Providing Technical Support for NARR 1&2 Recovery Housing

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Paul Molloy's Testimony to the Joint Finance Committee

Posted by on March 12, 2016 at 7:35 AM

Oxford House, Inc. • 1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 300 • Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

A 501[c][3] organization listed on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices [NREPP] • Tel. 301-587-2916

Statement of J. Paul Molloy

Cofounder and CEO of Oxford House, Inc.

Oxford House, Inc., the national 501[c][3] umbrella organization for all individual Oxford

Houses, is very interested in developing a partnership with Wisconsin to establish and maintain a

larger network of Oxford Houses in the State of Wisconsin.

Bill Lauer, a leader of the Oxford House™ movement in Wisconsin, has testified before your

Committee and so you know something about Oxford House™ – the only self-run, self-supported

recovery home network listed on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices

[NREPP]. There are now over 1,850 Houses with over 14,500 recovery beds. We are in 44 states -

including the 20 Oxford Houses in Wisconsin that have 162 recovery beds.

I am a fortunate recovering alcoholic who has a happy-ending story. I was a ‘has been’ in that I had

been Republican Counsel to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee but alcoholism caught up with me

and, in 1975, I found myself separated from my wife and living in a county-run halfway house that was

closing. Two things changed my life: (1) the residents of the closing halfway house decided to run the

halfway house themselves, creating the first Oxford House; and (2) while in the halfway house I was

hired as a Republican Counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. I held that job for six

years and then joined a major law firm. In 1988, my wife and I remarried and I began the process of

encouraging the spread of Oxford Houses because I knew they worked.

Oxford Houses provide the time, peer support and safe living environment necessary for many

recovering alcoholics, drug addicts and those with co-occurring mental illness to change behavior to

become productive citizens and stay clean and sober. Because OHI has developed a disciplined

system of democratic operation and self-support, individual Oxford Houses – once established – stay

on track. Moreover, the houses are rented real estate that stays on the tax roles just like it would if

rented to an ordinary family. The key to quality control is the Oxford House Charter that is required

for any recovery group wanting to utilize the Oxford House system of operations and the Oxford

House name. An OHI charter has three conditions: [1] the group must be democratically self-run using

the process and practices contained in the Oxford House Manual©; [2] the group must be financially

self-supporting; and [3] the group must immediately expel any resident who returns to using alcohol or

illicit drugs. Last year more than 30,000 individuals lived in an Oxford House in this country and only

16.7% were asked to leave because of relapse.

Two factors enable Oxford House™ to expand readily: (1) the availability of a small start-up loan to

enable groups to rent an ordinary single-family house; and (2) availability of access to on-site technical

assistance from trained outreach workers who teach the time-tested system of operation. OHI is good

at providing both and has contracts with 20 states to do just that. We would like a contract with

Wisconsin where Bill has made a good start but needs help to develop more Oxford Houses.

Our FY 2014 Annual Report is downloadable from our website: It describes

how OHI develops strong statewide networks of Oxford Houses. More than 20 years ago we opened

the door on solid third-party recovery research and the proof is in. Oxford Houses work and the cost of

expansion is very low.

I urge the Committee to support funding for further development of Oxford Houses in Wisconsin.


Categories: Recovery Legislation, Sober Housing, Sober Living in Recovery

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