What to expect as a resident of Shana’s House

The 3 acres of private and gorgeous landscaping provide the perfect environment for Shana’s House, a sober living home for Women.  This is more than what half way houses offer.  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.

The House: A Safe Place for Achieving Sober Living 

Accommodations:  With 4 bedrooms and 5-1/2 baths, Shana’s House can support up to 8 residents. Each room is furnished with full-size Beauty Rest™ mattresses, inviting décor, plenty of storage, and a flat screen TV complete with cable services.  Our goal is to provide a cozy and comfortable “home” for residents so they can focus on their recovery. 

5 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.    

Cooking: 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 feeling good.  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. 

Housekeeping: 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 household chores. 

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Pool: 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: Smoking and e-cigarettes are prohibited inside the house.  There are a few designated areas for smoking, but since smoking in itself is another form of addiction, it is discouraged. 

Responsible Medication Management and Onsite 24/7 Care

Onsite 24/7 Care: Many residents are in an extremely vulnerable state, especially when they first arrive at Shana’s House, so it is essential that there is constant access to a system of support. With onsite office and staff present 24 hours a day, residents can reach out for guidance and nurturing at any hour.  This is so important because critical moments in recovery don’t occur according to a timetable.  Having 24/7 case/house managers means there is always someone there. 

Medication Management: To keep residents safe from medication abuse, medications are kept secure in a locked safe for Phase 1.  Medications are closely monitored and recorded 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). 

Phones:  Upon admission, cell phones will be turned off and withheld for the first two weeks.  Residents may use the house cordless phones instead.  This is necessary to eliminate distractions that can hinder recovery.  After 2 weeks, cell phones will be returned if used responsibly.

Computers:  Laptops are allowed after residents complete Orientation.  Touchscreen workstations with high-speed internet access (and printer) are available as well.  Gaming systems, iPods, iPads, and tablets are allowed in moderation depending on how they affect a resident’s recovery. 

Mail: While residents may send/receive mail, Phase 1 members must open all deliveries in the presence of a staff member.  This is to prevent 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 if they wish. 

Building Personal Finance Skills and Responsibilities

Resident Spending Account: A residential spending account for out-of-pocket expenses is created at the time of admission. Access and spending limits are set and monitored by staff.  This helps to guide residents 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 our residents, as this may counteract their ability to achieve sober living.

Travel and Visitation within the Guidelines of Recovery

Travel: As difficult as it is, trips home are strongly discouraged during the first few weeks of entry into Shana’s House.  Exposure to family triggers too soon can be detrimental to recovery.  It is also important that the resident becomes committed to the community within the house. This allows residents to develop strong bonds of relationships and friendships, building a support group of trust.  Once homebound trips 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 growth qualities we are encouraging, but are also a test of progress for the individual. The home environment is often 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-site Visits: 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 Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Preparing for Outside Employment with Powerful Career and Education Goals

Academics: We believe that part of the process of recovery involves rebuilding confidence and rebuilding 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 his or her academic goals.  Local schools available to our residents include Sacred Heart University, Norwalk Community College, UConn Stamford, Newport Academy, and Fairfield University.

Employment: We want to help each resident get back on their feet and achieve self-sufficiency once they leave Shana’s House. Westport provides many employment opportunities that residents can take advantage of:  investment management, manufacturing, media and advertising, food, and venture capital industries – the region is a hub of work potential.  Shana’s House will help residents find the perfect employment that suits them and assist residents in the aspects of their career search including:

  •        Identifying their skill set and potential employment opportunities
  •        Creating a cover letter
  •        Developing a resume
  •        Preparing for interviews
  •        Searching for job opportunities

These skills will be immensely important in preparing a resident for the professional world.  It will be one more tool that will assist in guiding them towards self-sufficiency.

Volunteering: Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and helps build a sense of connection with the outside world.  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 (Fairfield), Habitat for Humanity, Discovery Museum, Westport YMCA, Alcoholics Anonymous Hotline, Westport Library, homeless shelters, and more.