02. On Our Way Home Handbook


Resident Handbook

(Based on GCBHS Handbook)



Recovery Homes are a resource for individuals who have already demonstrated a commitment to recovery who will benefit from an affordable, supportive living environment.  Individuals who reside in recovery homes:

· Actively work to continue living alcohol and drug free lives daily in their recovery.

· Desire a safe and structured living environment with others who share the goal of sobriety and can support one another.

· Want to engage in support, services and are active in their own treatment to further their recovery.

· Pursue employment, increase education, build skills, and actively participate in their community.

On Our Way Home (OOWH) is a nonprofit organization committed to maintaining safe, healthy, recovery focused environments that support residents for continued success in recovery. Our goal is best practices in recovery housing as defined by the National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR).

Recovery Centered Environment

Recovery Homes are centered around recovery.  There are many paths that lead to recovery and everyone’s path is unique.  Residents will develop a Personal Ongoing Recovery Plan within the first week of becoming a resident.  Residents will share their Recovery Plan with their housemates monthly to develop supports and a level of accountability.  The Recovery Plan will include a plan for lapse which will define signs/triggers of lapse and outline steps to be taken for treatment, relocation from housing and key support people to contact should lapse occur. Connections to others are needed to break the isolation of addiction.

Zero Tolerance

· Theft

· Violence

· Theft and violence jeopardize the supportive, community environment within the house and place all residents at risk.  Any violation of these will result in immediate removal from the house premises.

 Alcohol and Drugs

· The house is a completely alcohol and illicit-drug-free environment. All prescribed and over the counter medications will be recorded during screening process, per Medication Policy.  Resident will be responsible for updating medication log within one week of medication change. 

· Alcohol and drug use is strictly prohibited by any Resident or their visitors on or off the premises. 

· Any Resident possessing or using alcohol or illicit drugs on the premises will be immediately removed from the premises and their Resident Agreement will be terminated.

· Law enforcement officials will be notified if there is illegal drug use in the house by any Resident or Visitor. 


Drug Testing On-Site

Residents tested regularly in treatment program will submit a copy of the results within 2 days of testing.  Other residents may be subject to randomized testing.

Drug testing on-site may be requested by the Lead Peer Resident or House Manager at any time and one of them will oversee the following process:

· The Lead Peer Resident notifies House Manager about behavior suspicious of lapse or illicit drug use behavior and potential on-site testing is needed.

· The House Manager contacts the resident’s treatment provider of suspicious behaviors.

· The Lead Peer Resident informs resident and facilitates screening.

· The Lead Peer Resident will read the test results and inform the House Manager immediately of results.

· The Lead Peer Resident will call a house meeting with residents to discuss the test results.

· If the tests are negative, no further follow-up is needed.

· If any resident tests positive for a foreign substance, the resident is provided the opportunity to share during the house meeting the circumstances of use.

· If the resident who tested positive confirms use, the resident will be removed from the other house residents and taken to their identified safe housing location. Steps will be taken to engage that individual the services needed.

· If the resident denies use and produces a negative result from qualified outside laboratory within 24 hours there will be no penalty as long as remaining residents feel safe. Costs associated with drug testing through a drug testing provider are the responsibility of the resident.

House Meetings

· Residents are required to attend a weekly house meeting with all housemates. The meeting will be led by the Lead Peer Resident, House Manager, or other OOWH designee. 

· Attendance is mandatory throughout your entire residence unless your absence is pre-approved by OOWH staff or the Lead Peer Resident.

· Residents can request additional house meetings as needed; requests can be made to the Lead Peer Resident.

· Residents must sign in for any peer lead meetings held in the house.


Community Support Network 

As a part of the recovery process, Residents will be expected to develop a community support network. Addiction is isolating...recovery requires relationships.

· Residents will be expected to participate in a minimum of 3 activities per week which could include self-help groups, community support groups, faith-based activities, and volunteering. An average of one hour per month of giving back to the community is expected from residents.

