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6 sober living homes receive state certification

Six sober living homes for individuals in recovery from substance use disorder have received state certification. 

West Virginia Sober Living has recovery homes in Monongalia and Kanawha counties, with a men’s home, a women’s home and a home for women with children.

West Virginia Sober Living is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization operating recovery homes, peer recovery services and employment assistance for individuals recovering from substance use disorder since 2013. In 2020, WVSL was able to expand operations to include the homes in Monongalia and Kanawha counties. On March 19,  WVSL was awarded certification by the West Virginia Alliance of Recovery Residences, an affiliate of the National Alliance of Recovery Residences and the nationwide industry leader in developing best practices in recovery housing at the national level. 

Jon Dower, executive director of West Virginia Sober Living said, “We are extremely excited to receive recognition for our work assisting individuals with substance use disorder. Recovery homes, like those at WVSL, provide a valuable resource in West Virginia. WVARR has worked tirelessly to raise the bar for recovery homes and protect this vulnerable population, and their guidance and continued support will ensure that WVSL is a premiere operator in the state of West Virginia.”

An important distinction of this certification  includes the first certified home for women with children. 

“Being a mother myself and a person in long-term recovery, we are very excited and honored to be able to support mothers as they begin to build their foundations in recovery,” Krista White, women’s program director, said.  “This certification demonstrates our commitment to providing a safe, substance-free environment for mothers facing the barriers of starting their recovery while raising children.” 

Certification of recovery homes includes reviewing policies and procedures, a home inspection, and safety measures in place that demonstrate a home-like and substance-free environment for individuals in recovery.

Joe Mytro, WVSL’s first-ever program participant and men’s program director, said, “I am grateful for all that West Virginia Sober Living has done for my life. Continuing our mission to give those like myself a second or third chance to turn their lives around is why I love my job.” 

Mytro moved into the first home  Sept. 11, 2013, the first day of operation for WVSL.

 “I wouldn’t be where I am today without Doug Leech, board president and founder, Jon Dower, and this home,” he said. 

This certification from WVARR entitles homes to be certified for one year, receive state referrals and pursue grants offered by the Bureau of Behavioral Health.

 “We appreciate that an entity like WVARR has been created in West Virginia to protect individuals in recovery, alert the public and state about quality recovery house operators, and provide technical assistance to improve sober homes across our state. Emily Birckhead and Jennie Hill from WVARR have certainly made an improvement in recovery housing in our state,”  Dower said.

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