With a number of factors that increase risk for addiction and undermine prospects for recovery among members of the gay community, a Texas company that operates sober-living homes believes more aftercare options should be tailored to this community’s needs.
Eudaimonia Recovery Homes, which operates six sober-living residences, opened its first sober home for gay and bisexual men two years ago. The Scott Daniel Home, an Austin residence named after a successful local attorney and philanthropist who committed suicide, is believed to be one of only three recovery homes for gay men in the United States.
“Why are there not more gay sober homes when addiction in the gay community is such a problem?” says house manager Jason Howell, who became involved in the Scott Daniel Home project after a former partner told him how important his sober-living experience had been to sustaining his recovery.
Howell says the home offers an attractive option for individuals who often avoid the usual treatment or support programs for fear that they will not be accepted. “Treatment facilities don’t necessarily acknowledge the sexual orientation of males,” he says. “Gay men haven’t been able to share the same experiences with straight men.”
The home is located in a section of Austin that is very close to the site of regular 12-Step meetings tailored to the gay community; residents are required to attend at least three support meetings a week.
Eudaimonia Recovery Homes director Mathew Gorman says the house rules at the Scott Daniel Home are virtually identical to those at the other homes the company operates. For example, all residents must be involved either in volunteer work, employment or school attendance during their stay. Computer use is allowed on the premises but takes place in common areas of the house and not in residents’ rooms, so as to guard against potentially dangerous uses of the Internet.
Residents make a commitment of at least three months at the home, where the rent charge is somewhat below that of similar facilities elsewhere.
Howell says his former partner is now an officer on the home’s governing board. “He has said that his struggle with his sexuality was at the heart of his addiction,” Howell says. “We’re glad that we can fill this gap in services.”