Myrtle Street Sober Living in Portland, Maine offers two sober living houses—Myrtle I and Myrtle II—for men ages 18 and older. Myrtle I provides a structured approach and offers optional outpatient substance abuse treatment, as well as an introduction to the 12 steps. Myrtle II, which was the original house, provides more flexible options for residents, but requires that they work. Founder Thomas Sepulvres, who is in recovery, believes that peer support combined with a 12-step approach is a key to creating a healthy recovering individual, as well as an effective therapeutic community.
Accommodations and Amenities
Myrtle I is a Cape Cod-style blue house with white trim that includes two living rooms, two kitchens, two dining rooms, three bathrooms and a private backyard that features a covered patio table with six chairs and exotic plants. The house has a 12-bed capacity. Both single and double-occupancy rooms are available. A typical room includes twin beds, a corner table, closet space and hanging wall art.
Myrtle II has a seven bed capacity and all the classic characteristics of an old Victorian House including bay windows and faded brickwork. The house has a kitchen with an attached dining room, a living room, a breakfast nook, single and double rooms. A typical room provides a twin-sized bed, dresser, old-fashioned radiator, and window.
Clients are responsible for their own groceries, and meals are prepared in house. Residents often have barbeques, and dine out at local restaurants as Portland has a reputation for having excellent seafood. Along with food, clients are asked to bring a bath towel, personal hygiene items, laundry basket, and bedding.
Amenities at both houses include all utilities, Wi-Fi and Cable TV. Sports channels are highly popular, and the houses expect football programming in the fall. Two live-in resident managers reside at each property.
Rules and Regulations
Clients must have completed detox prior to admission. Program length for Myrtle I is typically one month long. This house offers an intensive structure designed to help residents become immersed in the 12-steps and get focused on recovery. One of the stipulations is that the men not work, but community service is acceptable. Other weekly requirements include finding a sponsor, attending daily 12-step meetings, performing household chores, and showing up for two in-house meetings.
Clients are subject to two random drug and alcohol screenings per week. While not required, outpatient substance abuse treatment with a licensed psychotherapist is highly encouraged. The counselor also provides dual diagnosis support. Treatment incorporates the Wellness Model in conjunction with the 12-step approach. At Myrtle I, clients are teamed up with a “buddy,” who helps them get used to living life sober in Portland.
A typical daily schedule at Myrtle I includes waking up at 8:30 am, meditation at 9:30 am, attending a 12-step meeting or an in-house meeting between noon and 1 am, having free time (for going to the gym or meeting with sponsor) from 2 pm and 5 pm. Evening chores from 5 to 7 pm. Clients usually have dinner, go to an evening meeting, and relax some more from 8 pm to the end of the evening.
Myrtle II clients experience more flexibility and are required to gain full-time employment or enroll in school. Requirements include finding a sponsor, working the steps, being active in AA/NA, attending two in-house meetings, and two off-site 12-step meetings.
The 30-day cost for Myrtle I is $1500, and $900 for Myrtle II. Both houses incur an admission fee of $250.
Life skills teachings are provided to clients, educating them on setting goals, overcoming obstacles and feeling good about their achievements. Myrtle Street residents are provided with a free membership at World Gym. Myrtle I clients enjoy group activities, designed to build camaraderie. Activities include bowling, apple picking, Portland Pirates, museum outings, and going to sporting events.
Myrtle Street Sober Living gives men of all ages an opportunity to focus on building a solid foundation in recovery based on the 12-steps, but also offers counseling to clients who require supplementary outpatient services. For those interested in staying sober while exploring a historic, seaside city, this might be the place.
Myrtle Street Sober Living
43 Myrtle Street
Portland, ME 04104
Myrtle Street Sober Living Cost: $900-1,500 (30 days). Reach Myrtle Street Sober Living by phone at (207) 200-4303 or at (917) 650-0803 or by email at [email protected]. Find Myrtle Street Sober Living on Facebook and Google+
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Photo courtesy of MyrtleStreetSoberLiving