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Massachusetts Begins Certifying Recovery Residences

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at November 20, 2015

After years of complaints and lawsuits alleging that some of the homes are unsafe and anything but sober, the state of Massachusetts is taking steps to more closely monitor sober homes.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has started a voluntary certification process for sober homes.

Kelly House owner Rich Winant asked the 29 men there to share their experiences from the past week. “Positives for the week,” he said, “either recovery-related, family-related or job-related.”

One of the men told the group he was finally able to buy his own car and the room erupted in applause. The camaraderie was evident.

“What we provide is a safe, supportive, positive environment where the goal is to make connections, to become part of the community in the house, and you learn from each other,” Winant said. “It’s a disease of isolation, so you’re in a house together with other people, hopefully on the same path.”

That said, part of this problem tends to be only what neighbors see – the “evicted” sober home resident, walking down the street with luggage (or black garbage bag) in hand, who is either the next statistic of crime, or is homeless and becomes society’s obligation to care for.

In response, the local (Delray Beach) sober home community, led in part by Jim Hartman of The Harman House, are finding solutions to this age-old issue of how to address the necessary removal of a resident who has relapsed with continuing to care for that “member of the community” and not lose all of that “recovery capital” that the resident has built up until their relapse.

Utilizing what is referred to as “Constant Awareness Monitoring,” The Hartman House has instituted a policy which is the beginning of a positive community response to catch fellow “family members” when they slip or fall.

It does take a village, a community, to heal all.  The community leaders within the Delray Beach Recovery Community, the “Village by the Sea,” continue to show great leadership in that regard.

Recovery Capital – Constant Awareness Monitoring

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