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Updated on February 11, 2022

What Is A Halfway House?

What is a Halfway House?

A halfway house is a living facility where people can go as a part of their drug rehab aftercare. People in halfway houses have completed detox. You no longer need medical supervision, but a return to normal life is too overwhelming.

Halfway houses are also known as sober houses or transitional housing. They offer a middle step for people who are committed to sober living but aren't ready to live on their own.

You live in a safe, substance-free environment while readjusting to life outside of treatment. You can live in a halfway house for a few weeks or several months, depending on your needs. 

Who Can Live in a Halfway House?

Qualifications to live in a halfway house vary based on the facility. They are open to people who have completed an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program.

As long as you can remain sober, you can live at the facility, but each facility has its own house rules. People who have detoxed and spent some time sober are most likely to succeed in this type of environment.

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Halfway Houses vs. Sober Living Homes

The differences between halfway houses and sober living homes depend on the specific facilities.

In most cases, a sober living facility is affiliated with a specific addiction treatment center. However, you don't have to be enrolled in treatment, you just have to be sober. They serve as a stepping stone for people who have completed a treatment program at a specific facility.

Halfway houses, on the other hand, are often operated by government or private agencies. They are effective for people coming out of incarceration and/or people affected by homelessness.

Some are more crowded than sober living homes and offer fewer amenities.

They are less like private residences because residents live dorm-style. In general, sober living houses tend to offer more privacy and comfort than halfway houses.

In most cases, halfway houses cost less than sober living homes. However, insurance might cover at least a portion of the cost.

Guidelines & Rules of Halfway Houses

Halfway houses provide more freedom to residents than inpatient treatment programs. However, they still offer more structure and a larger support system than independent living your own.

Rules vary from place to place, but in general, residents of halfway houses are expected to:

  • Remain sober
  • Submit to random drug and/or alcohol testing
  • Contribute to the house
  • Attend house meetings
  • Respect the property and space of other residents and staff members
  • Avoid fighting with other residents
  • Adhere to a curfew
  • Attend a 12-step or similar program

Some halfway houses also require residents to work or seek gainful employment during their stay.

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Benefits of Halfway Houses for Addiction Treatment

Living in a halfway house is beneficial for many people recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction. However, the environment is not completely without stress.

Many people struggle to adjust to living with others and meeting certain obligations. It also provides them with additional support and puts them in a sober living environment.

Returning to regular life after rehab is a difficult transition for many. Halfway houses offer a bridge between these two realities.

The benefits of living in a halfway house include:

Holds Residents Accountable

Learning accountability is an important skill for people in recovery.

Most halfway houses have rules to follow and help residents set boundaries. This helps many people adjust to the demands of the outside world. It also teaches them a sense of responsibility and that authority isn’t negative.

Sober Living

Halfway houses require everyone to live without alcohol or drug use. This removes temptation and helps people in recovery see that it is possible to enjoy life without these substances. In a halfway house, everyone is sober.

Sobriety is an active part of everyone’s lives and is celebrated in these environments. Many halfway houses also make attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or other 12-step meetings mandatory.

Surrounded by Peers

It can be difficult for people in recovery to get the social interaction they need.

Many friends will still be drinking and living the same way they did before the person began recovery. Finding new friends is difficult during this challenging transition.

Halfway houses offer social interaction with people who understand the challenges of sober living.

Becoming More Employable

Many halfway houses offer support and guidance for finding a job. Some even require you to look for work while living on the premises.

Residents may receive help with creating a resume, assistance with filling out applications online, or learning how to interview. If you struggle to find steady work, this support is invaluable.


Some rehab specialists recommend that people struggling with long-term substance abuse should live in a halfway house for at least a year. This helps them adjust, learn to embrace sobriety, develop new life skills, and realize they are capable of being self-reliant.

Transitional housing also improves the mental health of patients before they return back to society. 

How Much Does Halfway Housing Cost?

In general, the cost of living at a halfway house ranges from $100 to $2,000 per month. Most facilities with basic amenities cost about $400 to $800 per month, depending on their geographic region.

The cost of living at a halfway house varies widely based on the facility and the amenities offered. Insurance coverage and other financial support is sometimes available to help with the cost. 

Financial support for living at a halfway house is available from:

  • Insurance
  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Bank loans

Some transitional housing facilities accept credit card payments or offer in-house financing. This allows you to spread out payments over several weeks or months.

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  1. “Halfway Houses | Sober Living Facilities.” Halfwayhouses.Us,
  2. “Recovery Homes Help People.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),
  3. National Association of Recovery Residences. Recovery Residence Levels of Support.

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