up button arrow

Minnesota Sober Living Homes

Minnesota sober living homes are transitional residences for people in recovery. These temporary homes provide a safe environment that helps residents maintain sobriety while they rebuild their lives and readjust to society.

In Minnesota, sober living facilities are mainly unregulated at the state level. However, the owners of these transitional homes also form associations to set minimum standards for member homes across the state. The Minnesota Association of Sober Homes (MASH) is one such organization. MASH also belongs to another non-profit organization on the national level, the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR).

Meanwhile, municipal zoning and occupancy rules do apply to sober homes at the local level. And at the federal level, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) oversees recovery houses, including sober living homes. 

Daily Life in Minnesota Sober Living Homes

The daily activities at sober living homes in Minnesota differ. Some homes want residents to follow a strict daily routine, while others allow residents some degree of independence. The difference in style of administration aside, sober living homes in Minnesota have general expectations of residents:

Residents must wake up early to prepare for the day's activities. Some early morning tasks include bathing, self-grooming, and eating breakfast. Some homes also give residents early morning lectures.  

Residents also go to work after the morning activities, while unemployed residents go job hunting. One benefit of living in sober living homes is that they help unemployed tenants secure gainful employment. While looking for jobs, individuals who qualify for government benefits can use such funds to fund their stay. Residents receiving outpatient care also visit their rehab specialists for treatment sessions. 

In the evening, residents share how their day went and push each other to maintain sobriety. Recreation and socializing end the day's activities at many sober living homes before residents retire for the night.

Common Rules in a Minnesota Sober Living Home

Some of the rules that tenants in any sober living house in Minnesota must adhere to include:

  • Prohibition of drugs and alcohol
  • Regular payment of house fees
  • No stealing
  • Residents must not destroy any property
  • No fighting or other violent behavior
  • Tenants must actively participate in all personal or group recovery programs
  • Participation in mandatory drug tests at regular intervals

How to Increase Your Chances of Staying Sober While in Minnesota Sober Living Houses

Getting over an addiction can be challenging. It requires a lot of commitment, time, and proper support. For these reasons, Minnesota sober living homes are crucial to the success of any addiction treatment. 

People leaving their inpatient treatment centers may find it difficult to readjust back into society. Some may even relapse as societal pressure takes its toll. Hence, sober living houses serve as a buffer during the first few days after such individuals leave rehab. These homes provide residents with a safe environment amongst other individuals fighting a common enemy.

The substance-free abode of sober living homes is the first thing residents need to stay sober. Other actions that encourage residents to maintain sobriety while residing at any Minnesota sober living home are:

Obey House Rules

Sober living homes have rules guiding them to keep individuals receiving addiction treatments on track and help them maintain sobriety. Some of these rules restrict residents' access to substances that may cause a relapse in their rehabilitation. Other rules ensure tenants participate in communal activities, which can help their reintegration into society.

Get Gainful Employment

Many patients leave treatment facilities with no employment waiting for them when they return. Some residents of Minnesota sober living homes may experience depression and eventually relapse if they stay there for an extended period without finding employment. Consequently, gaining employment is a good way of maintaining sobriety while living in sober living homes.

Rely On Available Support

Some homes appoint former residents to be mentors or sponsors to incoming tenants. These new residents must contact their sponsors whenever they feel the impulse to relapse. Relying on these sponsors and other residents helps to maintain sobriety.

Develop New Hobbies

Residents at Minnesota sober living homes usually have some free time at the end of their daily activities. To maintain sobriety, tenants of these homes can develop new hobbies, as boredom and idleness can lead some residents back to substance abuse. They can learn to exercise, read, paint, write, and do yoga, among other things.

When to Move into a Sober Living House in Minnesota

Minnesota sober living homes are particularly beneficial to individuals who have completed rehab at inpatient treatment centers and require transitional residences. Although the houses do not make completing addiction treatment a prerequisite to entry, persons who have completed rehab can have a better stay in rehab. 

Although helpful, sober living houses cannot replace traditional inpatient rehab centers. The amenities available at these homes cannot serve the needs of every patient. For example, patients with chronic addiction symptoms usually need special medical attention that only rehab professionals can provide.

Sober Living Home vs. Halfway House in Minnesota

Sober living homes and halfway houses in Minnesota perform the same function. They are both transitional residences that provide a safe and sober environment for people who need time to readjust to the larger society. While they provide similar services, there remain slight differences between the two:

Ownership and Regulation

Sober living homes are usually privately owned, while halfway houses are primarily government-owned. It is also common for religious bodies and other non-profit organizations to establish sober living homes and oversee the house's activities. However, the state-run halfway houses are supervised through appointed agencies, like the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Residents Admitted

The kinds of residents at both temporary recovery homes also differ. Most of the people occupying sober living homes are usually people completing inpatient addiction treatments. Some individuals who are not undergoing rehab but require a safe environment to help them maintain sobriety can also stay at sober living homes. However, residents of halfway houses can be formerly-incarcerated persons or persons from alternative sentencing programs. 

Length of Stay

The majority of Minnesota's sober living facilities do not set rules about how long individuals must stay there. Residents have some independence and can leave at any time. Contrarily, tenants of halfway houses must spend the required number of days before they can go. Since most residents got sent to the halfway house by court judgment, leaving before the predetermined departure date is a crime.

