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  • Kelly Rhone

Halfway House

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

OAKLAND, California - Let me guess. You’re here because you saw that I will be talking about halfway houses. Well, you’re right about that! I have come across the words “halfway house” just recently and am back here to tell you once again what I’ve come to learn so far!


So according to what I’ve read, halfway houses are pretty much homes or facilities typically funded by the government for people who have been released from institutions or prisons, basically reformed convicts.



Hence, these are also called as “residential treatment centers” or “community correctional centers” as they serve as treatment programs for eligible offenders.


Now onto the next questions we all tend to ask about. What is the purpose of a halfway house? Why do they even exist? And what can we gain from such housings? We’ll be tackling all those one at a time!


Purpose of Halfway House


As I’ve read, halfway houses’ primary focus lay in helping reformed convicts gain self-sufficiency and in treating those with mental disorders, thus serving as a bridge between imprisonment and society. This is one of the facilities that offer individuals transitional housing, especially to reformed convicts who are not yet able to support themselves independently. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that halfway houses cater not just former convicts, but also others who are homeless, while some are admitted as a requirement of a court order.



Now just like every other housing, halfway houses have their own advantages, disadvantages and limitations as well! Luckily for us, some sites have got us covered for those topics!


Benefits of Halfway Houses

  1. It gives residents more time to transition from living in a rehabilitation centre to going back to the real world. While living in a sober living community, people who are recovering from alcohol or drug dependence are surrounded by fellow housemates. This would be a great opportunity for them to live and thrive with different personalities, which is an invaluable life skill. In the real world, encountering different people is part of life. In the halfway house, they will be taught to be able to tolerate and live together in peace, which helps prepare them to be part of the society once again.

  2. It prepares residents for education or career upon discharge. No matter their age or gender, people who have suffered from addiction have usually had troubles with their education or career. Maybe, they were expelled from school or fired from their companies due to addiction. By living in sobriety, they will get an opportunity to go back to school, get a new job, or volunteer for a cause. In a way, this therapy helps residents re-enrol in certain classes and set new career goals, applying new healthy habits they learn from their rehab programmes.

  3. It offers an atmosphere with a focus on recovery. A halfway house for recovering addicts is very helpful in a sense that it lets them focus on recovery in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Generally, this facility uses a set of amenities and implements a regular and strict regimen of recovery, such as meeting attendance, to ensure that residents will not relapse and achieve success in getting back a normal life. Peer facilitators will see to it that patients will get into their routines safely and vigilantly, and eventually look forward to taking part in their recovery. For example, The Next Step (TNS) in Thailand treats patients in a facility that is designed to make their journey to recovery more comforting, relaxing, and even inspiring. Basically, they have all the necessities: swimming pool, gymnasium, game room, dance area, meditation space, martial arts area, creative arts space, kitchen, BBQ, etc. All of these makes the facility feel truly comfortable for patients. Moreover, the TNS village also offers different types of accommodation, including modern boutique rooms, which are more sociable, and Lanna-style cabins, which patients prefer if they want more freedom to individualise. Now, if you or a loved one is looking for a place to fully recover from addiction in the most comfortable way, you can get in touch with TNS through email, info@tnschiangmai.com, or by phone, +66 95 141 9000.

  4. It does its best to help residents get well and back into a good life. Typically, those staying in a sober living facility are surrounded and supported by other people who understand their position and want them to get better. They will have a programme set up that directly benefits them in terms of reintegrating into society. This programme usually includes building a sober support network, counselling that revolves around their particular conditions, housing, new employment opportunities, and outside meetings. All in all, these activities help patients attain healthy personal, physical, mental, and spiritual goals.

  5. It helps residents develop accountability. Most importantly, sober living will teach those recovering from addiction to be accountable for themselves. Aside from the strict rules that come with it, it also includes regular drug tests and other similar screenings that are intended to guide patients towards responsible living. While its policies may seem tedious, they are actually put in place to make patients adapt, listen to direction, become part of the recovery process, and ultimately regain a drug-free life. A sober living facility has been gaining popularity for the essential solutions it offers to one’s journey to recovery from addiction. Basically, it is a necessary step toward continued sobriety. But to enjoy all the benefits mentioned above, just make sure to find the right centre that offers the best on-going recovery aftercare for your particular case or a loved one’s. This way, you will be able to overcome your problem once and for all!”



Disadvantages of Halfway Houses


“Halfway houses are not as restricting as residential treatment centers, which can be either a good or bad thing depending on the patient. For some patients, this access to the outside world could prove to be a temptation while they are trying to abstain and recover from substance abuse.



It could lead to them taking the treatment at the halfway house less seriously than they should, as they are able to step into the world outside of their treatment and find distractions from ordinary life.”


Limitations of Halfway Houses


“Despite the benefits, there are also some limits to halfway houses, such as the length of time that a patient can remain in them. Regardless of whether the patient is ready to be integrated back into regular life, once their time at a halfway house is up they have to move on. If somebody is recovering at a slower pace, but still making progress, then rushing them back into regular life could add more stress to the situation and contribute to a relapse.

One reason that this is the case is due to low funding for most halfway houses, as they typically depend on government funding to operate. If you feel limited by the options available and are unsure what to do next, just call 800-373-1667 (Who Answers?) to speak with a specialist about any of your questions or concerns!”



With the said downsides being present, there is, of course, an alternative that can be offered through my readings, which are sober living homes. While the programs between the two are extremely similar, sober living homes do not restrict one’s stay unlike many halfway houses do. However, you should also take note of their differences so as to not confuse them which was as previously mentioned in the article about Sober Living.


“While sober living does not require a completion nor an active enrollment into formal rehabilitation treatment programs meant for addictive impulses, halfway houses work vice versa, in which the aforementioned is actually required. Moreover, in regard to the owners and time limit, one can usually stay as long as they like as long as they pay the rent and help with house duties as it is usually private owners, charities and business who own sober living houses. Meanwhile, halfway houses are usually funded by the government with a maximum stay limit of 12 months.”


From what I’ve gathered so far, Halfway Housings definitely exist for a reason and may be of aid to those in need of it!

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