What to Expect as a resident of Shana’s House
The 3 acres of private and gorgeous landscaping provides the perfect environment for Shana’s House sober living and extended care for women. This is an oasis of tranquility for women who are trying to get back on track without the stresses of life bearing down on them. The 5,000-square foot home is fully furnished and able to support up to 8 residents. A spacious yard, inviting pool, and quaint terraces add to the beauty of the property.
Five Common Areas
Common Areas provide plenty of space for group interactions. There are also some tucked away places that can be used as quiet retreats for reflection and meditation or a cozy reading nook.
All Phase 1 Residents will have their meals provided for them. The food will emphasize healthy eating, which is an important part of recovery and mood enhancement. Gourmet meals are prepared under the direction of our house Chef. Since Phase 2 Residents are focusing on achieving autonomy, they are responsible for supplying and preparing their own meals.
Because responsibility is an important part of readjusting to the outside world, Shana’s House residents are accountable for the cleanliness of their own rooms/personal laundry, as well as participation of community and household chores.
The pool is a wonderful way for residents to relax and have fun during the summer, spring, and fall months. Water has immense healing powers and can calm anxieties. (Please note: There are no lifeguards, so swimming is at residents’ own risk)
Smoking and e-cigarettes are prohibited inside the house. There are a few designated areas for smoking. However, since smoking in itself is another form of addiction, it is discouraged.
Responsible Medication Management and Onsite 24/7 Care
On Site 24/7 Care
Many residents are in an extremely vulnerable state, especially when they first arrive at Shana’s House. It is essential that there is constant access to a support system. With an on-site office and staff present 24 hours a day, residents can reach out for guidance and nurturing at any hour. This is so essential because critical moments in recovery do not occur according to a timetable. Having 24/7 case managers and house managers allows for consistent support across various situations.
To keep residents safe from medication abuse, medications are kept secure in a locked safe for Phase 1. Medications are closely monitored and recorded by Shana's House staff to ensure effective medication management. Phase 2 Residents who are growing toward self-reliance are given more control over their medication management.
Convenient Transportation & Guided Communication
Transport Services are provided for Phase 1 Residents to enable attendance at program-related activities, appointments, and 12-step meetings.
Personal vehicle use is allowed for Phase 2 Residents and some Phase 1 residents (determined on a case-by-case basis).
Upon admission, cell phones will be turned off and withheld for the first two weeks. During this time, residents may use the house's cordless phones. Initial withholding of cell phones is necessary to eliminate distractions that can hinder early recovery. After 2 weeks, cell phones will be returned if used responsibly.
Laptops are allowed after residents complete the Orientation phase. Touchscreen workstations with high-speed internet access (and printers) are available as well. Gaming systems, iPods, iPads, and tablets are allowed in moderation depending on the affect they have on each resident’s recovery.
While residents may send/receive mail, Phase 1 residents must open all deliveries in the presence of a staff member, which we believe prevents triggers from inhibiting recovery. Phase 2 Residents who are learning to live a more independent lifestyle (which includes handling their triggers effectively) may open their own mail without supervision.
Building Personal Finance Skills and Responsibilities
Resident Spending Account
At the time of admission, a residential spending account for out-of-pocket expenses is created. Access and spending limits are set and monitored by staff, fostering guidance in learning to budget and manage their money – an essential skill for real-world living. Family members and friends are asked to refrain from sending money directly to their loved ones, as this may counteract their ability to achieve appropriate budgeting skills.
Travel and Visitation within the Guidelines of Recovery
As difficult as it is, home visitations are strongly discouraged during the first few weeks of entry into Shana’s House. Premature exposure to family triggers can be detrimental to recovery when commitment to the community within Shana's House has not been established. This allows residents to develop strong relationships and friendships, building a support group of trust. Once home visitations are approved, we recommend that residents travel with a sober companion for extra support.
Overnight visits are not only a privilege for a resident who is demonstrating the positive qualities we are encouraging, but are also a test of progress for the individual due to the home environment often being riddled with triggers. We encourage residents to take home visits when they are ready because they will need to be prepared to experience their home environment at some point after leaving our care. Being able to visit with the support of another member and the knowledge that they can return to the safe environment at Shana’s House, is a good way to get small doses of home life and build up a tolerance to those triggers.
On-With staff approval, families are encouraged to visit residents at Shana’s House and to take them out into the local community. Visiting hours are on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Preparing for Outside Employment with Powerful Career and Education Goals
We believe that part of the recovery process involves rebuilding confidence within oneself. Continued education and trade schools are a great way to strengthen skills and knowledge, while preparing residents for a career once they leave the house. Shana’s Sober Living House offers academic support, giving each resident a chance to achieve their academic goals. Local schools available to our residents include: Sacred Heart University, Norwalk Community College, University of Connecticut at Stamford, Newport Academy, and Fairfield University.
We aim to assist each resident in achieving self-sufficiency once they leave Shana’s House. The town of Westport provides many employment opportunities that residents can take advantage of, which include: investment management, manufacturing, media and advertising, food, and venture capital industries. Shana’s House will help residents find the perfect employment position that suits them and assist residents in various aspects of their career search including:
* Identifying their skill set and potential employment opportunities
* Creating a cover letter
* Developing a resume
* Searching for job opportunities
* Preparing for interviews
These skills will be imperative to preparing a resident for the professional world. It will be one more tool that will assist in guiding them towards self-sufficiency.
Volunteering is a great way to give back by building a connection to the community. Residents who volunteer tend to improve in their level of confidence and self-assurance. There are dozens of volunteer opportunities that can fit multiple interests, such as: Connecticut Humane Society, Earthplace, Jewish Elderly Home in Fairfield, Habitat for Humanity, Discovery Museum, Westport YMCA, Alcoholics Anonymous Hotline, Westport Library, Homeless Shelters, among others.