Sober Housing in the Pelican State
From the heart of Cajun Country to borders of Arkansas and Mississippi, sober housing is springing up to save the Louisiana day. Make that a whole lotta days, for a whole lotta people. That of course translates to saving a whole lotta lives!
It’s not a moment too soon either! The pandemic has not only reignited the opioid epidemic, but it’s fueled a substance abuse increase all across the board. Drinkers are drinking more (and more heavily). So are crack smokers and coke snorters. In fact, party types of every type are throwing their own parties, at their own homes, and getting wrecked all by their lonesomes. And they’re doing it day-in and day-out, over and over, again and again. Even worse, meth is back. Bigger and stronger than ever. It’s also more lethal. Much more lethal. So if the habit doesn’t get you, a heavy dose just might.
But we know all that, don’t we? Of course we do. Though it sure doesn’t hurt to be reminded on occasion. Especially if that reminder will cause someone to check themselves before they do the proverbial wrecking of themselves. Reminders are also a plus when they compel people to step up and address the issue head on. That’s what the folks in the following towns are doing. And that’s why we’re singing their praise!
New Sober Housing
Like we said, there are a number of new sober living homes opening up around the country. A veritable slew if you will. And we’re delighted by each and every single instance. Why? Because every new sober house means more saved lives. And we’ll always cheer for saving lives. Besides, with each saved life comes a revitalized family, as well as a recharged community. And who wouldn’t want more of that?
A few days ago we told you about Joe Crutchfield and his Next Step Recovery Home in Jasper, Indiana. Today we’ll make our way down to two facilities in Louisiana. The pair is a strong sign that sober homes are a thing. And a damn good thing at that!
Lafayette, Louisiana may not be a small town, but it certainly isn’t a big city. Sure, it’s got over 125,000 residents. It stretches over 55 square miles too. But since only around 5200 of those miles are considered metro, it doesn’t add up to big city bustle. Besides, Lafayette serves as the heart of Cajun Country. That means the tone and the tenor is generally as relaxed and familiar as a warm Southern afternoon. And that spells small town all around.
Nevertheless, Lafayette has its fair share of substance abuse issues. More than its fair share according to some folks. That’s why so many people are eager to see the opening of Safehouse Sober Living.
Safehouse Sober Living is an extension of the Safehouse Family, a faith-based non-profit that provides help to people who are struggling with poverty, homelessness and substance abuse in the greater Lafayette area. When we say “help” boy do we mean “help”! Safehouse feeds the homeless through a program called Hot Dogs in the Park, and also provides drop-off meals to low income families and seniors who may be stuck at home. It donates everything from toiletries to furniture to various shelters and sober living houses across the city. It also runs both KidSpace (which outfits visitation rooms for children in foster care) and Celebrate Recovery (a Christ-centered 12-step recovery program).
Safehouse Sober Living Executive Director John Nugent says a sober home was not just the most logical next step, but it was also the most necessary.
“Unfortunately, most people relapse if they try to live in the same house, near the same friends, and in same environment where they were using,” he told CBS-affiliate KLFY. “This house provides them a safe space to truly heal from their addiction.”
There’s more to come too. In fact, the new seven-bed facility is just the first of 10 Safehouse plans to open by 2024.
Oak Grove, Louisiana
Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? How about when a group of people come together and make a plan? That’s what happened in Oak Grove, Louisiana when a few community members got together to address substance abuse. Even better, the members all came from different churches and included folks who themselves were in recovery.
Yep, that was the nexus of The Revelation Station, a new non-profit that’s soon to open its first sober living home in Oak Grove Louisiana. They’ve got the land. They’ve got the housing. And they’ve got the greenlight. Most importantly perhaps, they have the will to address the incredible need.
Addressing that need is especially important to Revelation Station’s Raymond Agent, who serves on the organization’s Board of Directors.
“As a 30-year drug and alcoholic this means a lot to me,” he told NBC-affiliate KTVE. “Because when I tried to come out of [addiction], I had a place to go. I had a family to go to. A lot of these people have no choice but to go back to the same place they came from.”
Revelation Station’s Shorty Mclemore, another member of the board, says the sober home will serve as a stepping stone for everyone who walks through its doors.
“This will help people get their lives back together,” he told the station. “Get their feet back under them and reestablish their position in the community.”
“Helping each person come back and be a productive citizen of the community is our ultimate goal,” he adds.
The Revelation Station Board members also want folks to be open-minded about those going through recovery. After all, all kinds of people suffer from substance abuse issues. In fact, that suffering person may very well be your neighbor.
“An addict has different faces,” said Scott Garrett, another Board member. “We may picture this person or that person, or even someone like me. I struggled to get sober for 21 years. I tried everything in the world.”
Garret also said the turning point for him was “finding Jesus Christ.”
The Board also wants both prospective residents and the community-at-large to know there will be strict protocols in place to keep everyone safe.
“People must have completed a 30-day rehabilitation program before entering,” said Mclemore. “There also will be frequent drug testing.” In fact, people will also have to meet admission requirements even before checking into the facility.
“An application will be filled out with references,” adds Mclemore, “and those references will be checked.”
Revelation Station will also be outfitted with an extensive security system, as well as round-the-clock supervisors.
Sounds to us that the people behind Revelation Station sober living are as serious about safety as they are sobriety. And good for everyone that they are too. The sober home is expected to open by the end of the Summer of ’21.
Healing Properties Sober Housing
Healing Properties congratulates both Safehouse Sober Living and The Revelation Station. Like we said in our story about Joe Crutchfield’s Next Step Recovery Home, every new sober bed is good news for everyone. And whether it’s Joe’s Jasper, Indiana, or the Louisiana towns of Lafayette and Oak Grove, everyone has more and more reason to celebrate. We’d especially like to applaud Safehouse’s John Nugent, as well as the Revelation Station Board of Directors. America would be a lot less compassionate place without the persistent and concentrated efforts of great good folks like these.
Of course there are still a lot of American towns and counties without sober living facilities. Too many, in fact. But that doesn’t mean you’ve got to wait till one opens up near you. There are sober homes everywhere. And like we just illustrated, more and more are popping up each and every day. So if you’re seeking sobriety, and don’t know where to go, please give us a ring. We’d be delighted to point you in the right direction. Whether it’s South Florida, or somewhere way on the other side of the nation, we don’t care. Our only goal is to help you get sober. And to help you find the piece of mind brought about by recovery.