First Step House provides affordable sober living for clients who are homeless at the end of treatment, or are in need of stable housing with an environment that will support their recovery. The goal of our housing program is to help clients develop independent living skills while supporting their recovery from substance abuse. We currently manage five separate transitional housing units that provide housing for those transitioning from substance abuse treatment into society, as well as, individuals participating in mental health court. Housing is a critical component of long-term substance abuse recovery. Our data shows that stable housing is essential to treatment completion and that without it, the risk of relapse, and inability to maintain abstinence, is greatly increased.
While in transitional housing, our clinical staff works with residents to identify issues that contribute to homelessness. A comprehensive action plan is then developed to address the factors contributing to their homelessness with the goal of developing the skills and behaviors necessary to live independently. The program includes direct supervision and guidance to help residents, access resources, work towards self-sufficiency, obtain and sustain permanent, affordable housing, and develop strong connections to the community. Our housing case managers help clients complete housing applications, work with property managers, coordinate with partners, including the local housing authorities, and assist with voucher programs throughout the community, such as HARP (housing assistance rental program).
Residents ensure that the shared living spaces are clean. In addition, our transitional housing units are well-maintained by our property managers and grounds crew. Each of the apartments is occupied by three clients and/or program graduates who are engaged in outpatient treatment and committed to sober living.