The Rapidian

Guiding Light Sober-Living Apartments Welcomes Record Number

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Iron House offers a safe and secure environment in a residential area outside the inner city that offers continued peer support. Located in the city of Kentwood, several of the Iron House facilities are undergoing extensive renovations to accommodate the additional Recovery clients.
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/Guiding Light

As community need continues to grow, Guiding Light is preparing to welcome eight men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction to its sober-living community, Iron House.

The first two men moved into one of six Iron House facilities in late June, with two expected to move in July and two in August as they complete the Foundations phase of Guiding Light’s “no-joke” Recovery program. The additional two are expected to follow in the coming months.

Iron House offers a safe and secure environment in a residential area outside the inner city that offers continued peer support. Located in the city of Kentwood, several of the Iron House facilities are undergoing extensive renovations to accommodate the additional Recovery clients.

Planned renovations include:

  • Removing carpeting and installing hardwood floors
  • Resurfacing bathtubs
  • Painting walls
  • Replacing countertops
  • Adding washer and dryer
  • Resurfacing driveway

Guiding Light is looking for donations of cash or new or gently used furniture to help make Iron House a comfortable place for the men to continue their sobriety journey. A list of needs can be found here.

“This is the first time in program history that all the men currently enrolled in Recovery are moving to Iron House, making the need for these renovations greater than ever,” said Daven Crump, Recovery program director at Guiding Light, “We so appreciate the support of our generous community, who continue to respond to the needs of men looking to do the hard work to build lives worth staying sober for.

“The communal aspect of Iron House keeps the men accountable and fosters a sense of belonging. What differentiates Guiding Light from other organizations is the holistic support system we offer, starting from the moment they walk through the door and continuing as they transition to our sober-living community.”

Since the beginning of 2021, Guiding Light has experienced increases in the number of inquiries and program enrollments for its Recovery program. This increase reflects national trends, as a study from the National Institute on Alcohol reports that alcohol use – and subsequent deaths – had increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guiding Light’s Recovery is a four- to six-month residential program that combines evidence-based practices, life-coaching, therapy, support groups, spiritual direction and resources. Each week, men attend group therapy sessions and individual therapy sessions with a licensed counselor specializing in addiction. Men also have weekly sessions with a life coach and a spiritual director, as well as daily personal contact with outside community support groups who are all committed to their recovery.

Men who complete the Foundations portion of the Recovery program have the option to move to Iron House, a sober-living apartment setting that allows men to live more independently as they transition back into the mainstream of society.

“We typically have some portion of those completing the Foundations phase transition into Iron House, but this is the first time we’ve had everyone express interested,” Crump said. “Our program is successful because we work to replace the chaos of day-in-day-out addiction with a proactive, extensive, all-encompassing and healthy routine. Transitioning to Iron House reinforces that routine, preparing men to build toward eventual independence.”

Guiding Light’s statistics show approximately 77% of the men who come through the Recovery program find employment and move to Iron House will achieve one year of sobriety – compared with 33% of men who attempt to get sober on their own. On average, men enrolled in Guiding Light Recovery who transition to Iron Horse for 1-2 years will earn $4-$5 more per hour by the end of their stay.

To learn more about Iron House, visit: https://guidinglightworks.org/get-help/iron-house/.

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