· Residents will also be expected to provide the name and contact information of their mentor or sponsor to House Manager by the end of the first month in the house. 



· Residents are expected to be employed. Third shift schedules will need to be approved by OOWH and may not be able to be accommodated in our Recovery Housing.


· Residents must adhere to the curfew set up by the house by checking in at night and checking out when leaving the next day. 

· Curfew times are as follows: Sunday to Thursday 11:00pm, Friday and Saturday 1:00a. 

Communication with housemates and the Lead Peer Resident is expected. Residents are expected to notify the Lead Peer Resident if they are not going to be home by curfew. 

It is the responsibility of all residents to notify the Lead Peer Resident if a resident does not return home by curfew.  Curfew will be enforced by the Lead Peer Resident.  Work schedule and community support group exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 


Resident Tenancy Fee & Living Expenses

· Residents are responsible for payment of the resident tenancy fee as outlined in the Resident Agreement.  Any fees paid on your behalf by a third party will be made known to you.

· Residents are responsible to pay for food, clothing, and personal hygiene items and share expenses for other household or cleaning supplies. 

· Residents with temporary financial hardship should contact House Manager for potential solutions.

· Residents may not loan money to other residents or OOWH representatives.

· OOWH representatives including volunteers are not permitted to loan money to residents.

· Only Residents who have signed a Residency Agreement are permitted to live on the premises.



· Wireless internet services

· Basic cable TV

· Landline Phone for local calls only

· OneStep Recovery Software App for your smartphone

· Fully furnished house/rooms including washer and dryer

· Utilities

· Ample designated parking space is available for residents who have a valid driver's license and insurance and complete a Vehicle Form.

Shared Living & Housekeeping

· All rooms are fully furnished. Residents are only allowed to bring in personal items that will fit in their designated storage spaces in their room. Depending on the house, residents may also be able to bring in a maximum of 2 plastic, closed containers for additional or seasonal items.

· Residents are expected to promote peace and harmony with housemates through supportive, positive interactions while learning healthy and responsible habits of daily living.

· Residents should limit the amount of time spent on the house phone or computer to allow housemates to access these resources.

· Respect for our natural resources, water and electricity including composting and reusable washrags will be encouraged as responsible stewards of our environment.

· Residents are not permitted to borrow anything from housemates.

· Aggressive, depreciating, or violent behavior will not be tolerated.  At no point should a resident's behavior pose threat to housemates, visitors, neighbors or to the property itself.

· Stealing will not be tolerated and may result in removal from the shared living house.

· Residents are expected to maintain a clean and safe room and to contribute to the overall cleanliness and safety of the house.  Meal planning and preparation, house cleaning and maintenance are shared responsibility among residents. Residents are responsible for working cooperatively in these activities.

· Residents will be responsible to complete housekeeping on a routine basis.  The housekeeping assignment process will be led by the Lead Peer Resident.

· Residents are responsible for their own personal care, transportation, medications, finances, and laundry needs. 

· Resident should not leave laundry in the washer or dryer for any extended periods of time.

· Any pets must be approved by House Manager.

· Pornography and offensive material is prohibited anywhere on the premises.

· Residents will have an opportunity to participate in developing additional house rules and shared living expectations that provide a framework of cooperation in relationships with housemates. These rules must be mutually agreed upon by all housemates, cannot conflict with the resident agreement or resident handbook.  All additional house rules will be reviewed by the Lead Peer Resident and OOWH House Manager to assure that they pose no safety or health risk.


Smoking/Nicotine/Electronic Smoking Devices

· The house is a smoke and tobacco free environment.

· Smoking/Tobacco/Electronic Smoking Devises are strictly prohibited inside the house.

· Smoking/Tobacco/Electronic Smoking Devises are only permitted outside.

· Residents/Visitors will utilize proper disposal containers. 


Health of Body, Mind and Spirit is crucial and all will be encouraged.

