You may have come across such a term as “Oxford House”, and now you want to learn what it means. Read the information below to learn what is an Oxford house, its purpose, and what it offers to residents.
What is an Oxford House?
An Oxford house is a support facility for recovering addicts. It provides treatment and encourages its residents to lead a healthy lifestyle without drug or/and alcohol abuse.
The very first Oxford house was founded in Maryland by Paul Molloy in 1975. Paul Molloy was a member of Senate committee staff prior to his alcohol addiction problems.
In 1975 he sought help in a halfway house to treat his addiction. But later that year, the residence had to close because of a lack of funding. Molloy gathered some of the former residents of the facility, and together they took over the lease.
The new facility got the name “Oxford house” to recognize the efforts of a religious group that founded Alcoholics Anonymous. Since then, Oxford houses have offered effective help and housing to individuals suffering from drug addiction.
The Goal and Purpose of an Oxford House
The main goal of this facility is to provide housing and support for individuals struggling with alcohol or drug abuse. The facility’s purpose is to ensure that residents recover from their addiction, improve health and stay sober long-term.
Residents of such an environment can stay as long as they want, but only under one condition — they must stay sober. If a resident is caught or has confessed to drug or alcohol abuse, they must immediately leave the facility. But if residents keep contributing to the community and follow the rules, they can stay for years.
Traditional sober living or halfway houses are run by staff members, but that’s not the case with Oxford houses. The facility’s goal is to support each other by abstaining from substance abuse.
Members of the community pay for the rent of the building, run the facility, share responsibilities, etc. That’s why there is no limit on how long a person can stay — the residence is run and financed by its members. The cost of living in a recovery residence varies in each home or chapter.
The Structure of an Oxford House
Oxford house is democratically run and has financial support. These are the two most important elements of the structure of the residence. The structure also has the following characteristics:
- Each residence is autonomous unless its situation or conditions affect other residences or the entire Oxford house, Inc.
- Each residence is financially-independent. If a new residence has trouble with self-support, a financially healthy Oxford house can provide a short-term loan (maximum a year) to such residences.
- Officers can’t stay in one residence for longer than six months. Then they have to move to another residence.
- Former members can become officers to serve as positive examples to new members. Former residents better understand the struggle of people suffering from addiction and can help.
Each facility operates under one important condition — if a member uses drugs, alcohol or engages in harmful behavior, the residence must expel such a resident since they endanger other members’ recovery.
If three or more residences are located within a 100-mile radius, they form an Oxford house Chapter. Each residence has to assign a representative so they can meet every month to share information, find solutions to problems occurring in specific facilities, vote, etc.
The Oxford house World Council is responsible for creating protocols and rules for separate facilities. The council consists of 12 members, and 9 of these members live in facilities. An Oxford House World Convention takes place every year to vote for new council members.
Oxford House Rules and General Principles
The general rules and principles include the following:
- Follow the set curfew.
- No alcohol or drugs in the facility. If a person is on medication, they must inform others and keep the medication out of sight.
- Keep the noise down after 11 pm.
- Follow the rules concerning visitors of the residence.
- Attend a 12-step program at least three times a week.
- Help with in-house responsibilities.
- Pay the fee on time.
Typically, men and women live in separate facilities. There are residences that provide housing for women with children. Following these rules encourages members of the community to stay sober. They learn how to build meaningful relationships.
Unlike sober living facilities, Oxford homes don’t require random drug tests. Residents of the facility practice social skills and become responsible members of society.
Residents know that they have a place to live and don’t have to worry about food, health, or safety helps members to avoid a relapse. After they leave their transitional homes, they center their lives around sobriety. But those who return to harmful habits receive zero tolerance from members of the community.