Founded in 2004 by James Settles and his mentor Jim Boyd in Nashville, Tennessee, Aphesis House, a nonprofit organization that provides safe and structured 12-step based sober living for men. Settles, who spent eight years in prison, met Boyd and the two joined forces to help create an environment where men can transition safely from incarceration to society. The house also caters to men in early recovery from different walks of life. The name Aphesis is taken from the Greek, and literally means forgiveness. Besides housing, Aphesis House provides comprehensive group therapy for men so that they can build a strong foundation in their recovery.
Accommodations and Amenities
The Aphesis House organization currently has three houses, including one with an 11-bed capacity, one that lodges seven men and another with an eight-bed capacity. Accommodations vary, but clients are paired in comfortably furnished rooms. Televisions are permitted in the living room only.
Food is provided until a resident receives food stamp benefits, which assists towards the purchase of groceries. Meals are prepared in fully equipped kitchens. Upon arrival, clients receive a 31-day bus pass, work boots, clothing and are assisted in acquiring State IDs and birth certificates (if necessary). Transportation is provided to medical, 12-step meetings, work, education classes and job searches. Staff lives on the premises and oversees operations.
Rules and Regulations
Potential clients must have completed detox and be physically and mentally stable. Prior to acceptance, clients undergo a comprehensive assessment by staff. Individuals taking benzodiazepines or other narcotic medications are not admitted. Those with co-occurring disorders are accepted into the house, provided that they are capable of acquiring and working a full-time job. Clients on approved prescriptions must be able to take their own medications.
The Aphesis House Operation Excel program is 90 days in length. Residents must follow the treatment protocol as provided by their parole or probation officers, as well as their individualized recovery protocol, which is created during intake and which dictates the number of outside 12-step meetings they must attend. Aside from individual curriculums, weekly obligations for the entire household include attending four house group sessions and attending outside 12-step meetings, including Celebrate Recovery, AA/NA, as well as church services. Group topics include relapse prevention, anger management, Bible study, critical thinking, spiritual foundations and life skills. Upon arrival, men must obtain a temporary sponsor within 14 weeks, and a permanent sponsor within the first 30 days.
Other requirements include obtaining employment, performing daily household chores, not engaging in intimate relationships for 90 days and following a respectable dress code, which includes no braids, no baggy clothing and sporting an acceptable hairdo. The men are provided with comprehensive job readiness services, as well as GED education classes. Additionally, they are guided into putting 75 percent of their net pay into a savings account, so that they will be have enough funds to secure permanent housing at the end of their stay.
Random drug and alcohol screenings are conducted. At Aphesis House, residents who relapse must leave the premises immediately to secure the safety of the entire household. During the first 30 days, the curfew is 8 pm seven days a week. After that period, the curfew is 10 pm. The admission cost is $375, which includes the first two weeks of rent. After that time, the 30-day cost is $420.
As a nonprofit organization, Aphesis House relies on volunteers and donations to help offset costs, and assist clients on their journey in recovery.
Aphesis House offers men in early recovery, including criminal, justice clients, comprehensive services, as well as a chance to delve into a 12-step or faith-based program. Programs like these are much needed, and hopefully, this lifesaving facility opens a female-only sober living home in the near future.
1522 Compton Ave
Nashville, TN 37212
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