Bridges Sober Living Chicago Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Bridges Sober Living Chicago


Chicago IllinoisBridges Sober Living Chicago Review

Founded in 2013 in Chicago, Illinois, Bridges Sober Living Chicago offers men a structured approach to sober living. Co-founder, president and executive director Drew Migdal, whose sobriety date is March 27, 2001, feels that rules and regulations are meant to serve clients and help them build a foundation in recovery.

Accommodations and Amenities

The Bridges Sober Living Chicago community includes two homes—the California House and the Troy house. Located in the hip Logan Square, across the street from a Starbucks, California House is a distinctive blue-shingled building with white trim, pitch gabled roofs and a Victorian-style window. The house accommodates 13 men and includes three flats, or apartments. Each flat includes a fully equipped kitchen, common areas, a bathroom and three bedrooms. At Bridges Sober Living, there is the belief that clients should be treated as adults. No more than two clients reside each room. Men are paired in high ceilinged, white walled rooms with twin beds topped with comforters, spacious wood trimmed windows, a closet, dressers, nightstands, and contemporary canvas art hanging from the walls. Furnished singles are also available for an additional monthly fee.

Located in a lush residential street in Avondale, The Troy House, which is within walking distance from a supermarket, accommodates 12 men. A black steel security fence surrounds the property, and a tree adorns the exterior. The entire neighborhood is replete with trees and shrubbery. The layout parallels the California house and men reside in double or single-occupancy rooms.

At both houses, residents are responsible for their groceries and meal preparation. Amenities include Wi-Fi, cable TV with HBO, two in-unit washers and dryers, air conditioning and heat, and 60” flat screen TV’s. Both homes have onsite house managers, and are in close proximity to public transportation.

Rules and Regulations

Prior to admission, clients preferably have a minimum of 30 days of sobriety. Alcohol and drug testing includes a Breathalyzer, and a 12-panel urine screening. Random weekly screenings are conducted to ensure the safety of the entire household. While a six-month minimum length of stay is recommended, the required minimum duration is 90 days. Forbidden medications include benzodiazepines and other opiates except Suboxone, which is permitted. All medications must be taken as prescribed, and are securely locked in individual supplied lock boxes.

Requirements include attending a minimum of four recovery support meetings, which can include 12-step, SMART Recovery, Rational Recovery or any other protocol which best works for the client. The meeting requirement is modified to adapt to clients’ outpatient care schedules if necessary. Clients enrolled in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) or other therapeutic appointment, must attend their outpatient programs instead of house meetings.

During the first 30 days, clients following a 12-step protocol must acquire sponsors. At Bridges Sober Living Chicago, there is the belief that it is important for clients to be plugged into the real world. Unemployed clients must find a job or perform volunteer service or attend school. A minimum of 25 weekly hours is mandated. During the first 30 days, the curfew is 10 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. After 30 days, the curfew is 11 pm, and one am, correspondingly, and after 60 days, the curfew is 12 am and 2 am, accordingly. Residents who work late shifts are accommodated.

While a zero tolerance policy is utilized for residents who have relapsed, often the house managers detect warning signs. At that time, staff gets in touch with a client’s family, counselor or other emergency contact. Residents who relapse are referred to detox, residential treatment or family. Clients are allowed to return, on a case-by-case basis, but a second relapse ensures that they can’t come back. Other rules include performing household chores, making beds upon awakening and attending the weekly house meeting, which includes discussing a recovery related topic, followed by reviewing the residents’ weekly progress.


Besides local businesses, the houses are in close proximity to a plethora of recovery support meetings. Other services include referrals to local outpatient drug rehabs, therapists and interventionists.

In Summary

Bridges Sober Living Chicago is a labor of love on Migdal’s part. The facility is named after the now defunct sober living that he attended in Lisle, Illinois. Migdal utilizes the same all-encompassing approach that had helped him achieve long-term sobriety. Not only do clients live in trendy homes located in great neighborhoods, but also they are allowed to work on individual and balanced recovery curricula. Migdal cares deeply about clients’ well being and is aware of their individual needs. Bridges Sober Living Chicago does not like to disclose its address, for the safety and privacy of clients.

Bridges Sober Living Chicago Location

Bridges Sober Living Chicago
Chicago, IL 60647

Bridges Sober Living Chicago Cost

Call for cost (30 days). Reach Bridges Sober Living Chicago by phone at (312) 620-0629 or by email at [email protected] Find Bridges Sober Living Chicago at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Do you have a complaint or review of Bridges Sober Living Chicago to add? Use the comments area below to add your Bridges Sober Living Chicago review.



  1. I could really write a book describing the real deal of Bridges Sober Living but it isn’t worth my time. I am happy to know that a certain very popular rehab in Rockford will not refer clients here. Rightfully so.

    I love the comments about the rooms. Reality is that you don’t have any bedding furnished and the beds are child sized, (5ft long).

    There is not a single rule that they follow as said they do on their site.

    Rules do not apply to house managers.

    Bottom line is you are guaranteed to lose your money, sobriety, and perhaps even your life if you go here.

    Almost forgot to mention the terrible rat problem.

