New hope for women recovering from addiction

The news earlier this week of the opening of The Sanctuary was welcome and encouraging, for all of Minot and especially for women who need help recovering from addiction.

The Sanctuary is a Sober Living home that opened May 1 to provide a supportive environment for up to 14 women recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction.

Manager Carolyn Engh and assistant manager Sarena Jenkins, who are additional residents of the house, told Minot Daily News Monday the home has acquired its first transitional resident and has another moving in this week.

In case you haven’t heard or read about it, The Sanctuary, a nonprofit corporation, offers a safe place for women to live sober while they get their lives back – through structure. Applicants include those coming from treatment programs, probation and parole or the Ward County Jail. Although many residents are expected to come from the Minot region, The Sanctuary is open to anyone and has received applications from outside the region or other states, typically from women with connections to the area.

That is significant because alcohol and drug addiction is prevalent throughout the region, and not just in towns and cities. So it is immensely important that such facilities are available to women – men too – in fact to addicts of all ages and gender. Addiction has become such a drag on society that we need to provide any support we can afford, whenever the opportunity arises.

It was interesting to see how seriously The Sanctuary takes its mission. There are strict house rules in place.

Engh stressed applicants must be in recovery and willing to commit a sustained recovery.

“An individual really has to want recovery in order to be in this house because that’s what this house is about – safe, supportive, 100 percent sober living,” she said.

Women also must be adults who are employed or in school at least part-time. They each pay $500 a month for rent. Women prepare their own meals and are assigned chores to be completed each morning. They sign in and out when coming and going, which Engh said teaches accountability and ensures staff can contact them in emergencies.

Random drug and alcohol testing is part of the requirement for living at The Sanctuary. Anyone testing positive is immediately evicted under the zero tolerance policy.

Bonding as family, attending meetings, working on careers – it’s all part of life at The Sanctuary.

We wish the best for The Sanctuary and its current and future residents, and we look forward to hearing some of their success stories in time. We also hope there is great acceptance in the community for The Sanctuary. Clearly, it is in the best interest of all of us that these women succeed.