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A growing home for sober living

Stacey Hartley • Oct 24, 2019 at 12:00 PM

WILLARD — The House of Hope, Huron County’s first recovery house for men, has expanded to include 11 beds.

The program is owned and operated by Family Life Counseling and Psychiatric Services, an Ohio corporation for non-profit, with the goal to house individuals who want to begin — or are currently in the process of — rebuilding their lives through sober living.

”It’s all about recovery,” said Kevin Carr, a house manager and counselor with Family Life Counseling.

The 115 Woodbine Ave., Willard, residence is a Level 2 sober-living house. Life in Level 2 consists of daily structure, mandatory attendance at alcohol/narcotics anonymous (AA/NA) meetings and frequent check-ins in regards to leaving the home for any reason, in addition to drug tests numerous times a week. Level 1 living is the next step in encouraging independent sober-living.

“You have a lot more freedom ... Like not needing to report to or request permission from the house manager when you want to go somewhere,” Carr said. “And there’s more accountability. You’ll still be screened for drug use, and while you don’t have to go to as many AA/NA meetings as you would in Level 2, as a house manager, I (go to) nine meetings a week.”

“You’ll still have to be screened for drug use,” he said, and admitted he tests his own residents three times a week. And regardless of whichever level individuals are in, a failed drug test means an eviction notice. 

“You get used to living with these people, you know, but if they’re (using) they can’t stay. I can not have you in the house with my other residents who are really trying to stay on track, which is hard enough already for recovering addicts” Carr said. 

“They didn’t have something like the House of Hope when I was sent to prison, but it was opened while I was behind bars. That’s why I want (Family Life Council and House of Hope) to start working more with rehab centers, probation officers, counselors and the community to meet these guys right when they get released,” Carr said.

“If I’m not there to pick these guys up when they’re released, the chances of me seeing them after that point go way down,” Carr said. 

And the crucial timeline to recovery could be a factor of why applying to the House of Hope, which has a waitlist, is relatively quick. 

Kristen Cardone, the director of Huron County’s mental health and addiction services (MHAS) board helped explain the program’s intake process. 

“So you call Family Life Counseling, and then there’s a brief application process. They’ll conduct an interview to see if you’re a good fit for the house, and determine where you are in recovery” Cardone said. “And they’ll give their answer that same day, once they deliberate it immediately after the interview.”

 

“We come back with a decision right away because we want you in our house as soon as possible to get you into recovery,” Carr said. “But the person has to want to be in recovery.”

Carr said he hopes to become a site manager and go on to managing his own recovery house.

Carr has been involved with the House of Hope for about two years and is a certified chemical dependency counselor’s assistant with Family Life Counseling. Family Life Counseling Services has offices in Norwalk, Willard, Sandusky, with the main office in Mansfield.

The house is at 115 Woodbine Ave., in Willard. To apply to the House of Hope through the Family Life Council call 419-774-9969, or go online at flcps.com or on Facebook

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