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Six Requirements to Open a Halfway House in a Residential Community

A halfway house often called a sober living house, is a residential community where those that have gone through medical detox or completed a treatment program go as the next step in their recovery. They are often not ready to live on their own. A halfway house offers residents the support they need to regain their self-esteem, retain their sobriety, and get the support they need as they begin their new life without drugs and alcohol.

Who Should Consider a Halfway House?

Most of those living in a halfway house have completed a traditional treatment program and are not ready to go back to their old environment. Those that live in a facility have already learned the skills needed to remain sober. They need an environment that promotes sober living and positive reinforcement.

A halfway house offers the individual more freedom with fewer rules than a jail while providing the structure that many need. 

Most halfway houses have rules that residents must abide by while they are living there. 

Some of the guidelines include:

Staying sober from drugs and alcohol

Agree to random drug testing

Do chores while staying in the house

No aggressive behavior

Respecting the home and property of others

Commit to a curfew

Attend either 12-step or other approved meetings

Work towards getting a job

Looking at a Halfway House as a Business Opportunity:

Because of the need for transitional living homes, many are looking into starting a halfway house as a business opportunity. Many of those that consider opening a facility, do so as a non-profit organization. To do this, the owner must file for non-profit status from both the state and IRS. As a non-profit, the income is not eligible to be taxed, but the owner will also not see the profits.

There are benefits to this, but those that operate the halfway house as an income-generating business, will not file for non-profit status as they are looking towards the financial rewards that the facility can bring. Others choose the non-profit route, because of the variety of grants and other benefits that they receive to benefit residents.

Opening a Halfway House in a Residential Neighborhood:

Opening a facility in a residential community can be tricky, as many local residents may not want a facility opening up in their area. Many halfway house residents have gone to jail and have struggled with drugs or alcohol abuse, which may cause concern to those that live in the area.

This is an important point to keep in mind when opening a facility in a residential neighborhood.

Six Requirements to Open a Halfway House in a Residential Community:

Those that are considering opening a facility have a lot to think about as there is a lot of liability and requirements that need to be met.

Here are some of the important guidelines that must be met by those running a halfway house.

1. Renovation requirements: After a location is determined, the owner will need to modify it to meet local zoning requirements that may determine the number of people that can live in the house. Those operating the home as a non-profit should look into financial help so repairs, modification, and furniture can be purchased.

2. Obtain the proper insurance: Because of the liability involved with opening up a halfway or sober living house, the owner needs to purchase special insurance that will cover the facility, contents, and coverage that will protect the owners’ assets. Extra liability coverage will also be required.

3. Hire qualified staff to run the house: Owners must find the right team to run the facility. They should be well trained. Having previous experience running a halfway house is an added bonus. Knowledgeable staff members can help create an operations manual. They can also set guidelines on the behavior and expectations of residents. This manual is helpful to both residents and the staff. NOTE: Background checks are needed on all of those working at the residence.

4. Prepare an operation manual: 

5. Obtain a template: Use a template for writing your operations and policy manuals from government entities like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or find templates on non-profit websites. You can also borrow documents written by another halfway house and contour the language to meet the unique needs. Make certain all of these materials receive legal oversight.

6. Set up accounting procedure: Having accurate accounting records is critical. It will track when payments arrive, the amount of each, and list other income and expenditures. This is important if the home is subsidized by municipal or federal agencies. It is also crucial for sponsors and individual donors that need to know how their contributions are spent.

The Best Resource for Those Considering a Halfway House:

Those seriously considering opening up a facility need to do their due diligence. They also need to look for resources from those that have gone down this path. Visit the experts at Open Up A Halfway House. The site is full of great information from those that have opened up their own halfway houses. They offer a guide to help you get started.

So, if you are looking to add a revenue stream of reoccurring income to your finances, contact the experts at Open Up A Halfway House before you made this big decision.

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