BUCKHANNON – The Christ-centered sober living residence, the Lazarus House, for men in recovery from addictions opened its doors last July and is at full occupancy.
Doug Spears, executive director of 180 Center, Inc. Sober Living Houses, said operations of the first house have progressed smoothly, and he’s now looking to add another house.
“I know that I said that I would open up a women house next, but I think I’m going to open another men’s house first, which is coming in February,” Spears said. “The house is being remodeled right now as we speak. I don’t have a name for it yet, but I will, and it will be able to house eight men as well.”
He said the new house will be close to CVS and he will most likely bring two or three men from Lazarus House to the new one to help newcomers.
“I’m hoping by in 2020 sometime to have a women’s house as well. I would love to have a women’s house too, but you really have to have the right person to do it,” Spears said.
The new house will be operated the same way as Lazarus House, with set rules and structured routines.
“First of all, they are required to have jobs, and some of them are full-time and some are part-time,” Spears said. “They have a curfew at 10 p.m. on weekdays and on Friday and Saturday, it is 11 p.m., but they are free to come and go as they please.”
He said all the residents attend meetings, whether that is AA, NA or Celebrate Recovery, and church is also mandatory.
“They go to church twice on Sunday, and some of them do Bible studies and different things,” Spears said. “They have house chores, which keeps the place clean, and they are drug tested once – sometimes, twice – a week. That holds them accountable. Plus, the guys in here hold each other accountable because nobody in here wants drugs here.”
Residents of the Lazarus House have also started doing community service one Saturday a month.
“The latest one was for the Salvation Army bell ringing, but we’ve helped a couple different churches here and there, just wherever we can and if someone asked for help, I try to put that on the list,” Spears said.
Spears said those interested in the 180 Center’s sober living houses can fill out an application at 180centerinc.com and email it to him at email@example.com or mail it to him at 52 N. Florida St., Buckhannon, WV 26201.
“I’ll bring candidates in and see if they’re serious,” Spears said. “If you’re not serious about getting clean, then someone else can use that bed. I want people in here that are wanting to have a different life.”
“There’s a huge difference in someone that’s wanting to change their life and then someone that is just biding their time before they can go out and use again,” he added.