Committing to sober living can be a daunting first step in recovery. Many individuals worry about how sober living affect them. The unknown can be scary. The more knowledge you have — including what to expect when entering a program – the easier the transition and journey can be.
Here, we have compiled answers to many of the questions commonly asked about Independence Lodge.
What are the requirements for living at Independence Lodge?
Independence Lodge provides and connects our residents to a great number of recovery resources, and so we ask our residents to take advantage of these resources in order to give themselves the best possible chance at recovery. Besides the weekly payment of rent and regular drug tests to ensure sobriety, residents are required to:
- attend 90 recovery meetings in 90 days
- secure a home group and a sponsor from a 12-Step fellowship
- complete a daily chore
- obtain employment of a minimum 30 hours per week
- attend community gatherings, volunteer opportunities, and social events
- follow all rules and regulations
- show respect, tolerance, and care to the men with whom they live
- take responsibility for their individual actions, and recognize that they reflect on the larger community of Independence Lodge
How do I know that the houses at Independence Lodge are safe and sober?
The easiest way to experience the comfort and safety of the houses at Independence Lodge is to schedule a tour, or to check out our houses with our online tour. All of our houses are regularly inspected by the Pennsylvania Alliance of Recovery Residences as well as the Bucks County Recovery House Association. Residents are randomly drug tested at a minimum of twice a month, if there is any suspicion of intoxication, or if management has identified relapse warning signs.
What if I relapse while staying at Independence Lodge?
The safety of the community at Independence Lodge is our highest priority, and any relapse will result in an immediate discharge from our program. However, we recognize that each resident’s journey of recovery is different, and sometimes ‘testing the waters’ is part of that journey. We are located near several 24/7 drug and alcohol intake sites, and our staff will offer the resident assistance in getting back to a detox or inpatient program. Residents who are in good standing when they relapse, and successfully complete a treatment program may be offered readmission into our program.
Is there public transportation nearby?
Our houses are all within walking distance (less than a mile) of the two local bus lines and/or the Trenton and West Trenton SEPTA regional rail lines.
Am I free to come and go as I please?
No, during the first 30 days at Independence Lodge new residents take part in a probationary period, commonly referred to as ‘blackout’. This 30 day period is designed to foster new relationships within the house, and to ease the transition from 24 hour inpatient care to the outside world. During blackout the new resident may only leave the house with a senior member of Indepence Lodge, his sponsor, or an immediate family member. The new resident must also adhere to a curfew of 11pm, Sunday – Thursday, and midnight, Friday & Saturday.
If the new resident successfully completes all requirements of the 30 day probationary program (employment, sponsor, homegroup, meeting attendance, etc.), and is in good standing within the Independence Lodge program, then the blackout restrictions are lifted. The resident’s curfew is extended to to midnight, Sunday – Thursday, and 2am, Friday & Saturday.
Residents of Independence Lodge may not go to casinos or strip clubs for ANY reason.
Can I have visitors?
Yes, however all visitors must be approved by management. Immediate family members are welcome to tour the houses and meet the other residents. Women outside of immediate family members are not allowed in the houses under any circumstances, and we ask that all visitors remain in the common areas.
Can I bring a vehicle?
Many of our residents have cars, and those with cars are expected to help new residents with rides to appointments and meetings. However, we don’t allow new residents in their first 30 days to have a vehicle unless it is an absolute necessity, and only with approval from the House Owner or Director of Client Services. After the resident successfully completes his blackout period, he is free to have a vehicle if it is properly inspected, insured, and if the resident has a valid driver’s license.
Can I bring my entire wardrobe?
No, please keep in mind that you will be sharing your room and closet space with other people. Bring only the essential clothes and shoes you need for work, physical activity, and one or two outfits for going out. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of how you look on the outside, but remember that the primary reason you’re coming to Independence Lodge is to develop and grow on the inside.
Do I need to bring quarters for laundry?
No, each house has a washer and dryer provided at no cost. Detergent and dryer sheets are provided as well.
Do I need to bring my own bedding?
Blankets, a pillow, and sheets are all provided. However, you are welcome to bring your own bedding if you wish. All beds at Independence Lodge are standard twins.
Are phones or laptops allowed?
Yes, personal electronics are welcomed. We do reserve the right to restrict a resident’s access to social media, dating apps, or other sites if we believe such access is putting the resident’s recovery in danger.
Are meals provided?
Yes, each house at Independence Lodge is given a weekly budget for groceries, and house necessities (laundry detergent, toilet paper, cleaning supplies). The management team uses this weekly budget to shop for food for dinners Sunday through Thursday. Residents volunteer to cook the five weekly meals. Each house also has a basic pantry which usually includes staples like bread, peanut butter, eggs, coffee, and iced tea mix.
What about dietary restrictions?
If there are ethical, religious, or health reasons that you cannot, or do not eat certain foods (vegetarianism, kosher, food allergies, etc.) our management staff will be happy to accommodate to the best of their ability, however it is not their responsibility to do this FOR you. It is important that you become the number one advocate for yourself and your dietary needs. Speak with our Director of Client Services to develop a plan of action that best accommodates your dietary restrictions.
Can I bring my own food?
Yes, each house has a small space for individual storage of dry food. There is limited storage for refrigerated or frozen food, so we recommend that you do not arrive with any food that must be kept cold. Food may not be stored in the bedrooms.