To begin with, let us tell you that this article is going to smash any preconceptions out there regarding opening a halfway contemporary houses in the USA. You do not need a license, permit, or any other document to open a halfway house. If any person, government official, government agency, zoning commission, etc. tells you otherwise, they are engaging in illegal and unfair practices. Know your rights (see bellow links to know your rights).
Just for a hypothetical situation; let’s say that 3 people who have depression decide to become roommates in a home. Should they be shut down and kicked out of the neighborhood because of their disability? Does that mean they have to get a license or permit to stay? Of course not. They are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), as well as other determinations (see links below) against such discrimination. Havingchemically dependent persons in a home is no different!!! Alcoholics and addicts have the same laws to protect them.
It is a well known fact that City Councils have tried to stop halfway houses in their neighborhoods by stating that a halfway house with alcoholics and/or addicts, in other words disabled persons, (and alcoholics and addicts qualify as disabled under the ADA), must not have roommates (as in 2 people in a room at a house), which prevents most halfway houses from opening.
If you have a house, and you want to open a halfway house, and your mortgage payment is $700.00 per month (see additional expenses at the bottom of this paragraph), there are many things to consider before accepting residents into your house. Let’s say, hypothetically, you follow licensing and zoning guidelines. With the average charge to a resident with a substance abuse problem, being around $125.00 per week, you can see that if you went with what the license division / politicians tell you, (which are illegal tactics), you would be out of business shortly. Keep in mind that in addition to your mortgage payment are things such as: utilities, phone service, water, food, furniture, cooking utensils, beds, sheets- basically everything you would need to survive, etc.
On the other hand, if you did not license your house, you could put in 2 or 3 people in a room and keep your halfway house open. In other words, helping others to get a hand up at living sober. Please read more details below…
How to open a Recovery Home, Halfway House, Sober Living Home OR starting a Half Way House/Recovery Facility*- Resources to assist you. This article includes information on the standards and requirements of opening and operating a Halfway House/Recovery Home- NOTE: Not every county in the United States approaches standards and licensure in the same way- it is best to contact your local licensure department and/or zoning division.
The first thing you should know about opening a halfway house is that you do not need a degree or special certification to open one, and that most operate without a license/permit. Also, under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and The Fair Act Amendment, as well as other determinations, makes it illegal to discriminate against halfway houses and the people who own, operate, and live in them. Please see our links below for more information concerning these issues. There are a number of other important issues to cover concerning opening a halfway house that are vital to know.
You must first decide where you will operate. Once you have determined a location you have a choice in whether to license* the facility or not. There are also other permits, inspections, zoning variances, etc. to explore prior to opening up a halfway house. Please keep in mind that it is your choice whether to obtain a license, permit, and other certifications for the operation of a halfway house. If you choose to open a halfway house without a license, there are certain parameters you must operate under to make sure you are not shut down by the county/city you operate within. It is always best to check into what is required, allowed, and not allowed by contacting your local licensure agency and zoning department.