living homes that are certified through national or state organizations are often able to establish a good rapport with clients and the community because they are backed by trusted professionals in the addiction treatment industry. To future residents, this distinction is an outward sign that your sober living home provides high-quality care.

New sober living homes can develop a reputation for quality and professionalism by achieving certification from organizations like The Joint Commission or one of the National Alliance for Recovery Residences’ (NARR) affiliates, such as the Texas Recovery-Oriented Housing Network (TROHN) and adhering to their quality standards.

4. Residents want greater access to recovery support, treatment, and peer involvement.

As mentioned earlier, a sober living home is so much more than just a house for people in recovery. And sober residents will expect much more too. Early recovery can be a challenging time for many people, so residents typically want easily accessible recovery support and addiction treatment if relapse were to occur. For example, sober living clients should have easy access to comprehensive addiction treatment including Austin detox, drug rehab, IOP (online and in-person), and clinical therapy.

Sober living homes can also provide residents with recovery support services such as regular drug testing, educational planning, employment assistance, volunteer placement, and more to facilitate a smoother transition into independent sobriety. Providing residents with additional information about local public transit systems, nearby AA and NA groups, and offering incentives for progress can make living at a sober living home more fun and successful for all.

5. A business partnership will greatly improve your chances of success.

If you’re attempting to open a sober living home for the first time on your own, your chances of success greatly increase if you partner with a well-established company. This is especially true with the volatile state of the real estate market right now due to COVID-19.

Opening a sober living home is an honorable endeavor but it can be challenging, much like any other business venture. By partnering with a well-established sober living company, you can avoid fatal business errors by using tried and tested methods that have already yielded results. You also reap the benefits of already having a quality website, marketing tools, and sales materials.

At Eudaimonia Recovery Homes, we created a Sober Living Manager App that gives interested parties like you the ability to operate and manage their own Eudaimonia sober living home from the comfort of their home or elsewhere. It has dozens of helpful features, including those that allow you to see a real-time census, view payment balances and deposit payments, view door codes, manage curfew and rewards, keep track of current and upcoming client discharges, and so much more.

In short, successfully opening and running a high-quality sober living home isn’t easy but with the right support, tools, and partners, you can be up and running like a well-oiled machine in no time.

Author byline:
Mat Gorman
Eudaimonia Recovery Homes
Founder and CEO

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