The Oxford House Pioneer Lane lies off the corner of Washington Street and appears to be like any other house in the neighborhood. There’s a well-maintained lawn, a spacious driveway and a porch that welcomes all who visit.
Inside the home lies cozy furniture and state-of-the-art appliances donated by members of the Stillwater community. The well-lit rooms are furnished with fresh linens providing an invitational atmosphere.
Few people would get the impression that this house is a sober living home, as the house itself looks like an ordinary home. For Oxford House outreach worker Misty Hahn, she said that the interior design was intentional.
“It’s very important when someone walks in that they feel like this is home and not an institution,” Hahn said. “A lot of times, when we’re in those rooms, it’s uncomfortable.”
Misty Hahn announced the opening of the Oxford House Pioneer Lane on June 28. It currently is the only sober living house in Stillwater for women battling drug and alcohol addictions.
Eight women can live in the house at once, and there is space included for children under the age of 13. Hahn said while some women work on getting sober to regain custody of their children, other women who have their children need places like this in their journey to recovery.
“Women in their addiction may have children and a lot of them lose them to DHS custody, and there’s some women that don’t lose their kids,” Hahn said. “They need a safe place to get sober … they can bring their children so they can work on rebuilding that relationship.”
There are more than 3,000 Oxford Houses across the United States that help people remaining sober in their drug and alcohol addictions. The first Oxford House was established in 1975.
House members of the same gender live together and do chores, pay bills and get a job all to regain stability in their lives. Women at this house will also learn to audit a bank account and must attend meetings each week regarding their sobriety.
“A lot of these people didn’t have their own places before, didn’t know how to pay bills,” Hahn said. “I mean, I was that way. I never had my own place.”
People can live in an Oxford House for as long as they pay the monthly bills and abide by the rules. Hahn said that she herself stayed at an Oxford House for two years and has been sober since 2009.
Anyone who applies to live at the Oxford House Pioneer Lane has to be interviewed and get 80% of the vote from the members who already live there.
“These are self-run democratic sober living houses, so they make all the decisions in the house themselves,” Hahn said.
According to Hahn, someone who stays in an Oxford House for at least 18 months will have their chances of staying sober go up by 87%. However, if any of the women are caught using substances, they will be kicked out of the house.
“There’s zero tolerance so if you relapse, you will be expelled from the house,” Hahn said. “It’s a slippery slope and it could put the whole house at risk.”
For information regarding vacancies in areas across the state, visit the Oxford House Oklahoma website for more details.