Located in Austin, Texas, Joyce Grace offers 12-step based sober living houses for women. While Joyce Grace is the primary house, recently a second house, Lydia Grace opened. The homes are named after founder Daryl Torrico’s mother and grandmother and provide a highly safe and structured environment for women in recovery.
Accommodations and Amenities
Residents at Joyce Grace live in colonial-style houses, each accommodating no more than seven clients at a time. At the Lydia House, there is one quadruple-occupancy room, one double and one private room while at Joyce House there are triple, double and two private rooms. The houses are eclectic in furnishings. At Joyce, the red living room includes black chairs, a fireplace, glass coffee table covered with plants and piano. There is a covered patio leading into a huge backyard where the women can sit on cushioned chairs and congregate around a patio table.
Amenities include a piano, washer, dryer and an office with a computer, Wi-Fi, Internet access, a fax and copy machine. Clients are responsible for their own groceries, which are prepared in fully equipped kitchens. Smoking is permitted outside only. There are cats on the premises, but no litter boxes, as they are trained to go outdoors.
Rules and Regulations
Prospective clients must see the property and meet with Torrico to ensure that Joyce Grace is a suitable fit. While Torrico mainly accepts clients who have successfully completed residential treatment, she also takes in one client per house who has undergone less than 30 days of primary care.
At Joyce Grace, drug testing is strictly enforced. The house utilizes onsite drug and alcohol testing, which detects synthetic marijuana in addition to 11 other substances. Clients are tested twice a week, as well as breathalyzed for alcohol. There is a zero tolerance policy and those testing positive are immediately evicted. Sexual relations are forbidden inside the house. Additionally, boyfriends (or girlfriends) are not allowed inside the house, but must pick up their significant other outside the door. Strict rules also apply to family visitations. For the comfort of all residents, no teenage boys are allowed inside the house.
Weekly requirements include attending three 12-step meetings per week and an house meeting. The women must also acquire and work actively with a sponsor, work the steps and perform household chores. Sponsors can visit at any time. Torrico believes in creating a nurturing environment, so that her clients follow the rules, not because they are forced to do so, but because they are willing. During the first 30 days, the curfew is 10 pm seven nights a week. After that time, the curfew is 10 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
The 30-day cost ranges between $750 for a shared room and $900 for a single, not including a $200 security deposit.
Clients receive mentoring, vocational guidance and the services of a personal fitness trainer.
Women seeking a spiritually-based and safe atmosphere in Austin will find what they are looking for at Joyce Grace House. Those who don’t like cats or plan to work a 12-step program probably won’t want to call this home. However, Torrico, who is in recovery, works closely with her clients and ensures that their road to recovery is a peaceful and safe journey.
Joyce Grace House
2509 Patsy Parkway
Austin, TX 78744
Joyce Grace House: $750-$900 (30 days). Reach Joyce Grace House by phone at (512) 744-7458 or by email at [email protected].
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Photo courtesy of JoyceGraceSoberHouse