Patricia Saenz, the founder of The Path Recovery, analogizes addiction treatment to a winding, unpredictable path that has to be followed on faith. Saenz opened this long-term sober living for women in 2005 and it comes complete with a literal garden path as a visual reminder. The Path emphasizes familial community and a strict adherence to facility rules.
Accommodations and Amentities
The Path Recovery offers apartment-style living in the quiet Chicago suburb of Forest Park for its 10 residents. Each of the rooms is shared by two women and features twin beds, dressers and limited storage, but is comfortable and homey. A senior resident, basically an ex-resident who is now a certified counselor, also lives on-site in her own room. Amenities include a full kitchen, a small garden area outside, a laundry room, a computer and a cozy common area with a big-screen television, fireplace and a DVD player. Residents can bring DVDs with them, but staff must approve before watching. Residents can easily walk to public transit, grocery stores, various sources of employment and church.
Residents are responsible for making their own meals. They go to the grocery store on their own accord and prepare all of their own food, allowing them to accommodate their own personal preferences and allergies.
Rules and Regulations
Residents must be 30 days sober to live at The Path Recovery. Once admitted, treatment includes a variety of mandatory meetings, including at least four 12-step meetings (two on-site meetings are held per week and residents only need to walk one block to attend off-site 12-step meetings), one individual recovery coaching session, one community group meeting and two hours of in-person sponsor time. The Path does not offer clinical services, but can provide referrals as needed. Residents also learn life skills by completing chores (a chore list posts on Fridays). While living at The Path Recovery, clients must be employed full-time, volunteer full-time, go to school full-time or enroll in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) within the first two weeks.
A typical day at The Path begins with the morning casual breakfast meeting (not mandatory if a resident must work). After that, clients are free to go about their daily schedule of work, school or off-site IOPs. During the week, curfew is 11 pm, while curfew on the weekends is 12 am. After one month, residents can have overnight passes to spend time with their loved ones. Only female guests may visit The Path Recovery. Other rules can be found here.
Staff is limited and includes the founder/executive and clinical director who has an array of certifications including a Master’s degree and the senior resident, who is a nationally certified recovery specialist. The staff-to-resident ratio is one-to-five.
The Path Recovery has an active alumni program for sober graduates. They host several events throughout the year, such as a Halloween dance and Holiday open house potluck. The alumni are also very involved in the day-to-day program and even run some meetings.
The Path Recovery is an affordable, no-nonsense facility ideal for low-income women in the Chicago area. For the price, the well kept, tastefully decorated home is a comfortable and serene setting for rehabilitation, and their active alumni community could be instrumental to a successful long-term recovery.
The Path Recovery
7530 Lexington St
Forest Park, IL 60130
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Photo courtesy of David Wilson from Oak Park, Illinois, USA (19700240 04 SOO B&OCT Forest Park, IL-2) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)