Communicable disease including COVID

· All persons with a communicable disease will be managed on a case-by-case basis.  The safety and concern of the individual as well as that of the other residents will be taken into consideration to determine the processing and procedures that will be followed.

· Communicable diseases are commonly found and can be transmitted by air, object, or through casual contact.  Some of these diseases include but are not limited to viral and bacterial Hepatitis, COVID, Tuberculosis (TB), HIV, Severe Adult Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), MRSA, Chicken Pox, Varicella Rubella, Measles Rubella, Measles Meningitis, Coronavirus.

· Behaviors that may increase the spread of infectious disease:

· Unsafe sex

· Drinking or eating out of the same container

· Sharing personal hygiene products like razors, dental materials, or other items that may have blood droplets on them

· Not properly disposing of used tissues

· Sharing instruments of injection medications

· Not properly cleaning soiled undergarments or clothing

Precautions for limiting the spread of infectious disease:

· Exercise proper hand washing

· Properly discard used tissues

· When coughing, do so into your sleeve

· Good personal hygiene

· Use only sterile injection equipment for required medications

· Maintain good personal hygiene: shower, wash clothing properly, and clean up after yourself

· Proper disposal of feminine hygiene products


 OOWH will provide the following items for precautions:

· First aid kits including touchless thermometer

· Rubber or nitrile gloves

· Hazardous material disposable bags

· Gauze pads

· Other basic emergency supplies



· OOWH supports many pathways to recovery which can include Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).  Residents are responsible for all medications,

· Residents are required to keep all medications securely locked in the appropriate container provided within their room.

· Residents are responsible for administration of their own medications.

· Residents are not permitted to share or sell any medications: prescription or non-prescription.

· Residents may purchase over the counter medications: over the counter medications that contain alcohol or other mood-altering substances are not allowed.

· Prescribed narcotic pain medication is strongly discouraged and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with OOWH staff.

· Residents must always keep a list of all prescribed and over the counter medications.

· Residents will inform the Lead Peer Resident and the OOWH staff of all medications and medical conditions.

· OOWH will not be responsible for keeping any medications for any resident and does not dispense medications.


Good Neighbor

· Residents are expected to be courteous and friendly toward neighbors and to maintain a positive impact on the surrounding community. 

· No excessive noise is permitted between 10:00 pm and 8:00 am.  This includes playing music loudly, slamming doors, yelling in common areas, patio or outside etc.  Violations may be recorded as incidents.

· Residents are not to walk into neighboring yards or trespass on property.

· All neighbor questions and concerns can be directed to the Director of Operations. Good Neighbor Policy with contact information are available at the house.



· Visitors are permitted between the hours of 8am and 10pm. Residents can only have 2 visitors inside the house at a time unless previously approved.  It is the resident's responsibility to ensure that their visitors follow all expectations of the Resident Handbook.

· All visitors must sign a Visitor Form which Resident initiates.

· Visitors who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or suspected to be will not be permitted on the property.

· Visitors are only allowed in common areas; visitors are not permitted in bedrooms.

· Visitors are not permitted to stay overnight.


Personal Relationships

· Sexual activities of any kind are not permitted on the premises.

· Sexual relationships between any residents in the house are not permitted.


Overnights Away from the House

· Residents must inform the Lead Peer Resident at least 2 days in advance of the planned overnight away from the house.  


Personal Property-our homes are fully furnished.

· Residents may only bring clothing and personal items that will fit comfortably in their bedroom. Storage space for up to 2 bins may be available depending on the site.  OOWH’s insurance plans do not cover resident personal property.

· OOWH may enter the premises for any reason and can enter all common areas of the house as needed.

· OOWH has the right to search resident property for drugs, alcohol or other hazardous items if concerns among fellow residents are voiced.


· Residents and their visitors are encouraged to park on the driveway areas only.

· All residents with vehicles MUST complete a Vehicle Form to assure that it is properly registered to the resident, insured, in proper working order, and clean from any fluid leaks.

· Residents must have proper license to operate a vehicle without restriction.

