Junction House was founded in 2013 just north of Philadelphia, in Huntington Valley Pennsylvania. Co-founders Deborah Arnone and Dr. Kiki DiGiacomo created Junction House to provide high-end sober living for a small group of women in recovery. DiGiacomo, a retired surgeon, and Arnone are sisters, who have both achieved long-term sobriety. In 2015, Junction House relocated to a beautiful house set along a country milieu. The sisters’ mission is to foster an environment conducive to a holistic recovery while helping their clients utilize 12-step principles in their lives.
Accommodations and Amenities
Junction House accommodates 11 women, but typically has nine clients. The exterior includes a landscaped meditation garden and an abundance of trees, creating a woodland setting. The interior includes wood floors, fireplaces and luxurious antique furnishings. Clients are paired in comfortably furnished rooms with twin beds with dark wood headboards, dressers and an antique lamp. One suite includes three twin beds, and is the most requested room.
The fully equipped kitchen is amply stocked with healthy and fresh food, beverages and snacks. DiGiacomo, who is the residential manager, compiles a grocery list with the clients. Food preparation is done on a rotating basis, and this teaches clients basic cooking skills. Amenities include private parking, a laundry room, all utilities, Wi-Fi, fresh linens, pillows, blankets, towels and cable TV.
Rules and Regulations
While the majority of new clients transition to Junction House from a residential treatment facility, detox or an extended care program, some clients have met staff inside the rooms of a 12-step fellowship. During the first two weeks, clients undergo a blackout period. During this time, they must find a job, locate a feasible volunteer position or enroll in school. Clients enrolled in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) are allowed to complete aftercare and then look for a job. Junction House provides outpatient referrals for clients, and works closely with several addiction recovery facilities including Livengrin and the Malvern Institute.
Additionally, the women must find a sponsor and attend daily 12-step meetings. After these goals have been accomplished, the blackout period is lifted. After 30 days, weekly requirements include attending four AA/NA meetings, actively doing step work with a sponsor and performing household chores. Additionally, clients must be at house meetings, including a Sunday Big Book study.
The curfew is 12 am Mondays through Thursdays, and 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. At Junction House, random drug testing is conducted when staff notes suspicious behavior. Those who relapse must leave the house for a minimum of three days, to ensure the safety of the household. As a medical professional, DiGiacomo has Narcan safely stocked in the house, in case of an overdose emergency. Upon re-entry, they must pass a drug and alcohol screening. Clients requiring detox are placed in nearby facilities.
Staff is highly sensitive to spotting co-occurring and eating disorders. Clients with those issues are monitored, but are referred to appropriate facilities if the situation requires professional care. Men are not permitted inside Junction House. Other visitors must meet staff, prior to being allowed into the house.
Other services besides housing include weekly yoga and meditation on the premises. There are two rescue dogs that live on the premises, and clients participate in their care. This teaches the women valuable life skills, plus helps them step outside of themselves while they receive ample canine therapy.
Junction House has helped over 65 women since they opened their doors, and has established a scholarship fund which relies on donations, to assist financially challenged clients who would like to reside there.
Junction House is an act of love on the part of two sisters, who have also been down the road of addiction, and have found long-term recovery. Women are bound to feel safe and serene here. They will have ample opportunities to focus on their recovery, build a sense of sisterhood, and know that they are in excellent hands.
Huntington Valley, PA
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