Students in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction can apply to live in a block of rooms in the Carpenter/Wells Complex designated as recovery housing.
Anna Trevino, the assistant director of recovery community living, said those who wish to live in recovery housing must have been in recovery for at least six months, apply and interview at the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery and eventually enroll at the center.
“Our students all have to sign a contract that aligns with our collegiate recovery program,” Trevino said. “It includes being involved at the center, showing up for mandatory meetings, participating in the unity event every month, not allowing anyone to use or drink in your space or if you know someone in the recovery dorm is using, they need to talk to someone on staff.”
The students are encouraged to spend time with one another to create an atmosphere of community and accountability, she said.
“I think our students in the recovery housing are really wise,” Trevino said. “They’ll chat with me or their peer leaders about some things, but most of the time, they’re hanging out with other students in recovery.”
Junior social work major Dominic Van Houtven lived in the recovery dorms for two years. Since he was a long-term resident, Van Houtven became a leader in the community and said the biggest benefit to his recovery was he got to spend so much time with those in recovery who lived around him.
“A big part of living in dorms is partying and I’ve heard stories from my coworkers about how wild it was when they lived in the dorms their freshman year,” Van Houtven said. “I got to move in with these other kids who were in recovery and dealing with the same stuff I was, and we bonded over that.”
These students must attend monthly unity meetings, where they plan community activities for the group, he said. Past events they have planned were gameday watch parties, trips to a trampoline park, games of paintball and cookouts in Mackenzie park.
“All the unity stuff is really fun,” Van Houtven said. “They’re mostly to foster a sense of community, but we kind of have that regardless. Like when I lived in the sober dorms, we would all just sit around, talk, hang out, listen to music. We were constantly hanging out with each other.”
Elisabeth Iaderosa, a sophomore German major, was a peer leader in the recovery housing unit during her freshman year. In her role as a peer leader, she was a staff member at the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery and served as a link between the recovery housing group and Trevino’s office.
“Living there was definitely what I needed when starting college,” Iaderosa said. “I hadn’t been to college for two years, so the fact of being around other people in sobriety and having that community was really helpful. We had a bunch of different personalities, and some people were just like me and not from (Lubbock).”
Students in recovery housing vote on a peer leader to live on-site with them. While one of the peer leader’s functions is to oversee the community and provide support, the students living in the dorm make it their priority to support one another.
“At the dorms, we like to think that everyone will be accountable to each other,” Iaderosa said. “We rely on the community as a whole to be a unit, lean on each other and be there for each other.”