· Residents and their visitors must have a valid driver’s license to park their vehicle on the property and only along the right side of the gravel driveway unless loading and unloading items.


Building Maintenance & Safety

· Wireless Internet and Cable will be provided.  No additional services are permitted, no electrical or other wires (including TV antennas, cable TV or satellite TV), for any pur­pose, are to be brought into and installed on, in or upon the building/premises.

· External cameras are installed to provide additional safety and security to the residents. No cameras or monitoring devices are installed within the house.

· No changes of resident rooms or common areas of any kind are permitted without permission of the House Manager.

· No items are to be thrown out of the windows, doors, down the passages, halls, staircases of the building by residents or visitors.

· No items are to be hung out of the windows or placed on the windowsills by residents or visitors.

· No windows are to be left open when it rains, hails, sleets or snows, or in high wind.

· Make sure all entry doors are secured and locked when leaving the house or going to bed.

· Secure small personal belongings in the locking file cabinet bedside table provided.

· Nothing is to be stored in the basement unless stored in reserved storage space. All storage areas must be maintained in a neat, safe, secure and sanitary manner and a maximum of two bins per resident are allowed.

· Removing light bulbs from the halls, stairwells or outside fixtures is prohibited.

· Installation of privately owned washers and dryers in the apartments is prohibited.  The use of portable washers and dryers is not permitted.

· Space heaters are prohibited due to fire risk.  If there is concern about adequate heat call the House Manager immediately.

· Window air conditioning units are prohibited.  If there is a concern about adequate cooling in the house call the House Manager immediately.

· No tape, nails, or tacking is permitted in the common areas of building.  A request for hanging items can be made by contacting the House Manager.


·  Under ORC 5321.04 (A)(8), except in the case of emergency or if it impracticable to do so, the Property Owner will give tenants reasonable notice of their intent to enter and enter only at reasonable times. Twenty-four hours is presumed reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Tenant obligations under ORC 5321.05 include the responsibility to not unreasonable withhold consent for the Owner to enter the dwelling unit to inspect the premises, make ordinary, necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, deliver parcels that are too large for the tenant’s mail facilities, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, or contractors. 


On Our Way Home will provide:

· Pest control

· Landscaping and Grass Cutting Services

· Physical Building Maintenance

· Utilities

· Wireless internet services

· Basic cable TV

· Landline Phone for local calls only

· Fully furnished house/rooms including washer and dryer

· First aid kit, disposable gloves, hazardous bags, and other basic emergency supplies



· In the case of an emergency, call 911 immediately.

· Then notify the Lead Peer Resident and Director of Housing 


Residence Safety Schedule

Activity                                                         Frequency

•    Insurance Inspection                                •         Annual

•    Fire Department Inspection                      •          Annual

•    Fire Extinguisher Service                          •          Annual

•    Facility Walk-Through                               •          Quarterly

•    Fire Extinguisher Check                            •          Quarterly

•    Smoke Detector Inspection                       •          Quarterly

•    Carbon Monoxide Inspection                      •          Quarterly


Reporting Maintenance Issues

· Complete a Maintenance Request Form. For emergencies, call Google phone# 513-428-HOME (4663)

· Describe the problem in as much detail as you can give

· If it is after 5pm or on the weekend, emergency calls will be returned from a person on-call...Wait for this call and explain problem


House Improvements/Complaints & Grievances 

· Residents are encouraged to suggest improvements to the house or operations which may give a better recovery housing experience. We want to support our residents if it is possible. Please complete a House Improvements/Complaints/Grievances Form.

· Residents are encouraged to talk to their housemates to work through any conflicts that may arise.  Please let us know if there is something that may make your home better.  Constructive feedback or complaints can be discussed with the Lead Peer Resident and addressed openly in a house meeting.  The House Manager will be brought in to assist with the discussion as needed. The OOWH House Manger will make any final decisions required.Please complete a House Improvements/Complaints/Grievances Form.

