Barbara New House - The First 50 Years
1955 - 2005
New House was founded
in 1955 by Elmo Little and other members of Santa Barbara’s Committee
on Alcoholism – the first affiliate of the Marty Mann’s National
Council on Alcoholism.
My personal recovery
from alcoholism began when I moved in to New House I on June 24, 1983.
I left the house as a resident in April of 1985, and joined the Board
of Directors in 1987. In 1995, in celebration of the organization’s
40th anniversary, historian Victor Geraci was hired by the board to write
a history of New House.
In 2005, I was honored
to be asked to update and rewrite the history for the 50th Anniversary.
here for the book.
What is the New House
recipe for success as a recovery home?
The following tenets
began as traditions, and many have been adopted as formal policies. They
are offered from the New House experience to anyone interested in developing
successful clean and sober living facilities.
- New House is a
recovery house for alcoholic men. The primary requirement for admission
is a sincere desire to stop drinking.
- No one will be
denied admission because of lack of money. However, since New House
is self supporting, everyone who is able is expected to pay his own
way. Room and board rates are historically established to be on a par
with the bottom of the rental market.
- New House is not
a permanent residence. The role of New House is to help alcoholic men
become sober, functioning members of society.
- Admission is open
only to males who are 18 years of age or older and able to take care
of their personal needs.
- New House does
not discriminate on the basis of religion, age, race, or national origin.
- New House is a
sober environment. Any resident in possession of or under the influence
of alcohol or illicit drugs is asked to leave. Previous recovery attempts
at New House are never a barrier to readmission.
- Residents without
jobs who are able to work must seek employment as soon as they are able.
must pay their own way and help maintain and operate the house as it
were their own home.
- There is no fixed
term of residence - the individual himself determines when it is time
for him to leave New House.
- All residents
are strongly encouraged to fully participate in 12-Step Recovery programs;
men being readmitted following relapse may be required to demonstrate
12-Step sponsorship for readmission.
- Staff are non-professional.
Managers, Assistant Managers, Cooks, and even the Executive Director
positions have always been filled from among the resident population,
and all staff (except the Executive Director) is required to be in residence.
Staff may provide information about community resources, but they are
not counselors. Staff salaries are enhanced by free room and board.
To every extent possible, specialty house maintenance such as painting,
electrical, plumbing, and refurbishing is also performed by residents
in lieu of rent.
- New House respects
all referral sources and works cooperatively with all community programs,
but has no formal opinion concerning the efficacy of other treatment
or recovery programs in the community. Board members have included the
Chief of Police, Judges, Attorneys, educators, and people active in
community recovery, treatment, and prevention programs.
- Other than on-site
AA meetings, there are no therapy or treatment services offered, although
many residents voluntarily participate in other community recovery and
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