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Choosing the right house manager for your sober living

As a sober living owner, your house manager (or managers) plays a crucial role in providing a safe and supportive environment for your clients.  Hiring the right house manager for your sober living facility is a critical decision that can affect your business's brand and reputation, not to mention the wellness of your residents.

That’s why we created the following list of considerations when hiring a house manager or reviewing one that already works for you:

  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and responsibilities:
    Sober living house managers should handle multiple tasks and responsibilities simultaneously while maintaining a calm and professional demeanor. Anyone who has done the job knows that there can be a lot going on at once, and it’s important to select a manager who is not easily overwhelmed.

  • Communication and interpersonal skills:
    A house manager should have strong communication and interpersonal skills, including listening actively and providing support and guidance to residents. Motivational interviewing is a great technique that non-clinical individuals can use to safely guide clients.

  • Organizational skills:
    Good organizational skills and attention to detail are important for maintaining accurate records and documentation, as well as overseeing the daily operations of the sober living facility. This is critical for maintaining transparency and accountability in drug tests, chores, recovery progress, etc. Using Sobriety Hub can streamline operations tremendously.

  • Commitment to sobriety:
    This one is obvious; it's critical for sober living house managers to have a strong commitment to sobriety and a deep understanding of the disease of addiction.

  • Crisis Management Skills:
    Crisis Management includes assessing and prioritizing the situation, communicating effectively with all relevant parties (such as residents, staff, and outside professionals), and implementing appropriate action steps to address the crisis and minimize any negative impacts on the sober living community. In an interview, ask your prospective house manager, “what would you do if a client relapsed and was trying to encourage others to join them?”

Many sober living house managers are alumni of the sober living program and have firsthand experience with the challenges and benefits of living in a sober community. In many cases, sober living house managers continue to live in the sober living facility with the residents and serve as role models and mentors, providing guidance and support to those in early recovery. This arrangement can be beneficial for both the house manager and the residents, as the house manager can provide a firsthand perspective on the recovery process, and the residents can learn from someone who has successfully navigated the challenges of early recovery.

Education and work experience requirements for sober living house managers may vary depending on your organization or facility. Some facilities may require a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as addiction counseling or social work, while others may prefer candidates with a combination of education and practical experience. In most cases, personal experience with addiction is sufficient for individuals to be effective sober living house managers.