Jim Cottrell, an ordained minister in recovery who found Christ one night in Hollywood, California when he was doing a drug deal, created Freedom House Ministries in 2005. Located just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon in Vancouver, Washington, Freedom House provides a faith-based one-year sober living program for adult men in recovery. While the upfront cost is $495, they do not turn anyone away, regardless of their ability to pay.
Accommodations and Amenities
Freedom House is on a large wooded 3-acre campus that includes a single-family blue colonial-style house that serves as a ministry center. The house has a double balcony, a bright red lawn shed, a shop and staff housing. Apple and pear trees, as well as grape vines, flourish on the property.
Freedom House accommodates 16 men in blue dorm buildings and up to four men share a room. Residents are served three hot meals a day, inside a dining room. Since the residents are assigned daily chores, sometimes they rotate as food service coordinators. Duties involve food preparation, food serving and kitchen cleanup.
Rules and Regulations
All prospective clients undergo a personal interview and tour. Since Freedom House does not provide medical treatment, those with co-occurring disorders are assessed during the intake process. Men with serious conditions are encouraged to enter a mental health facility instead. The men must undergo detox prior to program admittance.
The program at Freedom House is a yearlong residency, which includes three levels. During the first 12-week period, residents attend Bible Study, faith-based classes, perform work projects (chores) and other assigned duties. The second 18-weeks include the completion of a series of Christian-oriented classes. Chores are still performed on a daily basis. During the third phase (22 weeks), students focus on societal re-entry. They find Christian mentors in the community, connect with local churches and make future plans. Residents receive individual faith-based counseling, work-study education, and continuous Biblical instruction.
A typical schedule includes waking up at 6 am. After doing their chores, clients participate in a group prayer, followed by breakfast and clean up. The day continues with work projects, lunch, study time, personal prayer, a 3:30 pm chapel service, followed by dinner, and then church and more Bible studies. Lights are out at 10 pm. On Fridays, the men participate in extracurricular activities like sports and outings to local events and on Saturdays, the schedules vary. Sundays are reserved for attending Church and visiting with family.
The non-refundable processing cost is $300, and there is an additional $195 cost that covers a mandatory medical exam and lab tests.
Residents receive referrals to work various jobs in the local community that include auto detailing, metal recycling, painting, yard work and pressure washing.
Freedom House represents one man’s desire to help others turn their lives around through religion. For those seeking a 12-step approach to recovery or those who require medical care, this probably won’t work. However, men seeking a very affordable, highly structured faith-based program that involves developing a relationship with Jesus Christ, this would be a perfect fit.
Freedom House Ministries
8613 NE St. Johns Rd
Vancouver, WA 98665
P.O. Box 33150
Portland, OR 97292
Freedom House Ministries Cost: Free (30 days) (One time $495 fee for program and medical costs). Reach Freedom House Ministries by phone at (503) 347-9966 or by email at [email protected]. Find Freedom House Ministries on Google+, Facebook and YouTube
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