Located in the Akron suburb of Medina, Ohio, Cathy’s House is a sober living home founded in 1998 by husband and wife team Randy and Chris Jarrell. After exclusively serving adult males for 15 years, in 2013, they added a new wing, doubled in size and opened their doors for women for the first time. With a highly structured environment and an emphasis on the 12 steps, men and women in recovery are given the opportunity to change their lives for the better.
Accommodations and Amenities
The two houses are next door to each other in the corner of a quiet residential neighborhood, the three-story houses, which include attics, are old fashioned and cozy in appearance. One residence houses approximately 10 men, while the other house accommodates five women, plus a live-in house manager who supervises the women.
Clients purchase their own groceries and prepare their own meals in fully equipped kitchens. Since residents have to leave the house early in the morning, breakfast usually consists of a cup of coffee and a food item that is quick and easy to prepare. Dinners are more of a family-style affair where residents take turns cooking and cleaning up meals.
Rules and Regulations
Cathy’s House has simple, but strict rules that maintain the atmosphere of recovery. Prior to admission, clients must be clean and sober for a minimum of three days and receive approval from the director. Those who have relapsed or left Cathy’s House and have a desire to return are required to wait 30 days and must still have three days of abstinence plus the director’s approval. If the client does not have the rent when they are admitted, Cathy’s House grants a leeway period until the client is employed.
Since Cathy’s House is entrenched in the steps, residents have to get a sponsor within three days of admittance. They must attend daily off-site 12-step meetings, work the steps and attend an in-house Sunday meeting. Clients have to be out of bed and finished with their chores by 8 am, seven days a week. Household chores involve cleaning the meeting room, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, halls, the staircase, attic, porch, yard and basement. Additionally, bedrooms must be tidied, and window blinds opened prior to a resident’s departure.
The only exceptions are made for residents who work late. They must be up ten hours after their work shifts end. After chores are completed and a light breakfast is gobbled, residents are required to leave the house and look for work, if they are not employed. Residents return home for dinner. After supper, they typically attend a 12-step meeting. Curfew is 11 pm, seven days a week.
The doors of Cathy’s house are open to AA/NA members 24 hours a day, unless none of the residents are home. The house offers a plethora of meetings including Sunday meetings at 9 am, a 4:30 women’s meeting and a 7 pm men’s meeting. There is also an open 7:30 am meeting Mondays through Fridays and a 2 pm open meeting on Saturdays.
While Cathy’s House might sound a bit like boot camp, the highly structured schedule and emphasis on the 12 steps can be a life saver for those who are new to recovery. Additionally, the houses are sparkling clean, thanks to the hard work put in by clients. Cathy’s House is a great option for both men and women seeking affordable sober living.
515 West Liberty Street
Medina, OH 44256
Cathy’s House Cost: $300 (30 days). Reach Cathy’s House by phone at (330) 764-4486 (men’s facility), at (330) 764-4487 (women’s facility) or by email at [email protected]. Find Cathy’s House at Facebook, YouTube and Google+
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Photo courtesy of CathysHouse