Vanderburgh House

About Sober Houses & Vanderburgh House Mission

Why are sober houses so important?

Through structured, recovery-focused, group home communities called sober houses, those in recovery can be equipped for a life free from substance dependence. We see a world where every person in recovery is a member of a recovery community, has access to a supportive home environment, and where those around them see their value as a member of society.

Sober houses lead by the principles of the 12-Steps are a healthy alternative to living alone. Residents experience independent group living encouraged by their brothers and sisters in recovery. Sober homes offer a support structure, often the only one available to
someone who has struggled with addiction, for a majority of their life. The sober house environment, combined with meetings, outpatient treatment, and other programs, give residents an opportunity to live both independently as well as supported by multi-faceted group support.

For sober houses to be effective, they must be accessible and affordable. They must be run independently without the involvement of government or special interests. They must be led by those they serve. They must always be healthy and recovery-focused. Leadership must enforce rules with diligence and fairness.

We understand this is a tall order, but every member of Vanderburgh House, from paid staff to house managers, has been affected deeply by the epidemic that we face. We get up every morning ready to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve. Our mission is to break the cycle and end the stigma

Our Vision

Drug addiction and alcoholism affects the lives of almost every person in America, causing loss of communities, families, and lives. Social support structure is one of the most important factors in sustaining recovery. Following inpatient treatment, patients are faced with limited options on where they can live while they continue their recovery. Many return to an unsupportive environment and relapse immediately. Some stay strong initially, but eventually fall prey to social and environmental pressures.

We lead structured sober houses where men and women in recovery live together as a community and develop the tools and character to live free from substance abuse. Our homes allow for independence, but are guided by a set of recovery-focused house rules, standards, and expectations. Residents are required to attend meetings, adhere to a curfew, and participate in house and community events. All residents are required to attend an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), work full-time, attend school full-time, or volunteer while looking for work. However, the core of the structure is abstinence from drugs and alcohol; residents found under the influence or in possession of such items will be discharged immediately.

House Rules

All residents follow rules for successful recovery, some of these are listed below:

  • Residents must be 100% drug and alcohol free – possession, consumption, or being under the influence at any time. 
  • Residents must submit to random urine drug screens and breathalyzers.
  • Residents must maintain active involvement in self-directed treatment, particularly A.A. / N.A. meetings.  We require this for all residents.
  • Residents must participate in our community: weekly house meetings; house duties and chores, and group activities.
  • Residents must pay rent every Friday.
  • Residents my not possess any weapons, including firearms, knives, pepper spray / mace, baseball bats, etc.
  • Residents are accountable to each other and to their House Manager. As a recovery community, residents are required to report rule violations; covering for a friend is not only immoral, it is grounds for discharge.
Download our Resident Handbook here.

Meet Our team

Dawn Watson

Dawn Watson

Outreach Coordinator

Dawn connects with recovery community partners to help us reach the right folks at the right time, helping to ensure access to healthy housing when it’s most needed. She champions that belief that everyone deserves a chance to be sober and works hard to advocate for our residents. Her workday doesn’t end at 5:00 – she’s constantly sharing her passion for her work and stories of recovery with folks from hospitals, to recovery centers, to grocery check-out clerks.

Hunter Foote​

Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer

Hunter opens new doors by supporting growth, managing capital assets, and controlling operating costs in order to continue to build a self-sustaining and independent financial structure. A Harvard University alumnus, he brings to our team his diverse experience in finance, accounting, and economics. He believes Robert J. Shiller’s quote, “finance is about stewardship and, therefore, about achieving the good society.”

Live-In Staff

House Advisors & House Managers

For confidentiality reasons, live-in staff cannot be listed by name on our website. Without any contest, our House Advisors and House Managers have the most important and most fulfilling job. We couldn’t do what we do without our dedicated men and women guiding our homes every hour of every day. Thank you.

Who is Richard Vanderburgh?

Richard Vanderburgh was an artist, painter, carpenter, and a mentor and friend to many. He was also a recovering alcoholic. He lived his life serving others, giving his time and energy selflessly to give back to the recovery community, young adults, his church, and his community.

In his memory, Vanderburgh House was created as a place where those in recovery can achieve their highest potential in life. Our goal is to embody the kindness and compassion that Richard Vanderburgh gave to everyone.