The Cronin Home in Rochester, Minnesota provides transitional housing for homeless, newly clean and sober men and women. The Cronin Home is named after Pat Cronin, a recovering alcoholic who from 1940 until his death, spread the message of AA throughout Minnesota and devoted his life to help fellow alcoholics and addicts. Founded in 1980 by a local businessman and substance abuse counselor, The Cronin Home is currently run by executive director Michael Frisch, who just celebrated 26 years of sobriety and is a LADC.
Accommodations and Amenities
The Cronin Home usually maintains a 96% occupancy rate. While there is often a waiting list, residents are not admitted in the order they apply, but according to need. A man who is living by a dumpster will be admitted before the man who has a roof over his head. The Cronin Home is co-ed, and has an upstairs area, which accommodates 36 men, as well as a separate wing that houses eight women.
Residents are paired in comfortable, dorm-style rooms, which include twin beds, two dressers, two nightstands and lamps. One TV is allowed in each room, but residents must supply it. Each resident is allowed to make three nail holes in the walls to put up photos. Amenities include a TV with cable, laundry facilities, detergent, bus vouchers for residents in need (on a first come, first served basis) and emergency transportation for residents in need of medical care. There is no Wi-Fi on-site, but residents are encouraged to use the Internet at the local Rochester Public library.
Clients are served three meals a day, Mondays through Fridays cafeteria-style. They start the day with a continental breakfast, followed by lunch, which usually consists of sandwiches made from dinner leftovers. Dinner is served Mondays through Fridays, from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. On Saturdays, and Sundays, residents are served a large brunch at 11:30 am. The kitchen is open 24 hours, seven days a week. There is always food available. This includes leftovers, coffee, bread, snacks, milk, sandwich meat, condiments and cookies.
Rules and Regulations
While The Cronin Home expects total abstinence, residents are not required to attend 12-step meetings. The Cronin Home focuses primarily on fulfilling the basic needs of residents, which includes providing housing and food. The organization’s philosophy is that if residents have a safe clean environment and eat nutritious meals, they will be able to make better decisions about their lives. According to Frisch, housing and food is the first priority at The Cronin Home, before a newly clean and sober resident can pursue a recovery protocol, such as a 12-step program.
Prior to admittance, residents must have undergone detox. Often The Cronin Home gets referrals from detox facilities, hospitals, court services and drug rehabs. Those with severe mental or medical health impairments are not admitted, as The Cronin Home does not provide treatment. Residents on methadone maintenance are allowed entry, however, all medication is monitored and dispensed by a staff nurse.
Random drug and alcohol screenings are conducted, and residents who relapse must leave the premises, but they are often transported to a detox facility. Those that refuse to go must leave the building until all chemical substances leave their systems. After they return, they are placed on a 48-hour in-house restriction.
The curfew is 10 pm seven days a week. While not mandated, residents are encouraged to attend 12-step meetings. Additionally, there is one in-house Wednesday evening AA meeting. Residents must also attend the monthly house meeting. Besides drinking and using, residents aren’t allowed to sneak in pets, including fish, hoard food in their rooms, get involved in intimate relationships with other residents or exhibit foul or abusive behavior. Any violations may result in immediate expulsion from the premises.
Other services besides housing include job assistance and registered nurses on staff.
Most residents receive Group Residential Housing assistance, which covers their housing fees. The out-of-pocket, 30-day cost is $1,350.
With Frisch at the helm, The Cronin Home is a wonderful option for financially challenged, newly clean and sober men and women. The Cronin Home offers men and women a chance to get their basic needs as human beings met. By improving the quality of their lives, and offering a sober milieu, clients stand a chance at sobriety.
The Cronin Home
825 West Silver Lake Dr NE
Rochester, MN 55906
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