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Recovery Residences National Standards (NARR)

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Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a topic that regularly makes the news, and even more so these days as millions grapple with the fallout from adjusting to life during and coming out of a worldwide pandemic. The need for quality treatment for substance use disorders has risen, causing many companies and individuals to wonder how to start a sober living home to fill that need. And with that comes the need for proper certification such as that from National Alliance for Recovery Residences, also known as NARR.

What Are Today’s Sober Living Homes Like?

Sober living homes used to be referred to commonly as “halfway houses”. Typically dependent on state and federal funding in order to operate, halfway houses often earned their reputation as providing less than optimal care that lacked treating the residents beyond a stop-gap type of approach. The first thing to remember when considering how to start a sober living home involves understanding that today’s sober living homes provide vastly improved services that cover a wider range of treatments, allowing for greater success levels.

Modern sober living homes also allow residents to decide how long they will stay rather than leaving too soon due to budgetary restraints. Home managers and treatment providers work with residents to determine their individual needs and what payment options they have, resulting in a realistic plan for the optimum time for them to stay in the home.

Achieving NARR Certification

While in the past, certification of sober living homes was not required, it has become more of an issue recently. Many financial institutions, granting agencies, staff, and residents look for homes that prove they meet a minimum level of professionalism and health standards, and uphold responsible, ethical standards of operation.

National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) does not issue certification for recovery residences, but its licensed affiliates do. These affiliate organizations are responsible for certifying recovery residences which they determine to meet the required national standards. When a sober living home can show they have received certification via a National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) affiliate, it opens doors not available to homes that do not take this step.

Things to Consider When Learning How to Start a Sober Living Home

It might seem like the only big concerns for opening a sober living home involve having the finances and picking the right spot. Often when someone realizes the often overwhelming amount of decisions that have to be made and the expertise it requires to make them, they end up giving up on their goal. Bloom Consulting can assist you in determining the best way to secure financing and create a business plan, but we go way beyond that to provide a lot more data and planning advice that you need. We’ve compiled a list of some of the areas of concern related to opening a sober living home:

Creating a Business Plan

Securing financial backing from banks, investors, and other sources usually requires producing a well-written and researched business plan. We show you how to lay out a plan for success that will get others excited about your business, and keep you moving through your checklist of what to do and when.

Zoning Laws

Different neighborhoods within a city have different zoning laws, making it important to understand which specific neighborhoods and streets accept a business like a sober living home. Choosing the right location to purchase an existing building or break ground on a new one saves a lot of time and frustration.


Most new businesses require some form of licensing, with healthcare-related ones having their own special set of requirements. We provide the information you need and assistance in filling out paperwork to keep you from getting bogged down in red tape.

Establishing a Non-profit

If your sober living home will operate as a non-profit, it requires a different set of needs to get started than for-profit ones do. We know the differences and will keep you on the right track.

Ongoing Budgeting

Once the doors of your sober living home are open, you will need an ongoing budget that addresses everything from monthly bills to unexpected expenditures. We help you keep on top of what your budget should be from day one.


Businesses live and die by how well they market themselves, and healthcare is no exception. We understand how to market your sober living home online and elsewhere in order to optimize your audience and achieve an impressive conversion rate.

Hiring Staff

Healthcare facilities can live and die partly based on their staffing choices. Bloom Consulting explains what sort of employees you need, how many, what type of treatment they should offer, and how to provide a working environment that is positive and supportive.

House Rules

Every sober living home needs rules, but it’s not always apparent what they should be. We help you draft the best policy for your house rules and how to enforce them for everyone’s comfort and safety.

Sober Living Home Consulting

Do you want to get into the exciting field of addiction healthcare but aren’t sure where to start? If you want expert guidance on how to start a sober living home, we can provide all the answers.

Contact Bloom Consulting today and let us help you plan a sober living home that fits your community and the needs of your clients. Call us now at 954-461-8583 and get started.