Hope House was founded in Anaheim, California in 1976, reportedly in response to surging rates of addiction and drug use throughout Orange County. Although it started out treating clients primarily with confrontational therapy (which was a popular approach at the time), the treatment practices have gradually changed.
While it already deserves respect for decades of experience in the recovery community, even better is its willingness to adapt to changing times. In the 90s, it expanded programming to include dual-diagnosis support, with therapy geared towards improving residents’ emotional and mental well-being. As a result, Hope House has grown into a comprehensive treatment facility that continues to help addicts of the new millennium.
Accommodations and Food
Hope House can house 56 and residents are usually men; stays range from three to six months. All clients must be over 18 and sleep in bunk beds with two to four people per room (the number of roommates decreases the farther residents get in treatment). Amenities are mostly basic, but the facility does have common areas with TVs (though watching TV is only allowed during designated hours) and plenty of outdoor space. Unfortunately, there isn’t a fitness room or any gym equipment on the property.
Clients eat meals together and also help with meal prep and kitchen duties from the first day of treatment. Meals are diverse, with options like fish, red meat, chicken and pasta. Breakfast includes all the staples (think eggs, cereal and yogurt) and lunch and dinner are both served with salad.
Treatment and Staff
Where Hope House sets itself apart is with its “resident hierarchy” system, where clients take on responsibilities in the house and work alongside their peers while in treatment. The program consists of three phases and gradually increases residents’ responsibilities; each phase is one to two months long.
During the first phase, clients thoroughly explore the circumstances and reasons why they abused drugs and/or alcohol. They’re also taught the signals for relapse and the importance of understanding long-term satisfaction over instant gratification.
In Phase Two, clients begin to help with programming through peer management, greater leadership and the opportunity to assign chores. They learn the importance of how their addiction affects those around them, and are held accountable for those with less sobriety under their belts. They also begin applying for full-time employment during this phase.
Finally, Phase Three involves adding even more around-the-house duties, learning money management and developing healthier ways to deal with stress. Clients must be working full-time, as the ability to hold down a job is a must to successfully complete treatment at Hope House.
A typical day at Hope House starts early and follows a structured schedule of groups, solo activities, long walks and around-the-house responsibilities. Group therapy takes up at least 10 hours per week, with unique discussion topics and titles like “Things Left Unsaid,” “Dump Your Gut” and “Devil’s Advocate.”
Days also include educational groups where experts speak to clients—depending on what phase they’re in—about anger management, business dealings, 12-step work and the side effects of being adult children of alcoholics (if that’s relevant for them). Residents also receive individual therapy and attend AA or NA once a week.
Hope House has a fair number of rules and regulations. For starters, because it lacks medical detox, residents must have at least 72 hours of sobriety to be admitted. It also recommends clients bring no more than 7 to 10 days worth of clothing, as it has on-site laundry.
Somewhat unusual is that residents must provide their own detergent, bedding, towels, toiletries, writing materials and extra cash (though no more than $150); valuables, credit cards and inappropriate clothing should stay at home. While smoking is permitted, clients can bring only one carton of cigarettes.
Finally, for the first 30 days at Hope House, clients are not allowed to see family or friends (with an exception for parents of children under 17).
While there are no medical doctors or nurses on staff, Hope House does have LADCs some of which are Master’s-level) to handle one-on-one therapy.
Clients get involved in the community with projects like car washes and food drives; for recreation, there are monthly outings to the beach or park.
Overall, Hope House is a well-established beacon of the Orange County recovery community. It’s been acknowledged for its services with awards and often have a backed-up waiting list (on account of both their high success rate and the number of addicts in the OC).
By way of county mandate, residents are charged 75% of their monthly income to stay at Hope House, and they do not accept insurance. Still, those willing to conduct a thorough self-overhaul, accept responsibility and hard-commit to recovery would likely do well here.
Hope House, Inc.
710 and 714 North Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805
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