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Living the Principles


Southgate MichiganThe Basics

Founded in 2005 in the Detroit suburb of Southgate, Michigan, Living the Principles offers sober living for women in recovery. Their house, Stepping Stones, accommodates up to nine clients. Stepping Stones is located on Northline Road, and is on the same block as a bus stop as well as one half mile east from Interstate 75.

Accommodations and Amenities

The Stepping Stones has five bedrooms, two full baths, and a newly remodeled kitchen with a built in dishwasher, a recreation room and a large backyard that includes a gazebo, a rock fire pit and BBQ grill. Clients are paired in comfortably furnished rooms, which include a cable TV, twin beds and dressers. Each woman is assigned four feet of closet space. Fresh linens are provided. Amenities include Wi-Fi, a house computer, a laundry room, two big screen TV’s and a landline with unlimited domestic long distance.

The women are responsible for their own groceries and meal preparation. There are two refrigerators and plenty of pantry space for food storage. Clients with green thumbs are encouraged to tend to the vegetable garden in the backyard. A house manager lives on the premises.

Rules and Regulations

At Living the Principles, clients typically arrive from residential treatment and must have been clean and sober for a minimum of 30 days. Additionally, the women must be willing to work a 12-step program. Certain medications including Suboxone, benzodiazepines or any controlled substances are forbidden. Clients are subject to random drug and alcohol testing.

At Living the Principles, clients participate in A Design for Living LifeSkills curriculum, which is composed of three phases. The program’s main elements are integrated in clients’ short and long term goals, and include personal growth, financial security, spiritual development, community involvement, recreational activities, communal living, and finally, independent living. Staff assists clients with their goals, and provides support and guidance.

During the first 30 days or phase one, clients attend daily 12-step meetings. Those enrolled in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) are allowed to attend four meetings. Other requirements include obtaining a sponsor, performing household chores, acquiring a home group, being at the house meeting and working the steps. During the first 30 days, the curfew is 11 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. After that time, the curfew is extended to midnight Sundays through Thursdays, and one am on Fridays and Saturdays. After 30 days, or phase two, clients look for work and obtain employment. At that time, they must attend four weekly 12-step meetings.

The facility practices a zero tolerance policy. Those who have relapsed must leave the premises immediately, to ensure the safety of the household. Clients who witness another resident acting suspicious, or one who might be using or drinking, must tell the house manager.


Other services include outpatient program referrals, life skills coaching, transportation assistance, vocational support and an emergency loan fund, which allows clients the ability to borrow money for urgent necessities.

As part of A Design for Living LifeSkills program, Living the Principles helps women transition from Stepping Stones into a partner-housing program that assists with HUD funding, thus allowing them to live in a residence where the rental costs 30% of their income.

In Summary

Living the Principles offers highly affordable, family-style living for clients who are interested in working a 12-step program. The only drawback is that there is hardly any turnaround. Some of the residents love living there so much that they have been there for several years. However, interested parties should make contact, because there is a waiting list available.

Living the Principles
15306 Helen St
Southgate, MI 48195

Living the Principles Cost: $400 (30 days). Reach Living the Principles by phone at (734) 444-9430 or by email. Find Living the Principles at Google+

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