We are very sorry to infom you that our sober living home is no longer oppen.

Thank you all for your help and support, it was an honor to be part of your recovery.

If you are in position to help someone with an addiction, please don't hesitate to do so even if no one can see it,



What is Sober Living?


    Unless you live in, know a friend or family member, or are associated with the field of recovery, the term "Sober Living Home" may be somewhat of an enigma to you. Sober living homes are often mistakenly referred to as a Halfway House, Rehab Home, Recovery Support Home, Boarding Home, Shelter, Hostel, and even in some cases (mostly derogatory) as a "Flop House". While some sober living homes may provide some of these services, most do not.

     Sober living homes are affordable, alcohol and drug free environments that provide a positive place for peer group recovery support.  Sober housing promotes individual recovery by providing an environment that allows the residents to develop individual recovery programs and become self supporting. Sober living home in the state of california that function as a family are not subject to state licensure requirements. and are considered a group of disable people living together in one household under one roof, therefore they are protected by the state and the federal government.

     The majority of sober living homes are privately owned and operated by an individual or small partnership. Less than a third are registered as a "Non Profit Organization" registered under United States IRS code 501(c) (3). Most do not receive government subsidies or grants. However, some of the residents may qualify for individual social benefits.

     Quality assurance is achieved and maintained through membership in a sober living coalition or network.  These coalitions and networks proved self-governance and self-regulation through peer reviews and inspections.  Members are required to meet excellent standards in health, safety and management guidelines.  The homes maintain alcohol and drug free environments with resident initiated and maintained recovery support activities.

     None are acute detoxification or treatment centers but several have a referral listing of detoxification hospitals and outpatient treatment centers.

     The typical sober living home is a single-family residence, duplex or multiunit complex located in a quiet residential neighborhood. The residents are required to follow a strict set of house rules. Violation of the rules can result in assessment of minor financial fines, writing an essay, to immediate ejection from the home.

     The single most common rule is a zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol. This includes normal everyday medicinecabinet items as, mouthwash, cold medicines, and after-shave or food items such as vanilla. Most sober living homes do random or surprise drug and alcohol testing. The use of 52 proof mouthwash (Listerine and Scope, to name a few), 70 proof vanilla, opiate or alcohol based cold medicines will cause a false positive test. Not to mention intoxication if consumed in quantities.

     Other zero tolerance rules include, violence, threats of violence, fighting, harassment, theft, sex on the premises and unexcused absence or violation of curfews.

     Each resident is required to be financially self-supporting, paying their own rent, and purchasing their own food. The residents are required to work, actively seek employment, or be a student enrolled in an accredited academic or trade school. Those who are permanently disabled and on federal, state, or local assistance are required to become involved in service to the home or the community. All residents are required to attend a minimum number of weekly 12 Step meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or Cocaine Anonymous.

     Each resident performs an assigned daily chore around the house. A well-run house is cleaned from top to bottom each day. There are no dirty dishes left in the sink, clothes, or towels lying around. I have personally visited some sober homes, as well as lived in one, and found many of these homes to be cleaner than private residences.

     Rent in a sober living home can range from $250 to $1,450 per month, with the norm ranging form $450 to $750 per month. Location, occupant density, and services provided are the primary factors affecting rents. There are no security deposits, no first and last month, and no credit checks performed. Utilities are included. Many homes allow rent to be paid on a weekly basis. Moreover, many will give a 14 to 21 days grace period to come up with the first month's rent. The only requirement for residency is a desire to stay clean and sober, follow the house rules and pay your rent timely.

     In recent years "boutique" sober living homes have emerged.  Some charging $100,000 and up per month ($3,500 per day) and include personal lifestyle coaches, yoga and fitness trainers, and five star chefs.  The residents are not "rock-stars", but most typically business people and professionals who are familiar with paying $10,000 per night in a New York or London hotel.  Most who reside in these homes are seeking absolute confidentiality and anonymity.  Of those high-end homes I have visited, all had three requirements in common with lower cost homes.  A zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol, attendance at 12-step meetings and sharing a room with at least one other addict/alcoholic.

     There is one major difference between living in a sober living home and sharing an apartment with another person. The residents of the sober living home are not considered tenants and as such are not protected under tenants' rights laws. Hence, a resident can be ejected on a moment's notice without the due process of eviction procedures.

     Many homes also provide probation/parole housing for non-violent alcohol and drug offenders. In California, under "Proposition 36" the courts sentence individuals from 90 days to a year in a sober living home, in place of jail. Most of the homes work directly with the courts, defense attorneys and district attorneys and have approved monitoring programs in place. A few of the more expensive sober living homes have full time attorneys on their staff to assist their residents.

     There is no accurate count of the number of sober living homes or available bed space in the United States and Canada. However, some of the statistics I have read, place the estimated total number of beds in the 45,000 to 60,000 range. The bed availability is not evenly distributed between men and women. It is estimated that fewer than 20% of the beds are for women, a substantially lower number for mothers with children, and virtually none for fathers with children.

