Oxford House, Inc: An OPEN MINDS Organizational Profile

 In Boston Sober Houses

Some are able to keep from drinking in spite of the loneliness with which they were faced. The alcoholic or drug addict alone begins to compare himself to those members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous who still have family and friends. Loneliness and self-pity soon lead such individuals back to alcoholic drinking or drug use. With Oxford House there is no need for a recovering individual to live in an environment dominated by loneliness. More than 580,000 individuals recovering from alcoholism, drug addiction and co-occurring mental illness have found that Oxford House living has contributed to their long-term recovery. The time, peer support and disciplined participatory democracy that underlies Oxford House oxford house traditions helps to give all house members time to re-invent personal behavior from a life of chaos into comfortable and peaceful long-term recovery without relapse. Several studies focused explicitly on general and specific social support within Oxford House. Regarding general support, residents rated “fellowship with similar peers” the most important aspect of living in an Oxford House . In terms of perceived specific support, cross-sectional research suggested that the Oxford House experience may provide residents with abstinent-specific social support networks consisting of other residents in recovery. For instance, among African Americans living in Oxford House, other house residents contributed to abstinent support networks .

  • Participation was entirely voluntary, and payments of $15 were made to participants following each survey.
  • In those situations where a member’s behavior is disruptive to the group as a whole, the member may be required to seek such professional help or more self-help meetings in order to avoid being dismissed from Oxford House.
  • These data were gathered by research staff who primarily administered questionnaires in person to the participants.
  • Monthly New Member orientations help Oxford House service participants understand the principles and traditions of Oxford House.
  • No Oxford House can tolerate the use of alcohol or drugs by one of its members because that threatens the sobriety of all of the members.

One type of community, mutual-support setting is Oxford House, a network of recovery homes providing affordable and safe housing for individuals in recovery for substance abuse (see , for review and contextual information). This self-help organization has grown enormously over that last two decades from 18 Oxford Houses to over 1,400 . The residences are rented, single family homes with a capacity of 6 to 12 individuals and they are gender segregated. Houses are usually located in middle class neighborhoods with access to public transportation and employment opportunities . The average rent paid by an Oxford House resident is generally $100 per week, and the Oxford House represents sustainable, affordable housing for those working full-time with even minimum wage jobs. Over 10,000 oxford house traditions people live in these recovery homes, making them the largest self-help residential recovery program in the US . These houses are self-supporting and democratically run; the houses are chartered and expected to follow guidelines and traditions as suggested by Oxford House, Inc., a 501 non-profit corporation . One of the greatest threats to the sobriety of a recovering alcoholic or drug addict is loneliness. At a time when we acquired a serious desire to stop drinking or using drugs, many of us had lost our families and friends because of our alcoholism and/or drug addiction. Too often, newly recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are faced with the necessity of living alone and of relying solely on contacts with Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous to stay sober.

How to Maintain Sobriety During Christmas

At this time, the idea of the men taking over the house themselves was tossed around. Over the next several days, hope began to replace despair and many obstacles still stood before the men before they could take over the house themselves. Since joining the board in the Summer of 2018, Patrick has married his passion for recovery and keen business acumen together to help serve Friends of Recovery Association and Oxford Houses in the state of Kansas. His favorite thing about serving on the board is the teamwork and creative thinking between other board members and the talented staff. With his focus always being on the future, Patrick could not be more excited about where Friends of Recovery is going and how he can help facilitate it’s success. Jillis attending Washburn University to become a social worker and will graduate in May of 2023 to further her career to help others. A new house applies for the loan through FORA, which works with the chapter to open the new Oxford House. FORA provides mentoring, crisis intervention, conflict mediation, community liaison work and landlord negotiations. Entrata, Inc. (“Entrata”) is dedicated to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilities.

These boards recruited experienced leadership to work with these resident-committees to develop new strategies for growth and program excellence. Oxford House sober houses fit six to fifteen or more residents; some homes are for men, some for women, and some even offer services to women with small children. Oxford houses exist in Massachusetts, among a number of other communities. One can only be dismissed from an Oxford House because of drinking, using drugs, non-payment of rent, or disruptive behavior. Every opportunity should be given to a member who needs professional help to see that he obtains it. The charter of each Oxford House requires that an Oxford House meet certain minimum requirements of Oxford House, Inc. First of all, no Oxford House may permit individuals to remain as members if those individuals are drinking or using drugs. Second, an Oxford House must follow the democratic principles in running the house. Third, an Oxford House must, in essence be a good member of the community by obeying the laws and paying its bills.

