Founded in 1990 in Seattle, Washington, the Aloha Inn is a co-ed sober living apartment building for clients without children who are recovering from chemical dependency. The Aloha Inn is a ministry of the Catholic Community Services of King County. The Aloha Inn is a peer-run facility, and during their stay clients are expected to work, pay a low housing fee and receive room and board. Additionally, they save up money so that they can find permanent housing. At the Aloha Inn, clients practice day-to-day life skills, attend 12-step meetings, participate in substance addiction education classes and receive additional social services.
Accommodations and Amenities
Once an old hotel, a neon sign still hangs outside the building, with the words Aloha Inn etched in red against a blue sky, complete with palm trees and a rainbow. The Aloha Inn accommodates 66 men and women, who are housed in gender-specific double-occupancy rooms with twin beds, nightstands, dressers, and lamps. Some residents are eligible to move into singles, depending on availability and seniority. Each room has a private bathroom and local landline phone.
A supervisor oversees kitchen staff, which is comprised of residents. Three meals are served daily, cafeteria-style. A typical dinner entrée includes a heaping plate of pasta and tomato sauce and garlic bread. A full breakfast is served Sundays. Working residents are provided with bagged lunches. The common areas include ample coffee, Cable TV and snacks. The food is all provided by donations. Other amenities include bus tickets and a computer lab.
Rules and Regulations
Potential clients must apply in person from 10 am to noon on Wednesdays and from five pm to seven pm Thursdays at a rotating location in downtown Seattle. Applicants are asked to call ahead to get the current whereabouts. Screening committee members (comprised of residents) are there to meet the potential residents and help with the application process. Appropriate applicants are interviewed and must be approved by the screening committee prior to acceptance. Length of stay at the Aloha Inn can last up to two years.
The Inn is democratically run and peer led, not unlike an Oxford House. Besides the screening committee, there is an executive committee of five senior residents who are elected to act as house managers. The executive committee oversees the day-to-day issues including curfews and potential terminations from the program, while the screening committee determines the amount of weekly meetings a resident must attend. The screening committee also makes sure clients stay on track in their recovery.
Requirements include attending the weekly general assembly house meeting, participating in a 12-step program and paying rent on time. During the general assembly, residents air their concerns, and work out issues. Residents must work 15 weekly hours in areas including the kitchen, the grounds, security, housekeeping and the front desk. The executive committee helps each person put money from disability, work or other funds into a bank account. The funds are set aside for a clients’ future permanent housing. Random drug and alcohol screenings are conducted. At the Aloha Inn, a zero tolerance policy is enforced. Those who relapse are immediately evicted from the premises. The rent is $10 weekly, for the first two weeks. Disability residents pay $5 weekly. After the first two weeks, the cost is $25 weekly for all residents.
Other services besides housing, include basic dental, eye exams, glasses, job referrals, vocational assistance, on-site drug and alcohol education classes and off site individual therapy. Pre-med students from the University of Washington offer free medical care to all residents at the Aloha Inn, on Sundays.
Alumni from the Aloha Inn often go back and offer their services to current residents, claiming that the program gave them a new chance at life. The Aloha Inn is a great opportunity for financially challenged clients who seek a safe place to land, as well as a place to call home.
The Aloha Inn
1911 Aurora Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
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