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Progress House


Indianapolis IndianaThe Basics

Founded in 1961 in Indianapolis, Indiana, by a group of recovering alcoholics and addicts, Progress House started out as a 10-bed transitional living facility which relocated twice within the area until finally, in 2001, it settled into its present-day location. Their mission is to provide safe and structured sober living for men in early recovery from chemical dependency. After 54 years in operation, Progress House is the largest and oldest sober living organization for men in the state of Indiana.

Accommodations and Amenities

Progress House accommodates 75 men inside their Main Campus building, which is a dorm-style structure. Clients are housed in double, triple or quadruple-occupancy rooms. Housing is allotted according to seniority, so typically a newcomer will live inside a room with three other men. Rooms with four men include two bunk beds. Triple-occupancy rooms include one set of bunk beds and a twin-sized bed. A double includes full or twin beds. All rooms are furnished with dressers, closets and chairs.

At the main campus, men are provided with three balanced meals a day cafeteria-style. A salad bar provides fresh leafy greens. Beverages include plentiful supplies of coffee, water and tea. Amenities include a computer lab, a library stocked with books, a chapel, gym, TV lounge (which is off limits during certain times of the day), a vending room and a game room with a ping-pong table. Wi-Fi is not provided, but residents do have access to Cable TV. The campus includes a huge patio where men can smoke and picnic tables. Security cameras are installed in all of the common areas.

The Next Step Program facility is located on Bolton Street. Next Step has a 38-bed capacity and accommodates residents who have completed a minimum of six months on the main campus. At the Next Step facility, men are paired in double-occupancy units, which include fully equipped kitchens. While they get together for a Sunday family-style dinner, they are responsible for their own groceries and meal preparation. Next Step 30-day cost is $500.

Adjacent to Next Step, is a permanent housing facility for men who have completed the Progress House program. The building includes two-bedroom apartments, and allows clients to live with their families. Permanent Housing includes two-bedroom apartments for men and their families, at a 30-day cost of $750 for a client, plus an additional $50 per family member. Other options include sharing an apartment with another Progress House alumni. The 30-day cost is $500 per resident.

Apartments include dishwashers and microwave ovens, with washers and dryers available at an additional cost. Progress House includes live-in residential managers in all facilities.

Rules and Regulations

Prior to admission at the main campus residence, clients must have completed detox and undergo an assessment. Progress House looks for clients who express a strong desire to work a 12-step program, as opposed to those who just need a roof over their heads. The minimum length of stay is 90 days, and the maximum length of residency is one year.

New arrivals are paired up with a “big brother” who provides support and helps them get adjusted to their new environment. Since Progress House is deeply rooted in the 12 steps, clients must attend daily AA/NA meetings both on and off the premises. Mandatory on-site meetings for the first 90 days include a 7:30 pm Sunday night Big Book Study, a 7:30 pm Monday night meeting and an 8 pm Thursday night meeting. After 90 days, clients can attend outside meetings during those times slots unless they are on campus or working. If they are on the premises, they must still show up at those meetings. Attendance meeting slips must be signed, and are reviewed by staff on a weekly basis.

Other requirements include performance of household chores, participation at the Sunday 11 am house meeting and acquiring a job. Unless they are receiving disability benefits, clients must be up and out of the house by 9 am looking for work. Additionally, unless they are on SSI, food stamps are not allowed on the premises. The curfew is 11 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and one am on Fridays and Saturdays. Random drug and alcohol testing is conducted and residents who have relapsed are immediately evicted from the premises.


Other services include mental health and outpatient treatment referrals, job referrals, vocational support and recovery coaching. Progress House has close relationships with many local companies, which provide jobs opportunities residents.

Darrell Mitchell, Outreach Director of Progress House, conducts a community outreach program and works with drug courts, hospitals and other organizations to educate and provide awareness on substance abuse. At Progress House, men who can’t afford the cost, but who express a strong willingness to work a 12-step based program are not turned away. Progress House helps them find work, and at times, scholarships are available.

In Summary

Progress House believes in one man helping another. From the get-go, clients learn that they are not alone in their recovery and learn to become part of a strong fellowship. For men seeking a solid 12-step based house that has been around for over five decades, and boasts a solid success rate, Progress House is a great fit.

Progress House
201 South Shelby St
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Progress House Cost: $740 (30 days, includes food). Reach Progress House by phone at (317) 637-9816 or by email. Find Progress House on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn

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