Roommates in Sobriety: A Sober Roommate Network
Out of personal hardships lies the heart behind RIS.
“We created Roommates in Sobriety for people out there just like us, who didn’t want to come home to insanity, but to someone who got it, had similar interests, and wanted to create a safe, drug-free home.”
The newly launched “Roommates in Sobriety” (RIS)—a unique online platform that connects the sober community towards the common goals of continual sobriety—quenches the need for people seeking to find sober roommates. “There has been a steady demand for people in recovery to be able to find sober roommates for years and we just couldn’t ignore this struggle,” says Connections In Recovery (CIR) co-founder Patty Baret, a Certified Arise Interventionist who’s helped hundreds of chemically dependent individuals enter recovery.
Started by two women who got sober young, RIS (www.roommatesinsobriety.com) is spearheaded both by Baret and CIR co-founder Lauren Arborio, a substance abuse counselor with UCLA training that has worked in the addiction field for more than 8 years. “As we traveled around the country, the same questions arose, ‘Where can a sober person go after treatment? After leaving a sober living, where can I go to feel safe and committed to my sobriety?’ This is why the concept of RIS is such an important one for the people in the community, both therapeutic and otherwise,” says Baret.
Roommates in Sobriety serves as an aftercare tool to help people start the next phase of life in recovery, or for those with time in the 12-Step program—it’s a place to turn to when looking for sober roommates as well as like-minded roommates. The user-friendly site offers two options—either post a roommate profile, or post a property that is in need of a roommate. The roommate profile consists of basic information such as name, sex, age, desired area to live, personal info including job and hobbies, and sober time. The property portion is broken down into regions, making it easy for a potential roommate to choose a property all over the U.S.
“When you’re sharing a home with someone, especially if you are newly sober, you need to have a common ground. I wish there had been a site like this at the time when I needed it because it was hard finding a roommate.”
Both Baret and Arborio became sober at a young age.
“My parents had cut me off. I was still new to Los Angeles, having left Illinois, moved to Morocco, and then returned to L.A., so I had very little money and couldn’t afford to get my own apartment,” Baret admits. “I didn’t want to end up with a stranger from the classified section—I wanted somebody my age that was cool and sober. I wanted to live my life drug-free, and knew if I shared an apartment with someone getting high, I would be tempted to use.” Arborio, then 24, was living in New York City, working as a stylist when she got sober. “I knew I had been out of control and living life of the edge and it was time. I didn’t want my lifestyle to end; I just didn’t want to get high anymore. I always ended up renting from people that were partying hard and finding myself moving out just as quickly as I moved in…I had horrible roommate experiences.”
Out of these hardships lies the heart behind RIS. “Patty and I created Roommates in Sobriety for people out there just like us, who didn’t want to come home to insanity, but to someone who got it, had similar interests, and wanted to create a safe, drug-free home.”
“We also created a blog on the website so people can share their stories about life, sobriety, challenges, accomplishments, inspiration, adventure, humor, family and more,” adds Arborio.
So far, the feedback has been amazing. “We are seeing people share our posts on Facebook, retweet our tweets, and tell their friends at meetings. Whether someone is looking for a new sober friend to get an apartment together, has a room to rent, or looking to rent a room, Roommates in Sobriety has been a great go-to free resource, which we know will greatly benefit the sober community all over the United States and eventually (we hope!), the world.”
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