What is a Halfway House?

What is a halfway house? Halfway houses are institutions for individuals looking to get back into society as an exemplary citizen from a shaky past. Halfway houses have existed for centuries, essentially being a transitional means to turning over a new leaf. But despite their long existence, many people don’t know of halfway houses and tend to worry about how they will deal with the “outside world” after being isolated from it or even indulging in it way too much.

For more information on halfway houses, contact us at the Savannah Drug & Alcohol Treatment Network. There are plenty of resources available for people like yourself who are looking to make a positive transition in a tough society. Savannah Drug & Alcohol Treatment Network will help you understand halfway houses, halfway houses rules and regulations, how they work, and even connect you to some if needed. Don’t hesitate to call at 912-214-3867 to find help today.


Finding a halfway house can be the defining moment for your path to sobriety. Continue reading below for more information about halfway houses.

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History of Halfway Houses

Halfway houses are facilities created to help troubled individuals transition back into society. More specifically, Britannica defines halfway houses as “community-based facilities that provide access to community resources and offer transitional opportunities for individuals who are attempting to return to society as healthy, law-abiding, and productive members of the community after they have been found guilty of some crime.”

Before the United States began to look into influential factors for crime, its justice system considered the act to be precisely premeditated. Criminals would commit crimes with full knowledge about the consequences and repercussions of getting caught. Crimes got punishments accordingly based on the assumption. However, when the 20th century came along, the approach to judging a person’s crime changed. Instead of thinking that the criminal’s act is deeply premeditated, factors such as poverty level, drug & alcohol use, and more became consideration regarding punishment. Halfway houses, also known as residential treatment centers since the 1990s, have now grown to become a part of the post-release process for convicted felons, providing services such as group therapy sessions or employment assistance to help them transition back into society.

Aside from newly released inmates, halfway houses are deemed beneficial for those suffering from substance abuse issues. Midway houses hold alternative names, including:

  • Sober houses
  • Transitional housing
  • Community release centers
  • Re-entry centers

Some of the names indicate the specialty each housing facility may embody. Each residence is different and provides different services that solely depend on where the potential resident is at their addiction stage. While dealing with their addictions, individuals can enter a halfway house and reap the recovery benefits that the home provides and potentially cut their addiction down to a minimum if not eliminated.

Halfway House Benefits

Halfway house benefits are available for those who look for them. When living in a halfway house, different services are provided depending on each resident’s intake level. Group therapy is a shared benefit found within halfway houses. Group therapy helps an individual not only through therapeutic means but by supportive means. Building a support system with people of similar backgrounds can help bridge the gap of relatability between peers. With group therapy sessions, peers are encouraged to create a supportive relationship to make sure they are on the right track. For higher-level residents, the halfway house staff are in the sessions and different developmental needs for a resident.

Halfway houses also provide life skills courses designed to educate a resident on universal skills in the work field and build fundamental knowledge of things that they might have missed throughout life. Some of these skills include, but not limited to:

  • Driver’s license courses
  • Basic education
  • Computer skills

Another benefit of hallway house is the actual recovery environment. It can be hard to break from your usual settings, especially when they encourage a lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to that might not positively influence. While living at a halfway house, you will notice that everyone has a background that led them there. Getting advice, venting, or just listening to someone who can relate to your struggles can build hope and motivation within yourself to have a successful transition. Individual counseling is also available within halfway houses. Individual counseling sheds a more personal light on a resident by focusing solely on that individual and their needs for a great transition.

If you, or someone you care about, are suffering from addiction then call us today. Our experts will work with you to find the best treatment option for you and your needs.

Sober Houses vs. Halfway Houses

Sober houses differ from halfway houses considering their initial and current role and provided services. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, sober homes are “alcohol and drug-free living environments for individuals who are attempting to maintain abstinence and develop a recovery-oriented lifestyle.”

