A Friend of Bill’s is a coed recovery community and sober living organization with four facilities in Tennessee—two in Lebanon, one in Hendersonville and one in Murfreesboro—and another in Henderson, Kentucky. As the name might suggest, the 12 steps are a major component of daily life in these homes, allowing clients to follow a a structured path toward sobriety.
Accommodations and Amenities
All five of the locations offer spacious and comfortable homes that can accommodate between eight and 20 clients at a time. There are both shared and private bedrooms, as well as shared bathrooms. Typically, private rooms are reserved for clients who have seniority. All of the facilities are in quiet, tree-lined neighborhoods close to grocery stores, public transportation, 12-step meetings and employment centers.
Upon intake, staff refer new clients to programs for food services and assistance such as food stamps. Bedding and basic toiletries are provided, as are laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. Transportation is available to appointments or off-site meetings provided that a staff member is also attending. Staff typically accompanies clients several times a week to local AA/NA meetings in the community. All the facilities also have bikes available, if walking is too far.
A Friend of Bill’s organizes fun sober events for residents such as sober dances, guest speakers and group dinners. A few of the larger activities include the Music City Roundup, which is a four-day AA/NA event in Nashville with an attendance of generally over 1,500. There are AA-sponsored picnics about four times a year and a New Year’s Eve bash with dancing, live music and prize drawings. The main goal with all of these events is for clients to see that life with sobriety can be fulfilling without drugs and alcohol.
Rules and Regulations
Some clients at A Friend of Bill’s are voluntary while others are court-ordered. While every new resident attends daily 12-step meetings and works the steps, court-ordered clients are required to have their daily meetings signed off on by a representative. Every resident must sign a recovery contract before entering the homes stating that they agree to obtain a sponsor and work the program.
There are two house meetings every week that all clients must attend. These serve mainly as check-ins between the staff and the clients, where step work can be discussed and questions answered. Management is very active in all the homes, frequently dropping by to assist clients with anything they need.
Getting back into the workforce is an important part of the program so A Friend of Bill’s offers job-hunting resources for surrounding areas. Random drug and alcohol screenings are regularly performed on-site and house managers assign weekly chores. Keeping personal areas tidy is a requirement in all the residences, as is maintaining general cleanliness and respect for the house. Smoking is allowed at the facility but only in designated areas outside.
The on-site house managers and monitors at A Friend of Bill’s are either former or current clients with at least six months sobriety. Program staff assist in monitoring house rules and make sure all proper paperwork gets filled out and filed.
A Friend of Bill’s offers a safe place to recover from substance abuse with the help of staff and peers. Though there aren’t many professional staff to help residents with co-occurring disorders, it is still a good choice for those looking to simplify their lives and focus on recovery.
A Friend of Bill’s
191 Evergreen Circle
Hendersonville, TN 37075
A Friend of Bill’s Cost: $400-500 (30 days). Reach A Friend of Bill’s by phone at (615) 449-9514.
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