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Roots Recovery


Roots RecoveryThe Basics

Located in the Cambridge Woods neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Roots Recovery provides sober living for young adults, ages 18 to 35, as well as outpatient substance abuse and addiction treatment at their sister program, Roots Counseling Services. Roots Recovery provides a communal, family-style atmosphere where residents do many activities together. The program is 12-step based, and clients must work their steps during their six-month stay.

Accommodations and Amenities

Roots Recovery accommodates 21 men, and eight women in several gender-specific old-fashioned style houses. Clients are paired in double-occupancy rooms, with some singles reserved for clients who have seniority. One single room is the attic of a Victorian house. The wood tiled room has a sloped wooden ceiling, and includes a twin bed covered with a blue comforter, small area rug, a blue nightstand and a modern style lamp. The rustic walls have a huge window, which allows ample sunlight. During the first month, the cost is $950, of which residents receive four $50 grocery cards. After that, the 30-day cost is $500, and clients must purchase their own food.

Residents are encouraged to make their own meals, or take turns preparing for the entire household. Often, clients plan meals together, and usually, if there is an evening meeting, residents will heat up a frozen pizza and eat together. Additionally, there is a family-style dinner once a week. Amenities include house computer with Internet, Apple TV, Netflix, gym memberships, Ping-Pong tables and laundry facilities. Each house has a live-in residential manager.

Rules and Regulations

Roots Recovery requires a six-month commitment for length of stay. Upon arrival, staff searches a new client’s personal belongings. Additionally, the client must pass an initial drug and alcohol screening. The first 30 days are a “black out” period. During this time, contact with family, friends and other loved ones is forbidden. Clients cannot use a vehicle or date. While they are allowed to bring their cell phones and laptops, staff holds those items for a minimum of 30 days. When using the house computer, residents can’t log onto Facebook and other social media sites.

Requirements are pretty strict. They include attending nine weekly 12-step meetings, getting a sponsor within a week of arrival, working all of the steps, making ninth step amends between the third and sixth month, performing community service and finding a home group. They must acquire a minimum of 30 hours of weekly employment, with Saturdays and Sundays off. Until they get a job, they sleep on the couch. Clients receive their cell phones back after 30 days or if they acquire employment. Depending on their progress, residents are allowed to date, log back on Facebook and use their cars after 60 days. While getting a job is mandatory, school is forbidden, because residents are responsible for their rent, starting the second month.

Some residents attend outpatient treatment at Roots Counseling. The Intensive Outpatient (IOP) allows clients the freedom to work while being in treatment. At Roots Counseling, a 12-step recovery model is utilized. Weekly IOP includes four group therapy sessions and individual therapy. Group topics include relapse prevention, 12-step recovery, co-occurring disorders and accountability, goal setting, boundaries, being of service, spirituality and meditation. The program features guest speakers, lectures and presentations. Most residents use their insurance to pay for therapy.

Other rules at Roots Recovery include attending house meetings, not getting any new tattoos or piercings, performing household chores, maintaining personal hygiene, being nice to neighbors and disclosing all prescribed medications to staff. The curfew is 11 am Sundays through Thursdays, and midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Random drug and alcohol screenings are conducted. At Roots Recovery, a zero tolerance policy is enforced. Relapsed residents are immediately evicted from the premises.


Aftercare at Roots Counseling Services is provided as a forum for residents who have graduated the sober living program. Topics discussed include dating in recovery, sponsorship, 12-step commitments, healthy relationships, finding appropriate housing and effective communication skills.

In Summary

Roots Recovery is ingrained in the 12-steps, and believes that proper employment and being involved in AA/NA/CA is the key to recovery. This is a great place for those of like mind, seeking to work their steps while they work. For young adults who want to pursue their newfound sobriety in a highly structured and supportive environment, this is a great setting.

Roots Recovery
PO Box 11855
Shorewood, WI 53211

Roots Recovery Cost: $500-$950 (30 days). Reach Roots Recovery by phone at (844)727-6237 or by email. Find Roots Recovery on Facebook

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