The structure of sober living houses is different from halfway houses, encouraging a more financially contributing lifestyle towards recovery instead of being placed there for transitioning. Recovering addicts looking for additional support in their rehabilitation process might consider sober houses due to their alcohol-free and drug-free environment. Although some sober homes require drug testing before admission, the lifestyle is more flexible than halfway houses. It allows the residents to come and go as much as they want without repercussion as long as they follow the sober house rules.

The pressure is applied when patients do not follow the sober house rules. Although each resident is responsible for themselves, each individual’s actions can affect the rest of the house. Due to a possible domino effect of events, some residents must sign a contract promising that they will be compliant with the house’s responsibilities and rules, such as housing upkeep and self-discipline.

On the other hand, halfway houses nowadays provide services for more than one group in need. The National Criminal Justice Reference Service, midway houses offer services to the “psychiatric patient, the neglected child, the delinquent child, the adult public offender for the homeless adult with social or adjustment problems, and individuals with specialized problems such as drug abuse, alcoholism and mental retardation”.

Considering the various services halfway houses provide, halfway houses are not only more flexible than sober dwellings, but they are also more cost-efficient, especially regarding any background obstacles such as a criminal record or addiction.

Finding a Halfway House

With the internet’s effectiveness, finding a halfway house has become easier for anyone looking for one. Doing a simple search on your preferred search engine will do the trick! However, if there are any issues with finding a halfway house, Savannah Drug & Alcohol Treatment Network is a great contact to find one. A representative gathers basic information from you to find the closest halfway house in your area through our network.

There are plenty of people that call the network asking questions such as: 

  • What is a halfway house? 
  • Where can I find a halfway house for myself or someone I love?

 Fortunately, Savannah Drug & Alcohol Treatment Network has the information and tools necessary to find a halfway house for them. For more information on finding a halfway house, call us today.

Staffing, Rules and Regulations

How does a halfway house function? The staffing, rules, and regulations within halfway houses are usually in four standards of criteria: 

  1. Administration
  2. Services 
  3. Residence
  4. Staff

Within these standards, four other levels of support are, for instance:

  •  Peer-Run: Level I 
  •  Monitored: Level II 
  •  Supervised: Level III
  •  Service Provider: Level IV

The first level, administration, is democratically run and P&P (Policy & Procedures). This policy means that those who qualify as Level one residents have a less strict environment. The services are pretty typical with drug screenings, considering the halfway house is to transition into a new life free of drugs and crime. However, aside from scheduled house meetings, self-help meetings are encouraged.

However, if you’re a Level two resident, a house manager or senior resident monitors the bunch using and enforcing the house policy and procedures. Level two enforces rules and regulations because it provides a structure for the residents. The group sessions ran between Level two residents and peer-run groups with regular drug screenings and house meetings to ensure that each resident is on track with sobriety. The slight difference in their self-help treatment is the involvement of a paid staffer in residence.

Furthermore, levels three and four are where things start to intensify a bit. The administration grows in population and becomes more hierarchical. Like every other level, these levels require the administration to uphold the halfway house rules and regulations. However, the licensing differs depending on each state. The programs available emphasize life skill development lessons and provide clinical services such as screenings and counseling, whether outside or inside the residence.

Best Recovery Option


It’s easy to give up on any recovery chances and go full force into addiction and crime. It’s also easy to disregard the options available to better yourself within society. If you decide against both by choosing to forego a recovery path to sobriety, halfway houses are an accessible and affordable option.

To summarize, Savannah Drug & Alcohol Treatment Network welcomes individuals looking to submerge in a life without drugs, alcohol, or crime. Getting equipped to handle the formidable obstacles that every human practically experiences through life with different approaches or skills viable to society is necessary for a law-abiding citizen, and it starts here.

Please contact us today to learn about halfway houses near you. You will not only feel welcome by a representative eager to help you with whatever you need. However, you will be one step closer to obtaining the resources you need to change your life. Call 912-214-3867 today. We are waiting for you.


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