Founded in 2010 in Ventura, California, by local Realtor Teresa Crocker, Ruben’s Place is a male-only sober living house with a sister facility, Ventura Serenity House that accommodates women. Their mission is to provide safe, clean gender-specific homes or their clients. Using a 12-step approach, they teach residents how to remain clean and sober through thick and thin. By overcoming personal challenges, the men and women learn responsibility and become role models to the newcomers.
Accommodations and Amenities
The eight-bedroom Victorian-style house on Barnett Street accommodates 17 men and the five-bedroom house on Montgomery Street has space for 12 women. Residents live in double or triple-occupancy rooms. The women’s house has quadruple-occupancy rooms furnished with two sets of bunk beds, dressers, an entertainment center with a TV and a recliner. Besides a bed, each resident receives a dresser and personal shelves in the pantry and refrigerator.
Amenities include free laundry facilities, an outside work out room in both houses and utilities included with rent. Clients are responsible for their own groceries, and meals can be prepared in fully equipped kitchens. Both houses have fenced backyards, which provide ample privacy. Smoking is permitted in designated outside areas. Each residence has a live-in house manager on hand 24/7 to provide guidance and support.
Rules and Regulations
At Ruben’s Place, there are three absolutes—no drugs or alcohol, no stealing and no abuse of any kind, including verbal harassment. House managers conduct periodic drug and alcohol screenings, and there is a zero tolerance policy for those found to be under the influence or who have tested positively.
During the first two weeks, there is a blackout period. The only acceptable outings include attendance at a court hearing or at a 12-step meeting. After that period, the curfew is ten pm Tuesdays through Wednesdays, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. On Thursdays and Sundays, clients must be home by 7:15 pm to attend a mandatory house meeting. Chores are assigned, and clients must complete them in a timely manner.
On a weekly basis, unemployed clients must attend 12 AA/NA meetings, while working residents must participate in a minimum of five 12-step meetings. Clients must maintain productivity. Those who are unemployed or on SSI must attend outpatient treatment, search for work or enroll in school. All activities must be done on a full-time basis. Clients are expected to get a sponsor and actively work their steps.
Upon arrival, residents at the women’s house are given God boxes. The clients write their hopes and aspirations on small pieces of paper, which are placed inside the box and handed over to the care of a Higher Power.
Additionally, Ruben’s Place is a member of the Sober Living Network Ventura Country Sober Living Coalition.
At Ruben’s Place and Ventura Serenity House, clients are taught accountability and expected to work an active 12-step program. For men and women looking for an affordable, no-frills sober living where they can delve into their steps, this would be a great environment. However those seeking alternatives to a 12-step based approach should trudge onward and search for other options.
Ruben’s Place Men’s Home
30 W Barnett Street
Ventura, CA 93001
Ventura Serenity House for Women
772 Montgomery Avenue
Ventura, CA 93004
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