Founded in 2007 by Jennifer Hansen near Atlantic City in Absecon, New Jersey, Serenity House provides five 12-step based sober living homes for men and women in early recovery. Serenity House is a division of The Hansen Foundation, a non-profit organization. Serenity Estates, which is Serenity House’s high-end sister facility opened in 2015. Director of operations Terri Burns, who has 19 years of sobriety, oversees the homes, as well as interviews potential clients.
Accommodations and Amenities
There are five houses, three for women and two for men. The women’s houses include Serenity House, Serenity Meadows and Serenity Rose. The men’s houses are Randy Scarborough House and Michael’s House. Each residence accommodates between 10 and 12 clients. Most of the houses are single-family homes, except for the Randy Scarborough house, which is a duplex located in Somers Point, New Jersey.
Clients are paired in double-occupancy rooms, which include twin beds, dressers and closets. Some singles are available, depending on the house. Residents are responsible for their own groceries, and meals are prepared in fully equipped kitchens. Amenities include Wi-Fi, cable TV, utilities, a house computer with Internet, and laundry facilities. One house includes a pool, and one residence is by the beach. House managers live on the premises at each home.
Rules and Regulations
At Serenity House, clients must have completed detox. Upon arrival, clients talk with Burns and develop individualized recovery protocols. On a weekly basis, unemployed clients must attend six 12-step meetings, while working residents must go to at least four AA/NA meetings. All residents must obtain a sponsor and a home group within two weeks of arrival. Those attending outpatient treatment must follow treatment recommendations. Transportation is provided for clients, when appropriate.
Other requirements include performing household chores, working on both long and short-term goals, as well as working at a feasible place of employment, going to school or volunteering. All residents must attend the weekly house meeting. The curfew is 11:30 pm seven days a week. At Serenity House, random drug and alcohol screenings are conducted. Relapsed residents are taken to a secure environment. This is done to ensure the safety of the client, as well as the entire household.
Staff also goes to court with criminal justice clients and assists those with custody issues. Other services include vocational guidance, housing assistance and helping clients get their social security cards, if appropriate.
As a non-profit organization, Serenity House relies on donations to offset costs, and maintain affordable pricing. Serenity House is a member of the New Jersey Alliance of Recovery Residences (NJARR), which demands high standards from its affiliates.
Serenity House goes above and beyond, by trying to meet a client’s individual needs. Residents reside in beautiful homes, and receive plenty of help and support. Residents of Serenity House are provided with an excellent environment to work on their steps, while they rebuild new and healthy lives.
The Hansen Foundation
1501 N Albany Ave
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
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