Located in a historic section of East Dallas, Texas, Gaston House is a sober living facility co-owned by Chico West and Robert Rowling. The program serves young men between the ages of 18 to 26, offering 12-step based recovery. Gaston House is able to offer a structured yet fun lifestyle in a supportive community.
Accommodations and Amenities
The Gaston House is actually two facilities situated within a mile of each other. Both residences are large two-story brick homes, relatively similar to one another. Together the homes can accommodate up to 37 men at a time and the space, each broken up into apartments. The rooms are shared between two clients each in double beds, with three to four sharing a bathroom. Each of the homes include common areas like a shared kitchen, a dining room and a work out room with weights and machines. There’s also a large backyard with a pool and BBQ area.
While the structure of the program at Gaston House is very busy, there is always room for fun. House outings include trips to see movies and concerts, to do an indoor ropes courses or even to a trampoline park where dodgeball competitions are held. Other activities include paintball and golf; all the above are organized on a weekly basis. If the clients want to stay closer to home, they can walk to the local park or play basketball in the back lot.
The facility is all-inclusive with food, toiletries and bedding. Clients are responsible for keeping the residences clean. Cleaning products and laundry detergent are provided.
Rules and Regulations
The clients at Gaston House generally come to the facility after completing an outside residential or Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). The minimum commitment is 90 days, though typical stays are anywhere from six to nine months. The program is based on a phase system which is overseen by the house managers and program directors. There’s also a peer system, devised of a counsel of staff and clients who work together to perform weekly evaluations for residents. The phase system starts out with many restrictions and gradually, as clients become more acclimated to the schedule, allows for more privileges.
Phase one entails no cell phones, computers or personal devices of any kind. Within two weeks of residence there are the minimum requirements of working 25 hours a week at a job, securing a sponsor and attending four off-site and three on-site AA meetings.
In the second phase, clients get the use of phones and computers back though no video games are allowed. Residents must remain consistent and reliable with assigned chores and tasks before getting approval from the peer counsel and staff to move onto the next phase. By phase three, clients have use of video games at designated times, access to a car upon approval and an extended curfew of 9:30-10:30 pm for weeknights, 11:30 pm to 12:30 am on weekends.
During this period clients have to maintain regular employment and adhere to the house rules of chores and meetings. Clients are also required to pay 30% of what they are earning at their jobs back into the house.
A normal day at the facility would include an 8:30 am wake up followed by morning meditation, chores and work. Clients can be excepted from having a job if they opt to go back to school full-time or volunteer. Saturdays are devoted to giving back to the community by leading discussions at AA/NA meetings or spending time at a food bank. The volunteer efforts are required in order for clients to move up in the phase system. In addition to attending group meetings, there is an individual therapy that takes place weekly on-site. Physical activity and exercise are also factored into the daily schedule.
Residents may have visitors with the approval of house managers though no overnight guests are permitted. During their stay, clients are not given overnight or weekend passes unless there is an emergency. There is no smoking allowed inside the house, but residents may smoke in the backyard.
The staff at Gaston House are Master’s level therapists, many of whom have gone through treatment programs of their own. Each facility has house managers on-site who organize and oversee the peer counsel and house schedule.
Overall, Gaston House is not simply a place to stay sober. This facility keeps its clients occupied and shows them that there are many rewards to living a sober and active life. The result is a camaraderie and connection to the community that supports the client’s sense of self and confidence in the world.
Gaston House Location
Address not disclosed to protect privacy
Gaston House Cost
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