Sober Living: The Quest for Finding Roommates in Sobriety
Roommates help alleviate financial stress and can often make a house feel like a home. Thankfully, finding a sober roommate has never been easier than now.
Newly in recovery, after successfully completing an addiction treatment programme, some find that going back to ‘normal life’ is the most difficult part of the journey yet. Transitional housing, such as sober living homes are one way to ease back into the daily grind, but — they are not for everyone, and they are not typically long-term options.
Sober living homes offer a group living atmosphere, normally at least four or five people under one roof, where everyone is focused on staying sober. More often than not, newly recovered addicts will stay for a couple of months maximum before being on their way. And while living in a sober home for a period of time does increase chances of long-term recovery, they are not meant to be a long-term solution so much as they are a place for transition. A much better option for many recovering addicts trying to settle into a new life filled with structure and stability, would be to find a beautiful two bedroom place and fill that spare room with a sober roommate.
Benefits of Finding a Sober Roommate
Living with any roommate will, of course, ease the financial burden of paying rent. A roommate can also make a home feel a little less lonely. But living with someone who parties, drinks and even dabbles in drugs or alcohol can set you up for relapse — which is why living with someone who has a similar lifestyle is definitely preferable.
The trouble lies, however, in not only finding someone who is living a sober lifestyle, but finding someone who is also looking for a roommate and, of course, someone with whom you can get along. Thankfully, California-based company, Roommates in Sobriety, has made it their mission to make this task easier.
Finding a Roommate on RoommatesInSobriety.com
Roommates in Sobriety is an easy-to-use site that essentially offers two options — post a roommate profile, or post a property that is in need of a roommate. The roommate profile consists of basic information such as name, sex, age, desired area to live, personal info including job and hobbies, and last but not least — sober time.
Roommates in Sobriety founders Lauren Aborio and Patty Baret
Founded by sober friends Lauren Aborio and Patty Baret of Connections in Recovery, Roommates in Sobriety aims to connect sober house-hunters across the U.S. and around the world. Intrigued by both Connections in Recovery and Roommates in Sobriety, we caught up with Patty Baret and had the chance to ask her a few questions about how these services can make recovery just that little bit easier:
The Cabin: First off, can we start with how you and co-founder Lauren Arborio got to know each other? And furthermore, how did you end up starting Connections in Recovery?
Patty: Lauren was working for a prominent addiction psychiatrist in Los Angeles who had a patient on whom I was doing an intervention. Both Lauren and I, being in long term recovery ourselves, shared the same vision of guiding families through the treatment process. We discussed the business model of Connections in Recovery for several months before launching in April of 2011. Connections in Recovery are family advocates ensuring that the family receives the best treatment possible for their loved ones.
The Cabin: The list of services offered through Connections in Recovery is quite extensive. Overall, what is the most common service (or services) requested of you and your team?
Patty: Our most common services are: consulting and assessment, case management, addiction and mental health interventions and recovery companions for individuals with mental health, addiction and eating disorders and other process addictions such as sex, shopping and gambling. In addition to those services, we have a job listing page on our website for people looking for employment in the addiction field.
The Cabin: From that, was Roommates in Sobriety a natural progression?
Patty: Yes, there has been a need for people in recovery to be able to find sober roommates for years. This concept is an important one because people in the community, both therapeutic and otherwise had been asking us if we knew anyone who would be a good sober roommate. This is an aftercare tool to help people start the next phase of life in recovery, or for those people with time in the 12-Step community to have a place to turn to when looking for sober roommates. When you are sharing a home with someone it’s important, especially if you are newly sober, to have a common ground.
The Cabin: What would you say is the single most important factor that clients of Roommates in Sobriety will gain by using the site?
Patty: It provides a resource to start the process of looking for a sober roommate, one(s) on a similar path that is alcohol/drug free. Think of it like Craigslist for sober people. (For the most part, people using these services are not our clients.)
The Cabin: Can you offer any recommendations or tips for those new to the site/service?
Patty: Yes, keep in mind that our Roommates in Sobriety website is there to assist in the search for a sober roommate. The person/people who turn to our site need to do the footwork by reaching out to the people they are interested in potentially living with. We do not make the calls or send out emails for the people looking for a roommate. Please use your own discretion and base decisions on your own level of comfort.
The Cabin: ‘Sober Time’ is consistent across all profiles on the site, and under ‘things to consider’ you suggest “You should be comfortable with the amount of time a person has sober.” Do you have any guidelines on the amount of sober time each roommate should have?
Patty: The sober time requirements are up to the individuals renting out a room. Each person will have their own idea of the amount of time best suited for them.
The Cabin: Do you have any tips on things to look for when house hunting newly sober?
Patty: 1. If you do not have a car, make sure there is transportation services nearby so you can get to work and your meetings. Location can be very important.
2. Find out what percentage amount they can raise the rent after a year. Some places do not, some can raise it 3%, all the way up to 10%. Make sure you know what you are getting into if you know you’re in love with the place.
3. After visiting the place during the day or early evening, we would suggest driving by around 10 PM so you have an idea about the neighborhood at night.
4. Enjoy the process!
The Cabin: Anything you would like to add?
Patty: We started Roommates in Society because many people over the years such as parents, people working in treatment, owners of sober livings, clinicians, educators and individuals themselves have asked us if we knew anyone looking for a sober roommate. Connections in Recovery is becoming the go-to for resources. We are excited to offer this much needed service. We wish that something like this had been around back when we had first gotten sober!
I am sure there are many recovering addicts around the globe that wish that very same thing, which is why we are spreading the word that the service is now available! If you or someone you know is looking for a sober roommate, why not give the site a try?
And once you find a place, check out our tips for moving house in addiction recovery.