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Designing Your Future at Iron House

Men that complete the Guiding Light Recovery program and find employment have the option of moving to Iron House, our sober living apartments in Kentwood. Iron House consists of six buildings of two-bedroom apartment units and is capable of housing up to 42 people. It is reserved exclusively for clients that come through Guiding Light programming and is a place for these newly sober men recovering from addiction to find stability, a positive environment, and a supportive community of their peers. Since all the men living at Iron House are in recovery themselves, it is relatively easy, or at least easier, to learn how to live a normal and fulfilling life in sobriety. Every two weeks, former Recovery clients living at Iron House have a “house meeting,” where the men get together and touch base to discuss where they are at in life.

The goal of the meeting this week was for the men to set goals that they would seek to achieve within the next three months. Many of these goals involved financial or legal obligations. Some men wanted to set into motion the process of getting their driver’s licenses back, others sought to pay off debts. Some goals were more abstract such as building a better relationship with their children or cultivating more serenity in their lives. One man’s goal was to write a screenplay, another’s was staying on track to finish college. Having goals in life is a huge part of achieving lasting, long-term sobriety, which is exactly what the Guiding Light Recovery program is designed to cultivate.

At Iron House, men are able to gradually transition back into a normal life, while still having the support and accountability of a community of their peers. These meetings at Iron House are more than just a way for everyone to stay on the same page of day-to-day life, it is a way for the men to continue to support and remain cohesive and connected to each other as they move forward in their recovery.

76% of men who come through Guiding Light Recovery, find employment, and move to Iron House, will achieve long-term sobriety. This is in stark contrast to a 2007 study conducted by the social-research journal, Evaluation Review, showing that only 33% of men who attempt to get sober on their own are able to maintain it for over a year.[1]  Unlike many other rehabilitation programs, Guiding Light Recovery really does work, and the numbers show it. The only cost for men to come to Guiding Light is their willingness to change their lives for the better. We are entirely funded by private donations, and for that we are eternally grateful to our generous donors, volunteers, and supporters for helping us on our mission to make our community a better place, one man at a time.

[1] Dennis, M. L., Foss, M. A., & Scott, C. K. (2007). An eight-year perspective on the relationship between the duration of abstinence and other aspects of recovery. Evaluation review31(6), 585–612.


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