How to Start A Sober Living or Halfway House

How to Start A Sober Living or Halfway House

December 2, 2021

Whether you have questions about starting a sober living house or operating a recovery home for individuals seeking continued substance abuse treatment, it's important to establish a sober living or halfway house business plan. This article covers topics that range from local ordinances, city, county, and state regulations, permit requirements, and more.

Business Plan Establishment

  • Number of beds
  • Related costs per bed
  • Obtaining grants for sober living homes vs being privately funded
  • Facility startup costs
  • Municipal codes
  • Insurance coverage
  • Return on Investment (ROI) forecasting

Sober Living And Halfway House Business Plan

  • Hiring new employees:
  • Marketing and advertising:
  • Develop program material:
  • Obtain an EIN ( Employer Identification Number ) number from the IRS.
  • Research local ordinances and city zoning laws in your area.
  • Decide whether you will operate a sober living house for men only, women only, or both.
  • Maintain income and expense records for employees and residents.

Permit And License Requirements

Every state, county, and city have different regulations for drug and alcohol programs. It's important to understand your local city or county regulations for operating a drug or alcohol program. In the state of California, licensure is required by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) for any residential facility that offers the following non-medical services:

  • Group therapy sessions
  • Personal therapy sessions
  • Detox for drug and alcohol dependency
  • Addiction and drug or alcohol dependency workshops
  • Continued or ongoing treatment and relapse prevention planning

If you plan to operate a recovery home and require that all residents refrain from drug and alcohol consumption and don't provide any of the above services it's not required by law to secure licensing. Common names that are used for sober living homes and halfway houses:

  • Transitional housing
  • Cooperative living
  • Alcohol-free housing
  • Drug-free housing
  • Sober living environment

Depending on whether or not the homes mention above are a business, permits or clearances may be required in order to file taxes.

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