Rockdale Houses for Men and Women are two cozy rehabilitation homes in the tiny town of Conyers, 24 miles east of Atlanta. Conyers has a population of about 14,000, and provides a natural, green setting ideal for quiet recovery. Both houses are very intimate due to relatively low occupancy rates.
A group of concerned Georgians led by local citizen and chairman Brad Butler opened the original Rockdale House in 1974, which was originally co-ed. That eventually proved problematic for providing treatment, so Butler temporarily opened his own home to women, and transported them to the men’s facility only for meetings; eventually, women got their own facility. Two recovering addicts, Renee Kalb and Richard Strickland, now run the separate facilities—Kalb the women’s and Strickland the men’s.
Conyers itself has an interesting history. Originally inhabited by mound-building American Indians, the town took on a rather wild reputation after colonization, housing 12 saloons and five brothels in the 19th century, and was the subject of critically-acclaimed documentary, The Lost Children of Rockdale County, which focused on a syphilis outbreak there in the 1990s. The Rockdale Houses are now a community staple due to their admirable track record and local involvement.
Accommodations and Food
While many rehab facilities call themselves houses, the Rockdale Houses are indeed real homes that act as rehab facilities. The men’s house can hold about 12 while the women’s house holds about 10. Residents live in double, triple and sometimes quadruple occupancy rooms with twin beds, nightstands and limited storage. The women’s rooms have plentiful natural light and floral wallpaper, while the men’s rooms are less ornate. Price does not vary based on occupancy, and single rooms are not available.
Each home is equipped with a kitchen, cable TV, on-site laundry, a dining room and a greenhouse.
Rockdale Houses serve three home-cooked meals a day. Residents have a choice of eggs, toast or fruit for breakfast, along with various combinations of meats such as chicken, fish and beef along with vegetables and sides, as well as rice or pasta for dinner. Snacks are available throughout the day as needed.
Treatment and Staff
Treatment at the Rockdale Houses lasts a minimum of four months, although residents may opt to stay longer. Daily care revolves around 12-step, individual therapy, group therapy and daily chores. Rockdale Houses do not offer detox and require residents to pass a drug and alcohol screening upon arrival.
A typical day generally begins with residents waking at dawn, followed by breakfast, morning meditation, chores and working in the garden and greenhouses. Everyone goes to at least three meetings a day which can include group, individual or AA sessions (at least one a day, off and on-site).
Residents also attend life skills groups, anger management classes, active parenting classes, relapse prevention groups and alcohol and drug education seminars. After the day’s activities are done, clients can watch television, read, journal or hang out with the facility therapy dogs (named Ben and Honey at the men’s facility, Trailer at the women’s). Residents also often watch movies on weekends; lights out is at 10 pm.
Each house has a mostly in-recovery staff on-site 24 hours a day. They consist of a clinical director and a host of certified addiction counselors, including certified one-on-one counselors Kalb and Strickland. These facilities work with a physician, though not on-site; residents will be transported to the office as necessary, and no medical costs are included in the price. Rockdale Houses’ staff to resident ratio is about two or three to one, depending on occupancy.
New residents must not contact the outside world during the first 30 days of the recovery process, which means no mail, phone or visitors. After this period, they’re allowed two calls a day and may be given weekend passes to see family; family may also visit on weekends. No electronics are allowed at any time.
Residents may seek employment in the town after two months, with permission granted to leave the premises on a case-by-case basis. Graduation from the program requires that a resident have employment and a safe sober living situation arranged.
The previously mentioned greenhouse is an integral part of the program, as the Rockdale Houses believe gardening can be applied metaphorically to the recovery process. The Rockdale Houses also participate in the annual local Cherry Blossom Festival, and sell the plants and flowers residents grow to the community as an ongoing fundraiser. They also host an annual golf tournament to raise funds.
The Rockdale Houses are great for those seeking intimate and affordable treatment.
Rockdale Houses for Men and Women
1060 Scott St
Conyers, GA 30012
995 Milstead Ave
Conyers, GA 30012
Rockdale Houses for Men and Women Cost: $2055 (30 days adjusted). Reach Rockdale Houses for Men by phone at (770) 483-3984 (for men) or (770) 483-0214 (for women) or by e-mail at [email protected] or [email protected]. Find Rockdale Houses for Men and Women on Facebook
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