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Updated on September 27, 2022
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Halfway House

What is a Halfway House?

A halfway house is a living facility where people go as a part of their drug rehab aftercare. People in halfway houses have completed detox. 

Halfway houses are similar to sober houses or transitional housing. They offer a middle step for people who are committed to sober living but aren't ready to live independently.

A halfway house is a good option if you no longer need medical supervision, but a return to normal life is too overwhelming.

It allows you to live in a safe, substance-free environment while readjusting to life outside treatment. Depending on your needs, you can live in a halfway house for a few weeks or months. 

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Halfway Houses vs. Sober Living Homes

Halfway houses and sober living homes ease people from inpatient treatment to independent living. The differences between halfway houses and sober living homes depend on the specific facilities.

Sober Living Houses

A sober living facility is usually affiliated with a specific addiction treatment center. They serve as a stepping stone for people who are past inpatient treatment but still need other treatment programs for recovery.

In general, sober living houses tend to offer more privacy and comfort than halfway houses.

Halfway Houses

Halfway houses are often operated by a government or private agency. They can be used for people coming out of incarceration and/or people affected by homelessness. 

If a person comes from a correctional facility, they can be court-mandated to live in a halfway house for a predetermined amount of time.

Some halfway houses are completely dedicated to people who have completed addiction treatment. They can be more crowded than sober living homes and offer fewer amenities. Residents of halfway houses live dorm-style. In most cases, halfway houses cost less than sober living homes. However, insurance might cover at least a portion of the cost.

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.

You can live at the facility as long as you can remain sober. However, many halfway houses limit how long residents can stay. After several months, you may be required to move out whether you feel ready or not.

People who have detoxed and spent some time sober are most likely to succeed in this environment.

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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.

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.

Benefits of Halfway Houses for Addiction Treatment

Living in a halfway house benefits 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.

Halfway houses provide additional support and put 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. It helps many people adjust to the demands of the outside world. It also teaches them 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 attending 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 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 can be self-reliant.

Transitional housing also improves patients' mental health before returning to society. 

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How Much Does Halfway Housing Cost?

Generally, 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 are 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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Updated on September 27, 2022

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