Guildhaus may sound like a treatment center in Germany, but this all-male recovery facility is actually located about 25 minutes from Chicago in the suburb of Blue Island. Guildhaus translates to “Guild House,” which represents what this fraternity-themed treatment program aims to provide for residents—a place where a group of individuals can exercise a certain practice or craft, in this case 12-step oriented therapy, to work toward the common goal of recovery. Guildhaus has been operating since 1987, when retired Chicago fireman Jack King, an addict in recovery himself, set out to provide extended care for men in substance abuse recovery. It remains one of the few halfway houses in the area.
Accommodations and Food
Guildhaus is a small facility with an occupancy of 22. The home has a fraternity house vibe, with limited frills and a casual decor. There are four residents to a room and the bedrooms all have twin beds, nightstands, limited storage space and usually a window. Residents also have access to a homey common area with a television and DVD player.
Guildhaus only serves dinner for residents. Residents are responsible for breakfast, lunch and any snacks desired throughout the day. Dinner is typically a warm meal, such as pasta or beef and vegetables.
Treatment and Staff
Treatment at Guildhaus includes on- and off-site 12-step meetings, group counseling, individual counseling, relapse prevention planning and life skills training. Clients receive five hours of treatment per week in addition to 12-step meetings.
A typical day at Guildhaus begins early in the morning, when residents rise and go to work from 9 am to 3 pm. When they return, they have one hour of treatment and a 12-step meeting. Mondays and Wednesdays are educational meeting days, with relapse prevention or addiction education, while Tuesday and Thursdays are reserved for process groups. Residents must attend three on- and two off-site 12-step meetings weekly and have one individual session weekly at varying times.
Staff includes a program director (who is an addict in recovery), an assistant director, a medical director who comes to Guildhaus on Mondays for physicals or other needs and a licensed counselor. The staff-to-resident ratio is about one-to-five, but staff are not present at all hours of the day.
Guildhaus also has a recovery house for those seeking sober housing. The home can hold 18 men, has a similar fraternity feel and offers a weekly group session for residents.
The Guildhaus Alumni Association frequently holds events such as pig roasts and holiday parties. Residents are encouraged to continue engaging in the 12-step programming upon leaving and are referred to meetings in their area.
When it comes to inexpensive options, Guildhaus is a solid recovery resource for men in the Chicago area. The Guildhaus Facebook page is full of positivity, with many former clients reminiscing about their time spent there with the staff, the facilities and the house cats. The program isn’t luxurious and does not provide much in terms of recreational resources, but is thorough, affordable and full of support.
2413 Canal St
Blue Island, IL 60406
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