02. On Our Way Home Handbook

 

On Our Way Home Resident Handbook

Welcome!

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

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

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

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

o   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). We know community is crucial to combat the isolation of addiction. We provide quality, safe and affordable housing where peers live as one household to support each other in recovery from addiction. This social model of recovery has been shown to improve long term recovery outcomes.

 

What does a supportive recovery living environment look like...?

On Our Way Home Recovery Homes are centered around recovery and built through mutual respect for your housemates and community.  There are many paths that lead to recovery and everyone’s path is unique and valid. The road that brought you to recovery might look similar to, or nothing like that of your housemates. Residents are expected to express mutual respect for each other’s recovery paths and contribute to building an environment that is safe for themselves and others to work towards their recovery efforts. 

 

How do I build accountability to myself for my recovery…?

1.      Personal Ongoing Recovery Plan

Residents will develop a Personal Ongoing Recovery Plan within the first week of becoming a resident.  Residents will share this Recovery Plan with their housemates to develop supports and a level of accountability to themselves and to one another.  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. 

2.      OneStep Recovery Software App for phone

On Our Way Home’s Recovery Homes use an automated administration and operations program called OneStep which has an application for smartphones. Benefits include personal recovery support tools such as daily calendar agendas, goal tracking, daily count and positive reinforcement of sobriety, mood journal and newsfeed, and messaging system for the household. Seamless administration allows requests for overnights, transportation needs, maintenance, and improvement items can be submitted anytime from the app. Check-ins to meetings and curfews via the app ensures accountability without asking for witnesses to sign at meetings.

 

Residents in the first month are expected to keep the locator “always on”. After one month, residents who have exhibited personal accountability may turn this locator to “on only when using”.

Group texts and messaging with housing manager and peer support is expected to be done through this system which ensures the integrity of personal data.

 

                                          Building a Community Support Network

●       As a part of the recovery process, Residents will be expected to develop a community support network...both within the house and with the extended community.  A hotel can offer a warm and safe place to sleep and eat…. however, in our recovery houses residents must be willing to spend time developing their sense of family and accountability with housemates. 

●       The Lead Peer Resident will act as head of the household and, as such, is expected to be the best example in meeting all our house expectations.  If house Peer Lead fails to set this best example, they will be removed from this added responsibility.

●       Residents will be expected to participate in house meetings and house activities to maintain the recovery family environment.  Our goal is to learn and to model for each other a healthy family environment.  Also, we require a minimum of 3 activities per week to build recovery foundation out in the community so that when you are ready to move on, your foundation will be strong.  Potential activities could include self-help groups, community support groups, faith-based activities, and volunteering. An additional one hour per week of giving back to the community (volunteering) is expected from residents. 

 

How am I expected to support my housemates in their recovery efforts?

Zero Tolerance

Theft, possessing weapons, and violent behaviors 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. If you are prescribed new medication during your residence, please report this to your Lead Peer Resident and House Manager.

·       Alcohol and drug use is strictly prohibited by any Resident or their visitors on or off the premises.  This includes huffing, kratom products, marijuana, or CBD products.

·       Any Resident possessing or using these mind-altering 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.

 

How does On Our Way Home support my recovery efforts…?

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 approved by the Lead Peer Resident.

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

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

 

Drug Testing On-Site

Drug testing on-site may be requested by the Lead Peer Resident or House Manager at any time and will be overseen by the Lead Peer Resident or House Manager.

Process:

o   The Lead Peer Resident contacts the resident about suspicious behaviors.

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

o   The Lead Peer Resident informs resident and facilitates screening, together with at least one other person.

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

o   The House Manager may ask the resident to contact their mentor about these behaviors.

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

o   If any resident tests positive for an illicit or non-prescribed substance, the resident is provided the opportunity to share during the house meeting the circumstances of use.

o   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.

o   If the resident denies use, the test will be repeated using a separate drug screen result on fresh urine. If test remains positive, the House Manager will prepare and send it out to the associated laboratory on the packaging for further testing. The resident will be allowed to remain in housing if the remaining residents feel safe. If others have serious concern over suspicious behaviors the resident may be asked to leave. They would have 30 minutes under supervision to collect their personal belongings and return the OOWH key to locking bedside cabinet.

 

 

 

What are my responsibilities as a resident at On Our Way Home…?

Residency Fee & Living Expenses

·       Residents are responsible for payment of the residency fee as outlined in the Resident Agreement. 

·       Residents are responsible to pay for food, clothing, and personal hygiene items and shared expense for 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.

 

Shared Living & Housekeeping

·       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 internet 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 to work 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.

 

Employment

·       Residents are expected to be accountable for their living arrangement by paying rent after the 4th week in the house. Being able to support one’s needs for housing through Part-time employment promotes dignity.

·       Persons receiving disability benefits are expected to be doing an appropriate volunteer service. Persons who have applied for disability should be seeking part time employment until these benefits are approved. Keeping busy doing meaningful activities in the community is an important predictor of long-term sobriety.

·       Third shift schedule, if they hinder the cohesion of the household, may not be able to be accommodated in our Recovery Housing…and requires approval of Management Team.

 

Curfew

·       Family members in households need to be accountable to each other. This includes knowing when to expect one another to be home and when to be concerned that something might be wrong and seek help for a housemate who has not returned.

o   Residents must adhere to the curfew set up by the house. 

o   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 curfew exceptions will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis by the management team.

Smoking/Nicotine/Vaping/Electronic Smoking Devices

·       The house is a smoke and tobacco free environment.

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

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

·       Residents/Visitors will utilize proper disposal containers. 