Sober New Year’s Eve Ideas

It has been the experience of Oxford House that participation in AA and NA is extremely high in an environment where one individual can see another individual, with the same disease, reaping great benefits from AA and/or NA participation. Unfortunately, relapses do occur, so, the members of the house could not allow a slip or relapse to slide by any member of the house. That slip endangers the sobriety of every other member of a house and can quickly ruin sobriety for everyone. Once a member has been expelled from a house because they had returned to drinking or taking drugs, they cannot return to the house unless there is a clear demonstration that they have returned to solid sobriety. The primary purpose of each Chapter is to assure that each Oxford House operates in a way that is consistent with the Oxford House traditions and system of operations as described in the Oxford House Manual. According to a DePaul study, people who stay in an Oxford House for 15 months have an 80% success rate of still being clean and sober in 5 years. FORA, a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, has been advocating for Oxford Houses, transitional housing for people in recovery from drugs and alcohol, in Kansas since 1991. Harvey R, Jason LA. Contrasting social climates of small peer-run versus a larger staff-run substance abuse recovery setting. Zywiak WH, Longabaugh R, Wirtz PW. Decomposing the relationships between pretreatment social network characteristics and alcohol treatment outcome.

What does the president of an Oxford House do?

The President, when present, will be responsible for calling and presiding over emergency house meetings, particularly in regard to a house member's concerns of possible alcohol or drug use by a resident. The President will be responsible for presiding over the process of interviewing prospective new residents.

Instead, these individuals cycle repetitively through service delivery systems , . Recidivism rates within one year following treatment are high for men and women, and 52–75% of all substance abusers drop out during treatment . The missing element for many patients is supportive, cohesive settings following treatment for substance abuse. Participants also completed at each wave the Important People Inventory , . The IP has been utilized extensively in addiction research since its development for Project Match . This instrument provided information on the participant’s network characteristics. All participants underwent a baseline questionnaire assessment two to three days before discharge from inpatient substance abuse treatment programs. Clients assigned randomly to the Oxford House condition, however, were scheduled to visit one of 20 Illinois Oxford Houses with one of our research staff members.

A major part of the Oxford House philosophy is that dependency is best overcome through an acceptance of responsibility. In Oxford House, each member equally shares the responsibility for the running of the House and upholding the Oxford House tradition. All aspects of Oxford House operations, from the acquisition of the house to the acceptance or dismissal of members, is carried out under democratic procedures. Each member has one vote and majority rule applies except that 80% of the members must agree in accepting new persons for membership. Oxford House should remain forever non-professional, although individual members may be encouraged to utilize outside professionals whenever such utilization is likely to enhance recovery from alcoholism. Some houses accept successful completion of a 28 day rehabilitation program and regular attendance at AA and/or NA as a minimum requirement for re-acceptance into an Oxford House. Transitional housing is temporary housing for the working homeless population and is set up to transition their residents to permanent housing.

Oxford Houses are peer-driven, democratically run, and self-supported group residences for individuals in recovery from a substance use disorder. Currently, the network of Oxford Houses is over 3,300 in the United States. The situation should be avoided whereby certain individuals will begin to equate their persuasive qualities with the Oxford House concept. The Peachtree houses six women and the Bastion House has a maximum capacity of seven people. There are currently two vacancies at the Peachtree House and five at the Bastion House. She has seen the effects of addiction on families and students during her 34 years as an educator with 21 years as a school administrator. She has also seen the positive results of people living in Oxford Houses and is committed to educating the public on the benefits of recovery and the alliance between Friends of Recovery and Oxford House. Erica became the Office Manager at the corporate office located in Overland Park in 2019.

Office Manager

Jill Schmidt entered recovery with an open mind to become the best version of herself. She has become very passionate about sobriety and wants to keep spreading the word on how great her life has become since she joined the recovery community in Topeka Kansas. She has been working in the recovery field for several years now which includes treatment centers, peer support and Outreach worker for Oxford House Inc. in Arizona. FORA helps families stay together by establishing houses for men with children and women with children. FORA has helped thousands of individuals in recovery break away from the destructive pattern of addiction and become productive members of their communities. Richman A, Neumann B. Breaking the ‘detox loop’ for alcoholics with social detoxification. Neaigus A, Friedman SR, Curtis R, Des Jarlais DC, Furst RT, Jose B, Mota P, Stepherson B, Sufian M, Ward T, Wright JW. The relevance of drug injectors’ social and risk networks for understanding and preventing HIV infection. Moos RH. Theory-based active ingredients of effective treatments for substance use disorders.
oxford house traditions
Jamie Whitfield has a passion for helping, the addict who still suffers in silence. Through treatment and having the life changing experiences that was given in an Oxford House, she believes not only do we recover, but we also thrive. Ashley joined the FORA staff as Part- time Outreach Coordinator in Topeka August of 2021 and Sober Home recently became full-time as of October 2021. As an Outreach Coordinator Ashley’s duties include assisting the Topeka Area with expansion, training, presentations and networking with the community. Erica Hasler has a passion for helping, especially those who suffer from substance use disorder find longer term Recovery.

