Editor’s note: The Sidney Daily News will be publishing a weekly series of articles about Samaritan Works and how the organization helps residents maintain their sobriety, whether it’s from drugs or alcohol.
SIDNEY — The nonprofit, Christian-based organization Samaritan Works operates Serenity House, Amelia House and Horizon House, which are male and female sober living homes dedicated to promoting the recovery of men and women who want their sobriety and need a way to hold on to it.
Sheila Lundy, Samaritan Works executive director, sums up the program this way, “The recovery process takes time – time to reverse the negative life patterns which have accumulated over time by an addiction driven life. Managing life with others in a sober living environment, learning to take responsibility again, making a commitment to sobriety, and attending 12 Step meetings regularly are the beginnings of a responsible, sobriety centered life. Reconnections to work, family and community life can then follow.”
Potential program residents are strictly screened and assessed prior to entry into the program. Each must be 18 years or old, acknowledge that they have an addiction, and make a six-month commitment to the program.
The Amelia house is home to six women in recovery, and the Serenity House is home to six men. Samaritan Works newest addition is the new graduate facility, Horizon House, a newly renovated home equipped with four fully furnished apartment units. These homes allow the residents anywhere from six months up to two years in duration to focus on their sobriety.
Much of the recovery process includes being involved in lots of NA or AA meetings and working with a sponsor and others living in recovery. Connecting to a church and building a good spiritual support base is another important component for recovery.
A 34-year-old Amelia house resident, who has lived in the Amelia House for the past two months shared, “A lot of my family still use, so it would be difficult for me to go back home. For me, I’m at a safe place right now. I am still relatively new in recovery, but here at Amelia House, the constant temptations are gone.”
Another female resident, age 34, said, “I think we need more places like this. I really, really do. I have a job I love, and I feel that living in the Amelia House, I can put my life back together.”
“The homes provide self-sufficiency and accountability,” said Lundy. “The residents have some daily schedule flexibility, but if a resident chooses to use drugs or alcohol or buck the house rules, they’re out. Some live in our recovery homes the required six month, and other chose to live here the maximum amount of time our program allows, 18 months.”
Living in that type of environment has helped a mother of two earn back the respect of her parents and her children.
“I lost everything that was important to me,” said the mother. “I would be dead or in jail or prison, without a sober environment. But now I’m proud of me. I recently celebrated 9 months free of drugs. On Thanksgiving, my parents welcomed me at their table. At Christmas, I watched my daughter and son open the gifts I had bought for them from money I had saved.”
A Serenity House male resident said, “The advice and ears of those who have been around for a longer time have been important to me. For example, he often leans on the Samaritan Works staff, Kim or William, the house managers at Serenity House, or his NA sponsor, who have all been sober and clean for many years for guidance.”
The concept of recovery housing isn’t news, but when drug use is on the rise in Shelby County, it’s important to recognize that Samaritan Work’s recovery homes do serve those in recovery well and greatly increase the chances that they will be able to stay clean.
“I get a phone call a day, asking about our waiting list and how to get on it.” said Lundy. “Those that call for help or inquire about our program may not always be the right fit for our program or we may be full and cannot take someone. For this reason, we give other referrals to other facilities or resources in our community and according to the need presented. Samaritan Works has collaborated with Family Resources Counseling Center, Compassionate Care, Sidney Police Department, Probation Departments, Shelby County Jail, Job and Family Services, Veteran’s Department, FISH, Access Hospital Treatment Center in Dayton, Wilson Health and Upper Valley Medical Center, ALPHA Center, AGAPE, AA and NA, Family of Addicts (FOA), Community Housing, Metropolitan Housing, Shelby County Transit, and various other recovery houses.”