The Normandy House began in 2007 as a women’s sober living. Located in the northwest Chicago neighborhood of Monteclare, the Normandy House for women paved the way for the opening of two additional homes for men. Operational since 2012, the Elmwood Park and Des Plaines locations offer sanctuary for men in recovery transitioning out of inpatient care back into the community. Understanding that recovery truly begins after removing substances from the equation, Normandy House focuses on teaching real life skills for residents to take with them beyond the four walls of the house.
Accommodations and Amenities
The Monteclare home for women is a comfortable Tudor-style home with large windows in every room. Featuring six bedrooms with two beds in each, residents have a roommate and a manager that is on the grounds at all times. Two bathrooms are shared between the residents, with plenty of space for belongings. A large kitchen is available where residents participate in cooking their own meals alongside a full-service laundry room. A large backyard with a fire pit is the hub for socializing and developing strong house bonds. The living room provides space for groups and WiFi is available for residents.
The Elmwood Park home is one of the sober living options for men. Located in a spacious three-level building, Elmwood is split into two units with three bedrooms each, two bathrooms en suite. One of the levels also offers a two bedroom space with one bathroom for individuals that wish for more privacy. A manager lives on grounds with the residents offering support at all hours. Each flat has its own large kitchen and spacious living room for groups and socializing. Large high-def TVs are in the living room with WiFi and computers available for work obligations and school work. Laundry facilities are included and located on the property.
The Des Plaines men’s home is a multi-unit building with one, two and three bedroom units available for its residents. Newly updated, Des Plaines features granite countertops and steel appliances in their spacious kitchen. In the living room, residents enjoy an area with computers and WiFi, plus large high-def TVs. Plush couches surround the communal area where house meetings and groups are conducted.
Rules and Regulations
All of the locations under Normandy House follow the same guidelines for facilitating long term recovery. First and foremost, residents attend 12-step meetings—either Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. The tried and true 90 meetings in 90 days is required for all new clients. Finding a sponsor and working the 12 steps is encouraged by management. For house members that are still participating in outpatient programs, it is required that they fulfill their program requirements to their best ability. The skills that are learned in treatment and in meetings are to be followed while in the house, managers and residents are expected to treat the house and each other with respect at all times.
During their stay, residents are required to pursue employment or attend school. Individuals are expected to grow and change throughout their stay in the house. The staff at Normandy strongly believe that the skills learned will help clients live a rich and full life in their own home and achieve long term recovery. Learning these skills takes practice, and the house offers many opportunities to do just that. All house members are expected to complete and maintain the house through daily chores. There is “magic in the mop” as AA members say, and cleaning the house is an act of service that helps clients learn new tools. Every week the houses conduct their own Big Book studies, Breakfast Clubs, Wanderers Groups and service work with local organizations.
All houses have a soft curfew that they follow, if work and school commitments justify returning home late, managers need an advance notice. In order to keep clients accountable and honest, random drug testing is conducted. Normandy House has a zero tolerance policy against having mood or mind altering substances on the grounds. This rule both keeps individuals safe and the integrity of the house intact.
Most houses are within walking distance from local Alano clubhouses, restaurants and social activities. Train and bus stations are close for residents that need transportation to and from meetings, work and school. In addition, the houses make an annual trip to Akron, the founding city of Alcoholics Anonymous, plus trips to the Chicago Open and McHenry’s Soberfest in the fall. This is no “glum lot” at the Normandy House.
It is obvious that Normandy House management are truly invested in their residents, committed to providing safety and structure at all times. Potential clients will find a home here, in the comfortable setting around plenty of meetings and a tight-knit group of sober peers. Providing a toolkit for transitioning to their own home, residents get the opportunity to reestablish themselves in the community and with their families.
P.O. Box 2160
Des Plaines, IL 60017
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