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The opportunity for a house to democratically function requires periodic meetings within the house — at least once a week. Such meetings should be used to resolve any operational or personality problems facing the house. Each Oxford House should be financially self-supporting although financially secure houses may, with approval or encouragement of Oxford House, Inc., provide new or financially needy houses a loan for a term not to exceed one year. AttentionWe cannot guarantee the sober housing costs to be completely accurate.
oxford house traditions
She believes that with Oxford House and a program of recovery it is possible. The World Wide Web Consortium has established Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for website designers and developers to improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and this website strives to be conformant to WCAG 2.1 level AA. Entrata is proud of the efforts that we have completed and that are in-progress to ensure that our website is accessible to everyone. Every Oxford House member attributes his sobriety to Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous. Each Oxford House member, as an individual, considers himself a member of AA and/or NA. Moos RH, Moos BS. Rates and predictors of relapse after natural and treated remission from alcohol use disorders. The Comptroller keeps an account of the amount of money each person owes to the house each week. No member of an Oxford House is asked to leave without cause following the 30-day probationary period—a dismissal vote by the membership because of drinking, drug use, or disruptive behavior. Three or more Oxford Houses within a 100 mile radius comprise an Oxford House Chapter.
Later that year, the halfway house would close due to financial difficulty, and Molloy and the other residents took over the lease. They chose the name Oxford House in recognition of Oxford Group, a religious organization that influenced the founders of AA. An underlying principle of Oxford House is that each individual member has the ability to be responsible for himself. Living within an Oxford House provides both the opportunity and motivation for all residents to regularly attend AA and/or NA meetings. The example of Oxford House members going to AA or NA meetings on their own is contagious.

Many of us soon learned, however, that living alone or living among our old drinking companions made it more difficult to practice the principles necessary for continued sobriety. After days of discussions, an organized plan began to evolve which gave the group the confidence they needed to give it a try. Their experiences in the halfway house, both positive and negative, helped them develop an organization to carry the responsibilities themselves. Ashley Hennessy is a woman in long term recovery who is dedicated to helping men and women struggling with addiction. With the experience she has gained from her personal recovery and struggles makes her very relatable and open-minded. Ashley is alumni from Oxford Houses in Topeka and has been very involved since the day she moved into an Oxford House and continues to do so which led her to achieve the Tony Perkins Service Work Award at the 2021 Oxford House World Convention. Sleek, stylish, lively, convenient —Traditions is your home away from home in Oxford, MS. Our townhomes are conveniently located just steps from Ole Miss.

During that initial visit, the participant filled out a one-page application form for entry into the Oxford House and was interviewed by the House residents. Residents then voted within 24 hours of the interview on whether or not to accept the applicant into the House. If the applicant was voted into the Oxford House, that participant moved into the house at their planned release date from the treatment facility. All Oxford House participants except one person were successfully voted into a house at this initial attempt. The participant not voted into the first Oxford House visited was brought to a second Oxford House and was then accepted as a resident. These improvements could lead to better outcomes such as clients receiving adequate treatment doses to effect meaningful changes and prepare them for a successful transition to independent living in the community. The term Oxford House refers to any house operating under the “Oxford House Model”, a community-based approach to addiction recovery, which provides an independent, supportive, and sober living environment. Today there are nearly 3,000 Oxford Houses in the United States and other countries. By the time many of us had stopped drinking, we had lost jobs; we had lost families, and some of us either had no place to live or no place to live which was not an invitation to start drinking again. Oxford House was founded not only to put a roof over our head, but also to create a home where the disease of alcoholism was understood and the need for the alcoholic to stay away from the first drink was emphasized.

Lenny found F.O.R.A. and knew he could utilize his skill set to help the board ensure all members of the program were given the tools to succeed both professionally and financially during their recovery. Jason LA, Olson BD, Ferrari JR, Majer JM, Alvarez J, Stout J. An examination of main and interactive effects of substance abuse recovery housing on multiple indicators of adjustment. In order to participate in the study, inpatient clients agreed to be randomly assigned to an Oxford House or usual after-care condition. Of those persons approached to be in the study, only four individuals indicated that they were not interested in being involved in the project. A total of 150 adults approached at treatment centers agreed to participate, and these individuals were randomly assigned to either one of the two conditions. Thus, there were 75 adults in the Oxford House and 75 adults in the usual after-care conditions. The first Oxford House was opened in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1975 by Paul Molloy.
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Table I shows the trends of descriptive measures for self-efficacy, unemployment, and the usage behavior of an individual’s most important person list. For these measures of medians and proportions, the dramatic changes occur in the first 6 months of the study; the slopes of change post-6 months are generally flat. This suggests, at least for these measures, an individual’s progress in recovery occurs in the initial 6 months post treatment. These findings suggest that significant changes occur over those first six months with respect to likelihood of employment, change in median abstinence specific self-efficacy, and percentage of sober members in the most important person network. Social support for abstinence may be critical to facilitating abstinence among persons with substance use disorders. Such social support is often acquired and utilized through participation in mutual-help groups , where individuals develop peer networks consisting of abstainers in recovery. Investment in abstinence-specific social support was reported to be one of the best post-treatment prognostic indicators of recovery , .

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