Front entryway of an Oxford House
Oxford House is a self-run, self-supported recovery house concept and system of operation for individuals recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. Oxford Houses assure an alcohol and drug-free living environment. The first Oxford House was started in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1975.
Q. Who manages an Oxford House?
Oxford Houses are democratically self-run by the residents. In this respect, the Houses are similar to that of a college fraternity or sorority. OHSR residences are also supervised by employed staff.
Q. How long can anyone live in an Oxford House?
OHSR believes in third stage transitional housing, meaning residents determine their length of stay. A recovering individual can live in an Oxford House for as long as he or she wishes, providing there is no alcohol or drug consumption, regularly paid Member fees, attends AA/NA meetings, and is not considered disruptive. The average stay is about seven months, but many residents stay much longer. There is no pressure on anyone in good standing to leave.
Q. Why is an Oxford House self-run?
Oxford Houses are self-run because (1) this permits individuals in recovery to learn responsibility, and (2) the lower cost associated with self-run housing permits extensive replication of houses.
Q. How can one get into an Oxford House?
Any recovering alcoholic or drug addict who has completed an addictions program within the last year can apply by:
a. requesting a referral through an addictions counselor (or equivalent role – e.g. medical professional);
b. completing an application;
c. meet with our Outreach Worker; and,
d. meet with the current House Members.
See our ‘Contact Us’ section of this website for the application form.
Q. Can both men and women live in the same Oxford House?
No. Experience has shown that Oxford Houses work for both men and women, but not in the same house.
Q. What happens if a House Member ‘slips”?
If the majority of residents believe that any member has relapsed by use of alcohol or drugs and/or shows disruptive behaviour, the incident is promptly reported to the Housing Manager. If it is determined that person has consumed drugs or alcohol, the House has the power to an immediate release.
Q. How much sobriety or clean time is needed before an individual can be accepted into an Oxford House?
There is no specific time limit. Generally, an individual comes into OHSR following a 28-day rehabilitation program.
“When I was getting prepared to leave Treatment, I was in need of a safe, sober living environment. Oxford House provided me with an opportunity to become a member of a household with a safe, sober structure. I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given and am very certain that without that chance I would probably not be where I am today – clean and sober for 8 months and well on the way to once again being a productive member of society. I have nothing but positive vibes and good things to say about my short experience with Oxford House. It was just what I needed to help get me back on my feet. Thank you, Oxford House.” – R.H.