Founded in 2000 in Chicago, Illinois, by Henry McGhee, who has been clean and sober since July 23, 1999, Henry’s Sober Living House provides safe and structured sober living homes for men. McGhee, who mainly receives clients through referrals, welcomes men from all backgrounds—including criminal justice clients. According to McGhee, his personal mission behind Henry’s Sober Living House is “to help those who are in recovery breathe the breath of a new life.”
Accommodations and Amenities
The Henry’s Sober Living House network is comprised of four houses, including the Drexel, Ingleside, Harvard and Ellis homes. While Ingleside and Ellis are both old-fashioned style brick buildings, Harvard is a white Cape Cod style residence. Ingleside accommodates between 20 and 25 clients, while the other homes each lodge 16 clients. Typically, there are two men living in double-occupancy, furnished rooms. There are a few singles reserved for clients who have seniority.
The interiors include earth-toned walls, wooden floors and eclectic furnishings. A double room typically includes a closet, spacious dark wood vanity or dresser, an area rug, a comfortable armchair and hanging artwork. Some clients have framed photographs of their loved ones propped on dressers. Clients are responsible for their own groceries, and prepare their meals in fully equipped kitchens. Other amenities include Cable TV and laundry facilities. Each house includes a residential manager.
Rules and Regulations
Typically, Henry’s House accepts clients who have been referred from a correctional facility or residential treatment. While most clients have been clean and sober for 30 days, those with less time are accepted on a case-by-case basis, but all must have undergone detox. McGhee looks for individuals who have expressed a strong desire to work a program of recovery, as opposed to those who just need shelter. A minimum 90-day length of commitment is requested.
Requirements include attending two daily 12-step meetings Mondays through Thursdays, as well as one AA/NA meeting on Sunday. Other requirements include performing household chores, getting a sponsor, working the steps, and attending the house meeting. Clients are encouraged to remain productive, which includes getting a job (unless they are on SSI), performing community service and/or attending outpatient care at a local drug rehab.
Henry’s House practices a zero tolerance policy for residents who have tested positive on a drug and alcohol screening. Detox referrals are provided for those who want another shot at recovery and are seeking immediate help. Those who have relapsed are required to leave the premises, to ensure the safety of the entire household. The curfew is 11 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and 12:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Other services besides housing include outpatient referrals, job training, vocational guidance, recovery mentoring and housing assistance for those who have completed their stay and who are looking to find their own place to live. Henry’s House accepts clothing, food and furniture donations.
With Henry McGhee at the helm, Henry’s House rises to the occasion, fulfilling a need to help financially challenged, as well as criminal justice clients get a start at a new life. This unique sober living community works hard to help clients rebuild their lives, while they build a strong foundation in a 12-step program.
Henry’s Sober Living House
8032 South Ingleside
Chicago, IL 60619
Henry’s Sober Living House Cost: Sliding scale (30 days). Reach Henry’s Sober Living House by phone at (773) 752-1300 or by email.
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