Established in 2012 an hour from Chicago in Woodstock, Illinois, The Spirit Center is a non-profit sober living house for men. The founders are a husband and wife team, David and Serena Franckowiak, who are both in recovery. At Spirit Center, their vision is implementing a 12-step approach as well as helping clients work on internal healing. The concept of community and the harmony of the house is important at Spirit Center. With this in mind, all the current residents and founders interview potential clients.
Accommodations and Amenities
Spirit Center is a spacious ranch-style home nestled against four acres of countryside. The house accommodates ten men, who are housed in double-occupancy rooms. Residents are responsible for their own groceries and meal preparation, which is done in a fully equipped kitchen. The use of the oven or stove is forbidden after 10 pm. Amenities include laundry facilities, a house laptop with Internet and extra refrigerators for food storage. The Franckowiaks live on the premises, and provide recovery mentoring.
Upon arrival, clients must bring food, a personal pillow and household items including dish soap, liquid hand soap, pen and paper, two rolls of paper towels, garbage bags, a dish wand scrubber and a hygiene bag for storage of personal items, which are not allowed to be left in bathrooms. After the first 30 days, residents must purchase these items on a monthly basis.
Rules and Regulations
Potential clients must have been clean and sober for a minimum of 30 days. The Spirit Center screens clients from residential treatment, as well as criminal justice clients leaving prison. Potential residents undergo a comprehensive interview with house members and the Franckowiaks. The screening process is highly selective.
Length of stay is a minimum of six months. Upon arrival, clients must have completed their first step and must show written proof. During the first 30 days, clients must work hard on their recovery. Requirements include attending daily 12-step meetings, being at the Sunday night 7 pm house meeting, participating in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), reading the Big Book and other 12-step literature, finding a sponsor, working the steps, and participating in recovery and step study groups held on the premises. Clients who miss the house meeting or exhibit tardiness are immediately evicted. Performance of household chores is also mandatory. During the first 30 days, clients must also inform staff of their whereabouts at all times.
After 30 days, clients undergo a review, determining whether or not they can remain in the house. After the initial period, clients in good standing look for work, attend between four and seven weekly 12-step meetings (depending on their employment status) and maintain previous requirements. Unemployed clients must participate in community service or attend school. The curfew is 11 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and one am on Fridays and Saturdays. At The Spirit Center, residents’ showers are limited to a maximum of 10-minutes. Hair coloring is not allowed. Other no-nos include removing the house laptop from the living room, washing blankets and leaving laundry in the dryers, smoking inside the house and lighting candles.
Spirit Center exhibits a zero tolerance policy for stealing, lying, or being under the influence. Random drug and alcohol screenings are conducted. Those who relapse are immediately evicted from the premises. Minor violations equal a strike. The house has a three-strike policy. After three strikes, a client is terminated from the premises.
Besides the Sunday night house meeting, Spirit Center offers a Friday 7:30 pm 12X12 meeting.
Spirit Center is deeply rooted in the 12 steps. With that said, this picturesque countryside sober living seeks to help clients find their inner light, but they must be willing to work hard on many aspects of their recovery. While this sober living house might seem a little formulated for some, others might find comfort in the discipline and the structure. The serene locale might also be just what they are looking for.
The Spirit Center
12618 Davis Rd
Woodstock, IL 60098
The Spirit Center Cost: $400.50 (30 days, not including a $200 admission fee). Reach Spirit Center by phone at (815) 861-5448 or by email at [email protected]. Find The Spirit Center at Facebook and Google+
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