· Residents are encouraged to talk to their housemates to work through any conflicts that may arise.  Complaints can be discussed with the Lead Peer Resident and addressed openly in a house meeting.  The Management Team will be brought in to assist with the discussion as needed. The Management Team will make any final decisions required. If you still feel that an issue needs to be addressed more formally, or if you feel that your rights have been violated, you are encouraged to complete and submit a House Improvement/Complaints/ Grievance Form.  There are steps in place for you to have your concern addressed.  

· We prefer that you use the following process outlined below. However, you may always contact the Executive Director, Barbara Isemann, Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board at 513-732-5400 or Ohio Recovery Housing at (614) 453-5133.

· If you have a concern or an issue that needs to be addressed, or if you feel that your rights have been violated, you are encouraged to speak to the peer lead resident of your house first and if more clarification is needed, then contact the Management Team to resolve the issue.   

· If the issue is not resolved informally, you may file a written grievance.  If you need help writing a grievance, you may request help and House Manager will ensure that there is an appropriate person to help you. 

· This grievance should include the following

· Details of the issue that needs to be addressed

· What date or dates the issue or problem occurred

· The names of any individuals involved

· On Our Way Home, Inc will investigate the issue and staff or a Board member may ask you or other individuals involved about the issue. These questions will be to learn more about your concern. 

· Within seven business days of receiving the House Improvement/Complaints/Grievance Form, On Our Way Home, Inc will respond or request to schedule a meeting with you to resolve the issue. At this meeting On Our Way Home, Inc will provide you a letter with their formal response to your concern and review it with you whether any action will be taken on your concern and what those actions are. You are not required to attend this meeting…but regardless, the letter will be provided to you and a copy will be maintained for three years.

· You may appeal this decision to the entire On Our Way Home, Inc. Board of Directors. You may submit a written request for an appeal to the President of Board of Directors for On Our Way Home, Inc. The board of directors will consider your appeal at the next board meeting and provide you a written response of their decision within five business days of the board meeting.  All decisions of the Board of Directors are final. 


Client Rights & The Fair Housing Act·      

A copy of the full Client Rights Policy is available in the on-site residence binder.

· Federal civil rights laws prohibit discrimination in many areas of life against qualified “individuals with disabilities.” Many people with past and current alcohol problems and past drug use disorders, including those in treatment for these illnesses, are protected from discrimination by:

•  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

•  The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

•  The Fair Housing Act (FHA) and

•  The Workforce Investment Act (WIA).


·  The Fair Housing Act (FHA) makes discrimination in housing and real estate transactions illegal when it is based on a disability. The FHA protects people with past and current alcohol addiction and past drug addiction—although other Federal laws sometimes limit their rights. The FHA does not protect people who currently engage in illegal drug use.


· Rights Landlords and other housing providers may not refuse to rent or sell housing to people in recovery or who have current alcohol disorders and may not discriminate in other ways against them in housing transactions solely based on their disability. It is also illegal to discriminate against housing providers (such as sober or halfway houses for people in recovery) because they associate with individuals with disabilities. Additionally, every resident has the right to equal and fair treatment and use of OOWHs recovery housing, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, familial status (children under 18), national origin (ethnicity or language), or in some circumstances, age.



· This handbook is intended to provide guidelines, shared living expectations and requirements for residency for OOWHs Recovery House. Residents are expected to review the resident handbook and abide by the regulations set forth. 

· OOWH reserves the right to change any portion of this handbook at any time.  In the event there is a change to the handbook, residents will receive written notice of the change.  The written notice will be considered the official notice and should be maintained in their personal records for future reference.

· By signing below the resident herby acknowledges the receipt of the resident handbook and understand that they are responsible for a full review of the resident handbook. Further, the resident acknowledges responsibility for abiding by all guidelines, shared living expectations and requirements herein.

8.14.2022 bti                                                           

Client first nameClient last name                                                                                                                                                       


Signature  DateDate

 Client Signature                                                                         


Signature DateDate                                                        

OOWH Staff Signature