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How to Start a Sober Living Home

As more attention on addiction increases rehabilitation resources, more community stewards are recognizing the value of creating a healthy recovery community. One of the emerging opportunities is to open a sober living home. The need is apparent, but is now the right time for you to open your own? Let Ascension help you make that decision and guide you through the process.





 Analysis and Planning
 Business Plan Implementation
 Full Support for Starting a Home


Opening a sober living home is not as easy as just buying or renting a home and opening the door to those in addiction or recovery. Whether it is a non-profit or private venture, a sober living home is a fully operational organization with customers, personnel, regulations, financial transactions and more. 

  • Location & site selection
  • Zoning laws
  • Availability of drug treatment services (including IOP, Psychiatry, & Counseling)
  • Public transportation
  • Employment resources
  • House rules
  • Staffing
  • Funding
  • Financial modeling
  • Establishing a non-profit
  • Combating NIMBY (not in my backyard) concerns and more

Ascension provides start-up consulting services to individuals of communities interested in opening a sober living home. 

Some of the Sober Living Homes we have developed:

WVSL logo

Have you hit a roadblock during the development of your Sober Living Home? We can help.


Analysis and Planning

Sober Living Home Analysis and Planning

During the first phase of development, Ascension will conduct a feasibility study to determine the best location, business model, referral sources and support services for the proposed sober living facility. Our expert staff will work with you to develop a budget and pro-forma financial analysis based on the realities of your unique situation and geography.

During this period, we will guide you through important decisions about making the sober living home viable long term. These decisions may include:

  • Number of beds
  • Related costs per bed
  • Obtaining grants for sober living homes vs being privately funded
  • Facility startup costs
  • Municipal codes
  • Insurance coverage
  • Return on Investment (ROI) forecasting

These decisions will shape programmatic and operational plans and identify resources needed during development.

Business Plan Implementation

Sober Living Home Business Plan Implementation

During Phase Two, we begin by developing a budget based on the owners’ / entities’ desires and financial tolerability. Start-up capital is usually comprised of cash and financing activities, with a goal of recuperating capital contributions through operating activities in the first couple of years. We will also assist the owners with setting up the appropriate business structure and will further investigate the regulations and code specific to the state your facility will be operated in, which will translate through all phases of development.

Additional expertise and support offered in Phase Two includes:

  1. Staff selection: Interviewing, hiring, and training
  2. Marketing efforts: Connecting your program with your community and geographic region to develop a referral network to fills beds
  3. Program material development: Creation of house rules, intake package, policies and procedures and all other program materials needed to run a successful sober living home.

Full Support for Starting a Sober Living Home

After a successful launch, Ascension can reduce involvement yet continue consulting on how to run a successful sober living home. During the first year, the new operator of the business will require occasional support on organizational and operational matters, which is not a daily or weekly need. A typical engagement scales Ascension’s time back in the early months, and the team can be available for ongoing or periodic consultations as needed.

With expert guidance to navigate the challenges of opening a sober living facility, you’ll have peace of mind and more time to focus on providing the complete place of healing.

Ongoing Support

Ascension usually stays on and consults through an initial period of operation to help the owner ensure operational excellence and is then available for consultation on an as-needed basis. 

Value of a Partnership

From analysis and planning, to operational programming, to marketing planning and community relations, our team has the experience and capabilities to effectively launch an organized and professional sober living home.

Are you ready to start a sober living home?

Sober Living Homes - Industry Stats 2017

Sober living homes are a crucial part of the recovery process and extremely important to the long-term recovery of those who have gone through treatment for addiction. The value of sober living homes has been verified through several industry studies, and the combination of sober living homes and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) is proven to have a high rate of success. 
  • 65 - 80% of those who go to opiate detox relapse within a month if they don't follow up with psycho-therapeutic addiction treatment
  • 13% of those who did not participate in day treatment or live at a sober living home were still drug free after 6 months 
  • 50% of those who did take part in day treatment and lived in sober living home were still drug free after 6 months
  • Those who take part in an IOP and sober living housing are twice as likely to avoid relapse than those who only lived in drug-free housing
  • This same group is 10 times more likely to avoid relapse than those who take part in neither sober living nor outpatient treatment. 
    Click the image to enlarge.

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death to Americans ages 50 and under, and the trend has increased since the year 2000. The annual death rate from overdosing in 2016 was between 59,000 - 65,000 people, which surpassed the peek death rates in any year from the HIV epidemic or gun violence. 

This is a disturbing but accurate look into the scale of the drug overdose epidemic in the U.S. The need for more sober living homes, treatment facilities, and Intensive Outpatient Programs is real, and will be real for some time.