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Voices of Recovery Housing: 11 Insights From Nick Connor

Watch the Full Interview Here:

Key Insights

  1. Inspiration

    The tragic overdose of his close friend Ned was the catalyst for Nick to open his first sober living home. He wanted to ensure Ned's legacy lives on, and the painful memories became a driving force for his mission.

  2. Tiered Management System

    To ensure quality and discipline, Nick has a tiered system of management. Every house has a manager, assistant manager, and then there's a general manager overseeing all the houses. Nick himself visits every house every day.

  3. Finding Managers

    The selection of house managers is crucial. Nick focuses on providing responsibility to individuals, sometimes even to those relatively new in their sobriety journey. By doing so, he gives them a sense of purpose and duty, which can sometimes inspire them to rise to the occasion.
  4. Growth and Sacrifice

    Nick emphasized the importance of sacrifice in achieving rapid growth without compromising on quality. He prioritized his mission over his personal life and got addicted to helping others.

  5. Program Uniqueness

    New entrants at Safe House undergo an intake process and meet Nick personally. They are required to attend meetings, get a sponsor, and actively work a program. Nick acknowledges the challenge of tracking everyone but ensures there's always someone leading by example.

  6. Rules and Responsibility

    The house managers have a significant responsibility. The main rule in the house is no substance use, and it's up to the managers to enforce these rules while also leading by example.

  7. Peer-to-Peer Accountability

    Nick emphasizes the importance of residents having an opportunity to experience service and peer-to-peer accountability. This helps them get a taste of the solution to their addiction problems and, of course, helps the resident in distress have someone to talk to and relate with. 

  8. Innovation

    Nick is always open to innovative ideas to improve recovery housing. For instance, he found an idea on TikTok that he then implemented into his own sober home. One of Nick's big ideas is to create a hotline for current and past residents to call in times of need. The hotline could employ other residents for direct peer support and provide employment opportunities for individuals in early recovery. 

  9. Consistency is Key When Scaling

    As he expanded from one house to multiple, Nick found it essential to maintain consistency across homes. He ensures that new houses follow the same guidelines and standards as the previous ones.

  10. Using Technology for Organization

    Nick uses Sobriety Hub, which has been instrumental in keeping records, managing intakes, and overseeing operations. This tool helps him maintain a structured approach to managing the sober living homes.

  11. Promote Love and Gratitude

    Nick stresses the importance of spreading love and expressing gratitude. He's thankful for the support he received during his journey and encourages others to cherish the supportive figures in their lives.

In summary, Nick's insights revolve around innovation, consistent service, the significance of communication and support systems, the importance of genuine motivation, and the value of patience and gratitude in recovery.