Since 2011, Ashley Hope has been helping people use the 12 steps to get on the road to recovery. Set in a clearing amid six acres of weeping willows and other trees, recovery home is the perfect place for those seeking sunshine in The South—South Carolina to be exact!
Accommodations and Food
The circular driveway and pillared façade give this 1960s house an estate aesthetic. Inside, the manor-like wood-floored rooms provide a relaxing, spacious sober living environment.
A fireplace is the focal point of the front room that’s furnished with a collection of vintage, wooden chairs and a couch. An area rug stretches across the floor whilst an ottoman and cloth-covered chair ia nestled in the corner. Right across the way, a traditional dining room is staged with an eight-person table underneath a chandelier. There’s also a cozy den complete with a plush sectional and chaise lounge encompassing a wardrobe with television. An additional sitting room combines ease with entertainment, as it’s loaded with a widescreen television, a line of leather loungers, coffee table and board game nook. Television viewing times are limited and no outside electronics are permitted. However, residents are allowed to use the house phone twice a day for 10 minutes per call.
This is a co-ed facility—16 people share four bedrooms, men on one floor and women on another, though the quarters are spacious and everyone sleeps on full-sized canopy beds. Residents are responsible for all household chores, laundry and dining room clean up.
The dietary aspect is rigorous to say the least. Food comes from “local purveyors,” donations and/or a food bank. On-site chefs, who are in the program and perform service-work cooking, prepare all meals. It’s been said that “every night is like Iron Chef.”
Treatment and Staff
Ashley Hope Recovery’s program is founded exclusively on the 12 steps. 90 days is the recommended length of stay, but a 30-day crash course is available if warranted. In any case, a newcomer receives a Big Book with instructions to read it. To be clear, there is no clinical aspect to Ashley’s methods at all—it’s strictly step-study groups and AA meetings.
If an addiction has a medical component, a house member will transport a resident to and from the hospital—this goes for detox as well. (Residents must make their own doctor’s appointments.) In terms of medications, anti-depressants, Benzodiazepines and the like are off limits whilst residing in the house.
Further, in addition to group meetings, peers are available for as-needed one-on-one sessions. If a client seeks individual discussion, they simply approach another housemate. This is social model recovery in its simplest form. Family members are encouraged to take an interest, as Ashley Hope has an open-door policy for residents’ loved ones. The senior staff members work with the family, educating them on a client’s addiction. The five, predominantly male, staff members easily assist residents, with a staff-to-client ratio of one-to-three. Again, there are no clinical people here—everyone leans on each other in this sober collective. No single person is responsible for a certain task—it’s a group effort. Using this philosophy, everyone’s covered around the clock.
Off-site AA meetings are awarded to those who are doing well at working their program. Residents are required to attend five in-house meetings per day—sponsors are recommended and relatives are welcome to attend.
On a given day, residents wake for morning devotion at 8 am—roughly a 15-minute ritual. From there, everyone is assigned a few chores until breakfast is served, followed by group meetings at 10, 11 and 12 and then a break for lunch at 1 pm. At 2 pm, residents attend a workshop with staff and then a step study at 3 pm. The free time from 4 pm until dinner at 6 is suggested as time to be of service to others in the house. Another meeting begins at 8 pm, followed by a Big Book study at 9. From 10 pm until lights out at midnight is time for devotion, personal study, step work and quiet community.
Weekends have a much looser structure, more built in time for recreation, scheduled fellowship activities, church and family. Visitors are allowed between 2pm and 6 on Saturdays and Sundays.
While there isn’t a gym or fitness room, weights are available in the backyard. Further, this house believes in good times, so outings include plays, big-productions shows, concerts, movies and the like.
For those who possess the willingness and strength to be a part of a hard-working house, this facility is the place to go. The lack of clinicians keeps this program cost effective but that means this is not the place for people with co-occurring disorders or serious trauma issues. Still, it is a solid option for people ready and willing to work the 12 steps.
Ashley Hope Recovery Location
2235 Ashley River Rd
Charleston, SC 29414
Ashley Hope Recovery Cost
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