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Lafayette nonprofit open doors of sober living home to give addicts a shot at successful recovery

A Lafayette faith-based nonprofit is providing men in Acadiana a support system to successfully tackle addiction recovery with the opening of a new sober living house on Charlotte Street.

The roughly 2,500 square foot three bedroom, two bathroom home at 344 Charlotte St. will house up to seven men in recovery from addiction as they transition back into their communities, whether from jail, an in-patient treatment facility or potentially homelesness, Safehouse Executive Director John Nugent said. The house officially opened in late January.

Support, accountability and community are critical to the success of people working through recovery. Safehouse, a nonprofit focused on ministry and addiction recovery, noticed there was a support gap for people exiting treatment or prison while offering recovery meetings at those facilities. People exiting were returning to the same settings with the same people, and eventually they were falling into the same destructive behavior, Nugent said.

They needed help to be successful.

“I’d wager to say almost everybody knows somebody who struggles with addiction and if that were our brother, our husband, our son, our daughter, we would want something like this for them,” he said.

The sober living house is built around the S.A.F.E. method, which focuses on the pillars of sobriety, activism, financial health and education, Nugent said.

Residents will focus on their sobriety through required weekly Celebrate Recovery meetings and independent meetings with outside organizations, coupled with lessons on maintaining positivity and healthy thoughts. Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12-step recovery program for people battling addiction and other struggles, such as trauma. It was developed in 1991 by Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.

The activism portion will focus on service, first toward housemates and then service toward neighbors and larger communities in Lafayette, he said. 

The financial security piece will focus on budgeting strategies and basic financial literacy, coupled with employment assistance. Nugent said Safehouse has coordinated with area staffing agencies and the goal is to have any resident entering the home without a job employed within two weeks. The Charlotte Street home is a couple blocks from a bus stop on West Congress Street, easing transportation access to work and interviews for men who may not have their own vehicles, Nugent said.

Finally, the education tenet will focus on coaching men to earn their GED if they don’t have a high school diploma or equivalent, or point them toward career certification classes in various trades of skills-based jobs to secure them better career pathways.

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