Sober Living: A Critical Piece of the Journey

“I can’t go home!” That realization was certain for Denise as she neared completion of Cenikor’s Detoxification and Short-Term Inpatient in Waco, TX. Though detox was a difficult process, she says Cenikor “made the unbearable tolerable.” During her time in the program, Denise learned vital tools and gained behavioral health insights. Despite the hope for a fresh start, Denise knew that if she went back to her home environment, with all of its inherent stressors, it would be easy to return to the prescription painkillers that had dictated her life for so long.

Cenikor had an answer: Sober Living. Cenikor’s Sober Living Program provides a safe, supportive environment for those in recovery ready to reintegrate into their respective communities. With both men’s and women’s Sober Living homes, we offer an intermediate phase between the controlled environment of treatment and the challenges of the real world. Denise spent six months in a Sober Living House with other women also committed to sobriety. She found a reliable job, forged new supportive relationships, and worked her recovery with Cenikor’s Outpatient Services.

“Being with other women who accept and understand each other is huge,” Denise says. “Sober Living was a time of peace to continue healing which gave me space to build a strong foundation of recovery.”

President and CEO Bill Bailey is proud of the addition of Sober Living to Cenikor’s Continuum of Care. In his words, “sober living provides those in recovery with essential support, structure, resources and security to take their first steps toward independence.” In our Sober Living homes, we provide stable living environments with freedom for our clients to grow in their recovery. We offer the support and guidance to help our clients maintain long-term recovery to be responsible, employable citizens free from substance abuse.

“Why help someone get sober and not help them continue their rehabilitation?” asks Waco Advisory Board member Bruce Neatherlin. “In 1974, when I first got involved in the recovery community, we didn’t understand this. We simply said, ‘Good luck!’” Sober Living is one more program that allows Cenikor to help people rebuild their lives with a stable foundation.

The challenges that face people who complete treatment are as varied as the people themselves. “Some come into our programs homeless or with no safe environment to return to, and some have experienced trauma, so the prospect of finding safe housing is daunting.” says Eric Jeter, Senior Manager of Waco’s Detoxification and Short-Term Inpatient Program. Peer accountability, oversight, and the freedom to begin rebuilding their lives with safeguards help our clients sustain the momentum of success in Sober Living. Residents are required to complete a treatment program, build on 30 days’ sobriety, attend local support groups and maintain steady employment.

Cenikor is very grateful to the Waco community which has been immensely supportive. Both the Cooper and Waco Foundations provided grants to help offset costs of purchasing the Sober Living homes. Economic Opportunities Advancement Corporation assists Sober Living clients with financial and transportation assistance. Texas MHMR provides counseling for mental health issues. Compassion Ministries helps women reintegrate into their children’s lives. Local 12 Step programs are a continuous source of strength, hope and experience. It is wonderful to see community support rallying behind our clients.

Eric believes Sober Living is indispensable. “It’s the piece of the recovery puzzle that is often missing. This safe environment is a critical piece of the journey.”


man on beach enjoying freedom from substance abuse

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