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House would provide an option for sober living

A Minnesota man purchased a house in Carbondale with the intention of helping recovering alcoholics live sober lives.

Chris Edrington, of St. Paul Sober Living, operates seven such houses in St. Paul ” four for men and three for women ” and purchased a house in Crystal Village for a similar purpose. The house has come under the scrutiny of neighbors who don’t want such a facility in the residential community.

The homes are not connected with recovery programs, and that’s why they’re necessary, said Bob Ferguson, executive director of Jaywalker Lodge, a “third-step” residential alcohol recovery program for men in Carbondale.



“They’re not a licensed structured treatment program and not a halfway house. They’re a landlord-tenant relationship predicated on sobriety,” Ferguson said.

Such homes provide a place for men and women who have tackled their addiction through recovery programs to live on their own in a sober environment.



Ferguson also explained that Jaywalker is completely independent of Edrington’s house but welcomes its coming to Carbondale.

“We are grateful and eager to see this resource (be) available,” he said.

Commonly, recovering alcoholics or addicts who live in sober houses have been through recovery programs and are now ready to live on their own. If they fall off the wagon, they usually forfeit their damage deposits and must leave the house, Ferguson said.

According to the St. Paul Sober Living Web site, “SPSL houses not only provide a place to live, but give newly recovering residents a sober peer group from which to draw strength, guidance and fellowship.”

People living in the sober houses in the St. Paul area commit to a six-month stay, attend at least three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week, and hold a job for at least 32 hours a week.

“It’s really important to have sober roommates,” who are accountable to one another, Ferguson said.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Edrington said he will host a “meet and greet” at the house at 1204 Catherine Court at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“If you’re for it or against it, you’re welcome to come and ask questions,” he said.

He also said that once people know what kind of operation he’s running they’ll realize “it’s much more low-impact” than they think. “I can understand their fear.”

Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510

dgray@postindependent.com


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