|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on March 19, 2015 at 7:40 PM|
News Release Contact: Mr. Bill Lauer 608-213-2964 March 20, 2015 Mr. Gary Goyke 608-219-5237
For Immediate Release
Budget Funding Sought for Oxford House Expansion in Wisconsin
Supporters and residents of Oxford Houses in Wisconsin are testifying in the Joint Finance Committee hearings around the state to educate the public and legislators about the Oxford House program and to seek State support for expanding the network of Oxford Houses.
Oxford Houses are self-run, self-supported recovery homes for recovering alcoholics, drug addicts and those with co-occurring mental illnesses. The highly successful program is the only recovery home program listed as a best practice on the federal National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). There are currently 20 Oxford Houses in Wisconsin and over 1,800 Oxford Houses across the nation. Started in 1975, the program has a very low relapse rate. Nationally, fewer than 20 percent of residents are expelled for relapse. Independent studies have demonstrated that Oxford Houses provide the time, peer support and necessary for long-term behavior change to take place.
Groups starting Oxford Houses receive a charter from Oxford House, Inc., the organization’s umbrella group. The charter requires that: (1) the House be run democratically by the residents, following the procedures in the Oxford House Manual; (2) the group must be financially self-supporting with each resident paying an equal share of House rent and expenses; and (3) the House residents agree to immediately expel any resident who relapses and uses drugs or alcohol. Because the Houses are self-run and self-financed, there is no need for time limits on residency. Residents stay as long as necessary to achieve comfortable sobriety. Residents govern themselves, elect House officers (with term limits to avoid ‘bossism’ and permit all residents to hold office at different times), hold regular House meetings, and pay their own rent and expenses. All residents get jobs and it is in the interest of all House members to help residents get jobs since everyone has to pay an equal share of rent and expenses. As a result there is usually an internal ‘jobs network’ that helps residents get and keep jobs.
The existing Oxford Houses in Wisconsin have been successful but there is a need for many more recovery beds in the state. Those states with the most Oxford Houses give grants to Oxford House, Inc. to support sending trained outreach workers to the state to help groups of recovering individuals find suitable houses to rent and teach them the system of operation. The funds also permit establishing funds to provide a start-up loan of $4,000-$6,000 to each group starting a new Oxford House. The loans are repayable by the group over 24 months. Development costs are low because, once started, each Oxford House is self-run and self-supported.
Oxford House, Inc. is able to develop 24 new Oxford Houses in a state for a cost of about $850,000 – covering both a start-up loan fund and eight outreach workers in a state. A little over $200,000 would support a small loan fund and two outreach workers. More information about the Oxford House program, the residents of Oxford House, and the costs of development can be found on the Oxford House, Inc. web site at: www.oxfordhouse.org. Note in particular the latest Annual Report featured on the home page.
We are advocating for an amendment to AB 21/SB 21 which would expand this efficient, cost effective program. Sober Housing Saves!