Located in Essex County, New Jersey, Real House, Inc. operates two transitional care facilities and emergency shelters for women in Bloomfield and Newark. Founded in 2006, Real House also provides a co-ed standard outpatient track and an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) at its facility in Montclair, New Jersey.
Real House endorses a method of treatment that integrates both substance abuse as well as developing the tools to deal with issues that arise in daily life. While many of Real House’s clients are court-ordered to attend treatment, the intimate groups and a treatment team that emphasizes the importance of personal connections foster a successful track record in motivating those clients who have resisted treatment in the past to commit to recovery.
Accommodations and Food
The Bloomfield residence houses up to 20 women and the Newark facility up to 16. The Bloomfield house is situated in a suburban neighborhood while the Newark is in an urban area. Both residences have backyards where residents gather for recreation and summer barbecues.
In the first stage of treatment, clients have up to four roommates. As they progress through the program, the number of roommates decreases. Residents who are promoted to house managers room together and are permitted in-room televisions and DVD players. All clients can have personal computers and cell phones but usage is limited to work and school purposes. These devices must be signed-in to the facility each evening.
Both facilities have common areas for TV and games. While the homes don’t have exercise equipment, many residents go for runs before their morning chores. Parks and shops are also within close walking distance of each residence.
In lieu of rent, clients are asked to contribute $100 each month to the house food budget—either from food stamps or their wages. The staff shops for food for the house and each client is left with a portion of their food contribution each month to buy special items. Meals are prepared for the house by the residents as part of their monthly chore rotation and life skills exercises. Women lacking cooking skills are coached by more experienced residents. The staff adjusts the menus to accommodate special dietary needs.
Treatment and Staff
Most residents are referred to Real House, Inc. by the local drug court. Treatment at Real House has four phases and the average stay is nine months. In the first phases of treatment, residents are transported to Real House’s Montclair IOP facility for additional treatment several times each week.
In Phase One, which usually lasts 30 to 60 days, residents are required to attend the IOP throughout the week in addition to five on-site treatment groups at the residence. Clients must also attend four local 12-step groups and obtain a sponsor. Phase Two requires clients to commit to a daily schedule with their counselor. They continue their on-site treatment groups, attend 12-step meetings and IOP groups. During this phase residents can also apply for passes to leave the home and are expected to find part-time employment or attend school. In Phase Three, clients start helping with administrative duties in the home, holding orientation meetings for newcomers and acting as an escort on outings. They are also able to apply for weekend passes home. They continue 12-step meetings and employment and/or school. Phase Four requires clients to be working full-time, studying and learn budgeting skills. They continue attending at least three treatment groups each week as well as 12-step meetings.
Groups in the Montclair IOP seldom exceed 12 participants and address topics such as relapse prevention, the disease of addiction, grief, anger management and using the 12-step framework. Groups are led by Master’s-level therapists and addiction counselors such as LADCs, LCSWs and CADCs. The treatment team at each home includes CADCs and LPCs. Therapists and counselors use CBT, Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) and the Thinking for Change curriculum.
The Real House treatment team is qualified to treat co-occurring disorders. They also have relationships with nearby mental health clinics for clients who need medication for mental health diagnoses.
Family therapy, parenting classes and domestic violence intervention classes are also available in the IOP. Residents can have family visit their home on weekends from 12 to 2 pm.
Before completing treatment, each client creates an aftercare program with their counselor that may include periodic individual and/or group therapy in addition to 12-step meetings. The counselors at Real House also make sure to follow up with each client following treatment to check in their recovery progress.
The four-phase transitional care program at Real House, Inc. offers women entering recovery a highly structured and supportive atmosphere in which to heal from addiction while building life skills. The nine-month time-frame ensures that clients will have ample time to process the challenges of daily life and employment with the counsel of their treatment team and peers before encountering the stressors of independent living.
60 Hazelwood Rd
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
15 South St
Newark, NJ 07102
Real House, Inc. Residential Cost: No cost for room & treatment, food contribution $100/month. Reach Real House, Inc. at (973) 337-8742 and by email at [email protected]. Find Real House, Inc. on Facebook and YouTube
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