Standard and Cost

The standard of amenities at most sober living homes is usually better than those at halfway houses. Sober living houses design their facilities to look similar to typical homes, providing tenants with some privacy and independence. However, halfway houses look like dormitories, with residents occupying rooms in pairs. Consequently, residents of sober living homes typically pay higher fees than those at halfway houses due to higher standards.

Types of Minnesota Sober Living Houses

Reintegrating themselves into society can be difficult for many people leaving treatment centers. As a result, the government and some private organizations provide temporary residences to help affected individuals during this transitional period. The different types of temporary transitional homes in Minnesota are:

Halfway Houses

Halfway houses are temporary residences that accommodate ex-prisoners readjusting to the outside world. Additionally, halfway homes accept individuals court-ordered to serve a predetermined sentence and those seeking a sober atmosphere to recover from substance abuse. Daily activities at halfway houses are extremely structured, with strict supervision to ensure that residents do not relapse. Halfway houses also provide therapy sessions and educational workshops to residents.

Transitional Housing

These temporary homes cater to individuals and families whose addictions have made them homeless. Transitional housing provides a temporary and substance-free abode for affected people, helping them transition to a more permanent residence.

Recovery Houses

Recovery houses are similar to sober living homes. They are temporary houses designed to help patients leave a more structured inpatient treatment center and transition seamlessly into the larger society. The only difference between recovery houses and sober living homes is that residents may have more restrictions at recovery houses than in sober living homes.

Sober Housing

Sober housing is temporary substance-free residences that individuals leaving inpatient addiction treatment centers occupy pending their assimilation into society. Re-adjusting can be difficult for some patients. Hence, sober living homes provide the perfect substance-free environment for such people to maintain sobriety while they adjust gradually. Residents of these homes have similar addiction issues and encourage each other to attend therapy sessions and other programs.

The Phases of Sober Living in Minnesota

Sober living homes in Minnesota help residents achieve long-term recovery and a seamless transition back into society in several ways. The houses break the residents' path to total rehabilitation and complete independence into three distinct phases:

  • Restrictive/Abstinence phase
  • Reintroduction phase
  • Self-sufficiency phase

Restrictive/Abstinence Phase

The restrictive or abstinence phase focuses on helping residents readjust to their new environment while maintaining complete sobriety. To achieve this goal, Minnesota sober living homes insulate residents from every possible trigger that may cause a relapse. The facility limits tenants' interaction with the outside world, usually visits and usage of communication devices. Instead, residents in this phase participate in therapy sessions and complete assigned chores. The restrictive or abstinence phase can last up to 30 days or more, depending on the resident's adjustment.

Reintroduction Phase

This phase of the residents' recovery process allows them to gradually test all the coping skills learned in therapy in the real world. At this stage, the sober living home relaxes some restrictions and places more responsibilities on residents. Interaction with the outside world is part of the privileges restored, allowing residents to work or attend school. Attending therapy sessions and other programs, such as the 12-step program, remains mandatory. The reintroduction phase can last up to 60 days before a person is ready to move on. 

Self-Sufficiency Phase

Residents who remain sober and demonstrate positive adjustment in the reintroduction phase advance to the last phase called the self-sufficiency phase. In this phase, residents achieve a level of independence close to total autonomy, with all restrictions lifted. The home expects residents to have completed the 12-step program at this stage. As they reach complete independence, they can leave the sober living homes and move into their own homes. Residents who relapse in this phase move back into the restrictive or abstinence phase.

Five Things to Consider When Choosing a Sober Living Home in Minnesota

A person's choice of a sober living environment is crucial to that patient's recovery process. When picking a sober living home in Minnesota, addiction patients must consider these factors:


Prospective residents must examine the location of any sober living home, particularly the safety of its surroundings. The environment of an ideal sober living house must be safe and conducive. Prospective residents must also consider the neighborhood's accessibility to places of employment, education, shopping, and recovery meeting locations.


Daily routines differ at each sober living house in Minnesota. Some houses maintain highly regimented schedules, while others have more relaxed rules. Confirm the suitability of the home's activities to your specific recovery needs.


Most health insurance policies do not cover payments for residing at various transitional homes, and tenants must pay out of pocket. Hence, cost becomes crucial when choosing a sober living home in Minnesota. Ensure you choose an affordable home that provides a safe environment to maintain sobriety.

Quality of Support Provided

The quality of the staff making up a sober living home's care team is crucial to the residents' recovery. Homes with staff that care about residents usually provide better support. Before enrolling, inquire about the residence and seek clarity on how the staff provides support to recovering residents.

Admission Requirement

Minnesota sober living houses have varying requirements for their prospective tenants. Some stipulate a minimum and maximum period of stay for every resident, but others allow tenants to stay for as long as they need. Hence, ensure that the chosen home permits you to be a resident for as long as your recovery requires.

Sober Living and Substance Abuse Treatment Near Me in Minnesota

Sober living houses are essential to any recovering patient's post-rehabilitation care. Societal pressures can push many to relapse without proper guidance from these transitional homes. Individuals in need can consult the Minnesota Department of Human Services' database of active residential recovery houses. You can also use SAMHSA's treatment center locator to find an addiction treatment facility near you.