The Fresh Start Sober Living network is dedicated to providing safe and sober spaces for adults in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. A Fresh Start operates 11 upscale homes in Chicago. One of these, the Northbrook House, is a recovery home for men only. The amenities may not be many, but the furnishings are comfortable, the neighborhood safe and the fellowship strong.
Accommodations and Amenities
Located in Chicago’s tony north shore neighborhood, the Northbrook house is a spacious two story home with hardwood floors and recessed lighting that give space a modern feel. Residents sleep two and three to a room. All the beds are twin-sized, but this leaves room for residents’ clothes and personal belongings. The bathrooms are large, too, with tiled showers and floors. The master bathrooms also has a whirlpool bathtub. The bedrooms are made more cheerful by the views, which overlook lush gardens and the surrounding neighborhood.
Nice though they may be, Northbrook House doesn’t want residents cooped up in their bedrooms in their down time. The house has several common areas with plush couches and plasma TVs with satellite, created to prevent isolation and encourage clients to hang together. Computers and phones are allowed and WiFi is available throughout the house.
In an effort to emphasize self reliance, all residents are expected to provide their own groceries and prepare their own food. Even clients who aren’t used to cooking will enjoy the kitchen here, which has granite countertops and state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances.
Rules and Regulations
Northbrook House residents are given freedom within the basic structure of responsibility. Their receipe for success in recovery is accountability to housemates and the support of a 12-step fellowship. All residents are expected to participate in Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, to get a sponsor within 90 days and to begin working the steps. House members are required to attend a minimum of four meetings a week, two of which are held at A Fresh Start’s nearby Belmont House.
Men at the house are encouraged to stay long-term—between 10 months and a year. During their stay, they have to find employment to contribute to paying rent. If a resident works nights, he can come home after curfew, which is midnight during the week and 2 am on weekends. They are expected to submit to random drug testing and breathalyzer tests. The rules around relapse are standard procedure for a sober living—the client is asked to leave and go to detox. If he wishes to return, his application is reconsidered when he is sober and can demonstrate willingness to recommit to recovery.
But house rules are not an impediment to having fun in sobriety. Clients are encouraged to fellowship after meetings and pursue recreational activities outside the house. Going to see movies and going out to eat with house members are staples of the weekend. Overnight passes are grants if handed in with three days’ notice to management. There are only a couple of things the house cannot accommodate, which include overnight guests and pets.
Northbrook House is within walking distance from the Metra metropolitan rail, offering affordable transportation to work, school and meetings. The house has a treadmill, elliptical and a multi-functional weight rack for exercise.
Northbrook House is one of A Fresh Start’s higher end sober livings. Along with their peers and 12-step fellowship, clients at Northbrook House benefit from the fact that the staff are also sober and provide a healthy example of living in recovery. This program is suited to men who can commit to long-term residency and whose willingness to stay sober is wholehearted.
2026 North Maple Avenue
Northbrook, IL 60662
Do you have a complaint or review of Northbrook House to add? Use the comments area below to add your Northbrook House review.
Photo courtesy of GoogleMaps