The very first Oxford House was established in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1975 by a unique group of folks with a democratic vision after being evicted from a state-run halfway house due to budget cuts. They expanded the organization to eighteen houses by 1988. The success of their self-organized, self-run rehab houses received attention by the US government in 1988 when federal legislation was passed to financially support best rehabs that are modeled after the Oxford Houses. Today the Oxford House Network is made up of over 2,000 self-supported houses, with more than 16,000 beds, helping more than 24,000 people annually all over the United States. The umbrella organization of all of those individual houses is a publicly supported 501(c)3 corporation and is known as the Oxford House Inc.
How do the various Chapters of the Oxford House stay organized?
An Oxford House Chapter is composed of at least three individually chartered houses within a one hundred mile radius. Each Chapter sends a representative to an inter-house conference every month to resolve issues, learn from each other and to formally vote on policy changes.
Oxford House Treatment, Programs, and Approach
People struggling with alcohol or drug addiction are welcome to receive treatment in this drug rehab network. Since each Oxford House is a self-organized, democratically operated unit, the landlord or the selected house representative functions as a managing member. The treatment philosophy is hands-off and non-interventionist, although the 12 step program is used. Each resident in the house is expected to take on a lot of responsibility in the form of maintaining the house, taking care of their own needs and supporting the other members of the house. For clients who are personally committed to becoming sober, the Oxford House provides a community of like-minded peers who are working towards the same goal and can provide mutual support to one another.
Oxford House: Facilities and Extras
The houses are all rented family homes that have been adapted to provide a communal living environment so that residents can be a catalyst for sobriety for each other. Each resident has a private room and there are shared spaces in the kitchen, living room, yard and/or porches. Most houses have laundry facilities on-site.The Oxford House funding provides a bed, toiletries, and linens for each resident for the duration of their stay, but no food or clothing. Residents are also responsible for paying a rental fee, which is usually $400 to $500 per month. Residents are expected to find employment to pay other bills as well during their stay. Community service options are available for those unable to work.
Rules and Regulations at Oxford House
Policies of the Oxford House enforce a sober living environment at all times and a commitment from the residents to stay sober. All new applicants are interviewed by current residents and a community decision determines if they are admitted. Although Oxford House is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous, residents must be actively working through the 12 step program and attend a minimum of 4 recovery meetings every week as a condition of staying there. There is no minimum, nor maximum, residency length as long as the client is maintaining sobriety. Each chartered house may democratically vote to enforce additional policies specific to their location as long as they don’t contradict the national policies.
Oxford House Review Summary
The Oxford House network of local rehabs offers a unique experience for individuals seeking a self-directed path towards sobriety. The democratic basis of management provides a strong mutual support among residents, but ultimately each resident is responsible for their own recovery. For some people this is the right path, while other people may need a more structured environment to overcome their addiction. The history of success behind this organization is a testimony to the power and support in a close-knit peer group.
The Oxford House network consists of houses all over the USA which are listed in the national directory of locations here.
You can contact the Headquarters here. To contact your local Oxford house you must submit your zip code via the Vacancies Page on the website which will return addresses and phone numbers of your local Oxford House.