     There is no clear-cut answer for the disproportionate allocation of beds between men and women. There are, however, several conjectures including. A lower demand for sober living for women because women have a better network of family and friends to find a place to live. Women in recovery typically have greater access to individual state, local, and federal assistance for independent living.

     Considering the majority of the sober living homes are privately owned and operated. Women entrepreneurs have greater difficulty in obtaining financing for what is perceived to be a risky venture. Women in recovery have "higher maintenance" requirements, thus demanding more resources. Men can live independently in a communal (a.k.a. caged) environment better than women can.

     I know that it is tempting to look at the rents per bed, per month and the number of beds per home and come to the conclusion that sober living must be a gold mine for the taking. Before you rush off and set up your own sober living own, you might want to take a closer look at the facts.

Rental Income: Yes the potential gross rental income is high, the reality is uncollected rents can run as high as 40%.

Turnover: The typical stay for a resident is 90 days to a year, with very few staying more than one year. Your are constantly marketing and looking for new residents.

Utilities: You pay for the utilities. As an example, if you have 10-12 adult residents living in a home, the utilities may be running up to 20 hours a day. This includes; lights, showers, laundry (gas, water & electricity), television(s), ovens and stoves, etc.

Labor: Sober living is labor intensive requiring 24/7 attention. Unless you have a small single unit and plan to live there yourself, you will need to hire a resident manager (s). Many sober living owners have other outside jobs.

Neighbors: For the most part neighbors do not object to the existence of a sober living home in their community. Many don't even know that there is a sober living home on their block. However, it takes only one unenlightened neighbor to shut you down. (See Discrimination against People in Recovery)

Success Rate: Fewer than 50% of new sober living homes started last longer than three years.

     I hope this article has shed some light on sober living homes. My experience living in sober living was very positive. I met many great people. We shared our experiences, strength, and hopes with each other and helped each other stay sober. The disease of addiction however is "cunning, baffling and powerful" and I did see many good people relapse and die from this disease.

Licensing and Certification Division
 California Dept. of Alcohol and Drug Programs Phone: (916) 322-2911
Residential and Outpatient Programs 1700 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 FAX: (916) 322-2658; TDD: (916) 445-1942
Compliance Branch
March 2006
Fact Sheet:
Alcohol- and Drug-Free Housing
(Sober Living)
General Information
Alcohol- and drug-free houses (also known as sober living) are important in supporting
treatment and recovery services in a communityby helping recovering persons
to maintain an alcohol- and drug-free lifestyle. Residents arefree to organize and participate in self-help meetings or any other activity that helps them maintain sobriety. The house or its residents: do not and cannot provide any treatment, recovery, or detoxification services; do not have treatment or recovery plans or maintain case files; and do not have a structured, scheduled program of alcohol and drug education, group or individual counseling, or recovery support sessions. Persons typically become residents of an alcohol- and drug-free house after being in a licensed non-medical residential alcohol or other drug recovery or treatment facility. However, participation in a licensed facility is not necessarily a prerequisite for residency. Alcohol- and drug-free houses are not required to be licensed nor are they eligible for licensure. By definition, they do not provide alcohol or drug recovery or treatment services and are, therefore, not subject to regulation or oversight by the State Department of Alcohol and Drug
Programs (ADP).
These houses have three things in common:
They ensure that a person who is in
recovery lives in an environment that is free
from alcohol and drug use.
The residents themselves reinforce their
recovery through support with other
recovering persons.
The residents are free to voluntarily pursue
activities to support their recovery, either
alone or with others.


Landlord/Tenant Rules
Alcohol- and drug-free houses are subject to
landlord/tenant laws in California, and may be
subject to zoning and other requirements of the
local jurisdiction. The ‘‘Guide to Housing’’
referenced below recommends that you check
local laws carefully and, with the help of an
attorney, determine how the laws might apply to
your situation. For exampl
e, if you want to start
an alcohol- and drug-free living house you might
need to know how to design a rental agreement
to allow for prompt eviction for violation of house
rules when eviction is necessary. You may want
to become familiar with th
e more applicable laws
that include the following:
California Civil Code beginning with Section
53 and California Government Code
beginning with Section 12980
(nondiscrimination in housing);
California Civil Code beginning with Section
1940 (landlord/tenant laws);
California Code of Civil Procedure beginning
with Section 1159 (eviction procedures); and
Public Law 100-430 (Federal Fair Housing
Amendments Act; forbids discrimination on
basis of disability in sale, rental, zoning, land
use restriction, and other rules).
Other sources of information about
alcohol- and drug-free houses
Department of Alcohol and
Drug Programs
Resident Run Housing Programs
1700 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-4037
The ADP offers a loan program whereby a
nonprofit organization may apply for a loan
of up to $4,000 to cover start-up expenses
for a home with six or more residents. The
loan is repayable over a two-year period,
and is interest free.