 

Good Neighbor

·       Unfortunately, even though addiction is known to occur across all socioeconomic and racial boundaries, stigma still exists. Property owners often have a “not in my back yard” mentality. Recovery houses need to prove to the surrounding neighborhood that we respect and will maintain the look and feel of the neighborhood.

·       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.

·       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

·       Visitors are permitted between the hours of 8am and 10pm. Residents can only have 2 visitors inside the house at a time.  Visitors must follow all expectations of the Resident Handbook.

·       All visitors must sign in.

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

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 with a record of accountability may requests overnights.  The Overnight Form should be submitted at least 2 business days in advance of the planned overnight.

 

Personal Property

·       Only personal property which fits within the confines of the resident's personal living space can be accommodated. We do not offer storage of personal property.

Residents may choose to provide insurance to cover their own possessions. 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 for active use are voiced among fellow residents.  Searches will be performed together with peer lead or another household advocate.

·       

                                                                        Vehicles

·       Residents and their visitors should park in the designated areas only.

·       All residents with vehicles MUST complete the Vehicle on Site Form which will verify that

o   The vehicle is properly registered to the resident, insured, in proper working order, and clean from any fluid leaks.

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

o   Residents must have a valid driver’s license to park their vehicle on the property.

 

 

 

What are My Consequences if I do not follow the Handbook Rules?

 

●       Residents who do not adhere to our requirements will have the following consequences:

o   Verbal Warning, that will be documented in their profile on OneStep

o   Accountability Form, giving a period to get back to your accountable self, together with the most appropriate of the following consequence, such as:

▪         Take away privileges such as losing weekend extended curfews…instead you will need to check-in by 11pm on Friday and Saturday

▪         Lose privilege of overnight passes

▪         For repeatedly forgetting to check- in, you will need to return your OneStep app back to “LOCATION ON at all times.”

o   Late charges for failure to pay rent on time.

o   Final consequence is not renewing the resident’s weekly rental agreement and they will need to leave the house.

 

 

What does On Our Way Home provide…?

 

Amenities

·       Wireless internet services

·       Basic cable TV

·       Landline Phone for local calls only

·       OneStep Recovery Software App for phone

·       Fully furnished house/rooms including washer and dryer

·       Pest control

·       Landscaping and Grass Cutting Services

·       Physical Building Maintenance

·       Utilities

·       Wireless internet services

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

 

 

 

 

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.

·       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.

 

o   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 - Policies and Procedures

 

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:

o   Unprotected Sex

o   Drinking or eating out of the same container

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

o   Not properly disposing of used tissues

o   Sharing instruments of injection medications

o   Not properly cleaning soiled undergarments or clothing

 

Precautions for limiting the spread of infectious disease:

o   Exercise proper hand washing

o   Properly discard used tissues

o   When coughing, do so into your sleeve

o   Good personal hygiene

o   Use only sterile injection equipment for required medications

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

o   Proper disposal of feminine hygiene products

 

             OOWH will provide the following items for precautions:

o   First aid kits

o   Rubber or nitrile gloves

o   Hazardous material disposable bags

o   Gauze pads

o   Other basic emergency supplies

 

Medications

·       OOWH supports many pathways to recovery which can include Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) or Medications to treat Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD).   Persons on such medications must be managed through an existing area treatment facility with regular visits.…online prescribers are not allowed. Dosages for opioid replacement therapy need to be stable or decreasing at entry into our residences…

·       Residents are required to keep all medications in their original packaging and securely locked in their bedside locking storage cabinet.

·       Residents are responsible for obtaining and administration of their own medications.

·       Residents are not permitted to share or sell any medications: prescription or non-prescription. Sharing prescription medications is unsafe. Residents with new medical symptoms should be seeking advice and assistance from medical personnel…. not other residents.

·       Residents may purchase over the counter medications: over the counter medications that contain alcohol or other mood-altering substances are not allowed. Natural sleep aids such as melatonin, or others recommended by your medical team are allowed.

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

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

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

 

Emergencies

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

·       Then notify the appropriate person identified in the OOWH Emergency Policy located in the OOWH Policy Book on site.

Residence Safety Schedule

•          Insurance Inspection – completed on an annual basis            

•          Fire Department Inspection – completed on an annual basis

•          Fire Extinguisher Service – completed on an annual basis

•          Facility Walk-Through – completed on a quarterly basis

•          Fire Extinguisher Check – completed on a quarterly basis

•          Smoke Detector Inspection – completed on a quarterly basis

•          Carbon Monoxide Inspection– completed on a quarterly basis

 

Reporting Maintenance Issues

·       For Emergencies, Call OOWH Google phone# 513-428-4663 for the on call Housing Manager.

o   Tell the person that answers that you are reporting a maintenance problem at your location.

o   Describe the problem in as much detail as you can give.

·       For non-emergencies, complete Maintenance Form via OneStep app.

·      If it is after 5pm or on the weekend, the issue will be triaged on the next business day.

 

House Improvements/ Grievances/Incidents

OOWH Facility or Staff

·       Learning to self-regulate and navigate conflict with peers and others is a vital process in recovery and accountability among peers is crucial to the social model of recovery.

·       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. Alternatively, an Improvement/Grievance/Incident For may be submitted. The OOWH Management Team will make any final decisions required.

Among fellow residents

·       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 Peer Support and 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 submit an Improvement/Grievance/ Incident Form.   If you need help, you may request help and House Manager will ensure that there is an appropriate person to help you complete and submit the form.  At On Our Way Home, Inc it is our desire to address any concerns that you may have in a timely manner.  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 at 513-520-4421, 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 submit an Improvement/Grievance/Incident Form.  

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

o   Within seven business days, On Our Way Home, Inc will 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.

o   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.

 

Acknowledgement

 

·       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, the OOWH Welcome Booklet 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.

 

 

                                                       

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