    Note, I am not a disgruntled former client. I am a dead honest former clo

  2. Honestly, this house has given me more reasons to use than stay clean and that is NOT what I came to a recovery home to do. They do make up rules as they go along. My stay there included my roommate who kept her 2 year old there constantly. Not a daycare! They do not breathalyze as they say. They claim they care about you and your well being, while talking and planning behind your back. If you want to stay sober, please stay away from this organization.

  3. The above forgot to mention that they also do not drug test or breathalize regularly like the website says . only once when you get checked in.

  4. Bridges Sober Living (Women Residence) is a truly terrible place to call home. I’ve been in different sober homes and heard this was a good place to live in.
    Before I came in, I spoke to the director of what to expect of this new house he was opening.
    He told me it wasn’t a strict environment – the only “strict” obligation was to be out of the building from 9am – 5pm on weekdays looking for full time work if you didn’t already have a job. Otherwise, on days you don’t work, you could sleep all day if you wanted and no one would mind. I was also told chores were to be done only once a week, you could have as many overnights as you wanted within reason, and that the women’s manager was the sweetest woman the director’s ever met and I had nothing to worry about.
    THESE ARE ALL LIES, if not incomplete information with a catch.
    Chores have to be done twice a week (which isn’t a big deal, but it still shouldn’t have been lied about.) You had to be out at those hours until your FIRST DAY of work; TRAINING DOESN’T COUNT! The manager was also extremely mad at me for sleeping all day when I wasn’t able to even come home until 9:30 a.m. due to work scheduling (even though they claim to work with you when it comes to work). You COULD have overnights, but each night you’re out you have to pay an extra 10$ per night. And the most important and biggest lie – THE MANAGER IS NOT SWEET OR EVEN NICE IN THE SLIGHTEST! She is a vindictive and spiteful person that questions your seriousness about recovery, looks to find mistakes (even if they’re not there) to put you down with and makes snide remarks, being completely disrespectful (even though she claims to have nothing but respect for people.) She’s a liar who over-generalizes everything. (For example, if she asks you to do something once, she says that she constantly asks you to do it and doesn’t want to keep doing so.) During my time there, she has also repeatedly expressed how she doesn’t have the patience to deal with the women in the house; even though it is her JOB as MANAGER. I have honestly never met such a hypocritical and spiteful person ever in my life. ESPECIALLY a recovering addict who’s trying to better themselves.
    The director preaches how communication is the most important key, yet if you try to tell him how disrespectful the manager is and explain her lies, he will immediately take this woman’s side that he hardly even knows and put you on the major consequence for “lying”. A woman who only ended up manager last minute because the previous manager bailed before the opening of the house, and he (the director) desperately needed a manager in order to open; a woman he does not know well and installed all his trust into her.
    When doing my intake, the director also mentioned to me that they were not like other sober livings – they weren’t just concerned with your money and actually wanted the best for you and see you succeed. What a load of crap. If you are late with rent, you are put on restriction without hesitance. In my opinion, if they don’t want you for your money, they definitely want you for your sanity.
    You are unable to make a single mistake without being sentenced to a major restriction (curfew at 8pm on weekdays, 10pm on weekends, anonymous meetings must be attended every day and signed with chair person’s personal phone number and other info.) That means leaving out any silver/dishware out completely by accident, heading out the door a minute late in the morning, keeping a secret that someone told you with confidence, arriving 10 minutes late to an anonymous meeting, not cleaning the restroom thoroughly after use (regardless whether it is your chore or not), or being accused of something you did/didn’t do and not owning up to it because you refuse to lie (i.e. blamed for eating someone’s food when you say you didn’t or accused of not taking a shower that day when you have) are all grounds for the “major” restriction/consequence. I have literally had the director tell me “I don’t care what you have to say” when trying to voice my thoughts and opinions. this means they quite literally do not want to hear what you think or feel, no matter how valid it may be.
    As an addict with mental illness, feelings have been a struggle to deal with. All recovering addicts/alcoholics are having to learn to cope with all these returning emotions, and during this period we can be extremely sensitive and vulnerable; mental disorder or not. A this house, there is no possible room for growth or comfort. I was simply impossible to feel safe and comfortable upon returning home; I would only come back to greater stress and emotional turmoil. I STILL have text messages left from the director speaking to me in such a cruel manner that makes me question his humanity. There have even been times the manager has FOLLOWED ME TO THE BUS/TRAIN STOP to see when I make my meeting.
    They also make up rules as they go along, especially ones that are NOT EVEN IN THE CONTRACT. They will call the parents of the resident giving them an update on the resident, regardless whether or not the parents are involved. And if the parents ARE involved and try to defend their child or even try to communicate with the director or manager, the resident will be in trouble for telling the parents how they feel about the situation and the parent standing up to them.
    This is NOT a house you want to be in if you wanted to be treated fairly, would like to express emotions and feelings, don’t want to be put down, want to learn from unintentional mistakes, or are serious about your recovery: basically if you’re a HUMAN BEING!
    Honestly, this house has given me more reasons to use than stay clean and that is NOT what I came to a recovery home to do. I’ve seen this unfairness happen not only to me, but other residents as well.
    If you don’t believer, just try to live there for a month and see if your sanity is still in place and not more stressed out and angry than when you came in.

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