In exchange, they receive a comfortable living space that feels more like a home than a recovery house. Each room comes with its own bathroom, plus room and board includes laundry, dry cleaning, cable, internet, and all food and drink.
“The clients prepare their meals, but we stock the pantry with all the supplies and menus to generate culinary creativity,” Bartos says. “There is enough food at Shane’s to feed a small army.”
In addition to the house’s amenities, the men have access to all Little Creek Lodge Recovery’s assets, such as an AA Club House, the gym, the track and field, the volleyball court, and the basketball court. They are welcome to participate in Adventure Trek activities, which range from rock climbing and ropes courses to kayaking and mountain biking. These outdoor adventures are part of Little Creek’s inpatient program and occupy at least three days of the patient’s week. Pace feels that they are integral to recovery success because they force guys to engage, to get to know themselves, and to recognize that there are more rewarding ways to enjoy life beyond heroin and whiskey.
Although a stay at Shane’s House comes with accountability, it also comes with freedom. The men may have cars, smartphones, computers and other electronic devices. The point of living here, Bartos says, is to feel like you are part of society with all the barriers to standard treatment removed but still with a sense of structure and accountability.
Although all current residents are employed full time and not enrolled in school, attending college and living at Shane’s House is an option. It is conveniently located about 25 minutes from Marywood University, Scranton University, Penn State Worthington and Lackawanna Junior College.
“We are absolutely supportive of collegiate recovery communities, but that environment is not conducive to all personalities,” Bartos says. For example, 27- to 28-year-old men interested in attending college aren’t likely to want to live in sober dorms on campus. “[They] might want to live in an environment that is more of a home-type atmosphere. … Shane’s House would be an environment for them, or it would be a place that young adults go to before they transition to collegiate recovery programs.”
Extending into the Community
To build a sense of community among the residents, there are two house meetings a week and a weekly dinner that everyone is asked to attend. That camaraderie helps build a family-like network on which the young men can lean in times of struggle.
“It’s supposed to feel like a community, and so far, that is exactly what it appears to be,” Bartos says. “The residents hang out together, as well as with other sober people, but they are their own family.”
Because Shane’s House residents are required to participate in Little Creek Outpatient Services, the two programs work in concert with each other. However, the outpatient arm is not limited to Little Creek alumni or Shane’s House clients. Through the Wayne County Alcohol Drug Courts, the program is reaching the local community and helping those facing substance abuse issues.