BERLIN – Worcester County’s first recovery house is now open in Berlin.
On Oct. 28, Hope4Recovery – a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating clean, safe sober homes for those in recovery – opened its first facility on Old Ocean City Boulevard in Berlin.
And while opening the county’s first recovery home hasn’t come without its challenges, connections with Hope4Recovery said they are encouraged by the support and positive feedback from members of the community.
“I think the reception has been very positive,” said Tish Ottey, the nonprofit’s executive director. “Everyone has just been amazing.”
Earlier this year, the nonprofit dissolved a contract for a house on William Street after hearing the community’s objection to a recovery house near Berlin Intermediate School.
At the suggestion of several community members, however, Ottey said the nonprofit quickly found the property now home to the Hope4Recovery facility.
“It was a nice house and it was in the right location,” she said.
Ottey noted that the house, previously occupied by the Shirley Grace Pregnancy Center, is across the street from the health department, bus stop, grocery store and pharmacy.
“You don’t want to set anybody up for defeat and not being able to accomplish was they need to do,” she said.
Since establishing a location, Ottey said the nonprofit has transformed the space into a welcoming home with room for 12 residents.
“We had all kinds of people reaching out and offering to help …,” she said.
Since opening late last month, Ottey said three residents have moved into the house, including House Manager Brandon O’Brien, who previously lived at a recovery house she established in Salisbury.
“No matter when somebody else was going off the path, he was still doing the right things,” she said. “He was still working his steps. He was still going to meetings. He was talking to the other guys. He was offering others help.”
As house manager, O’Brien said he is responsible for enforcing the rules, establishing the chores and making sure residents find employment, among other things.
“I make sure people are where they are supposed to be,” he said. “I’m also in charge of making sure people are staying clean, going to meetings, doing random urines and making sure chores get done.”
Despite the structured living environment, O’Brien said the success of the recovery house depends on a person’s willingness to work on their sobriety.
“A lot of people that come in and don’t last, don’t last because they still want to play by their rules,” he said. “And there are definitely those people that really want the structure and they realize that in order to change they have to discipline themselves.”
Since moving into a sober living facility, O’Brien said he has turned his life around and noted several opportunities he now has to help others in their recovery.
“It has really propelled me to keep going in this direction …,” he said. “If I hadn’t done all this work and reached out to people and gotten sponsored and have all these cool things happen, my life would be not much different than it was before.”
Ottey said she is hoping the recovery house will show community members how a sober living facility should be run.
“I think they are just going to have to learn by watching. We’ll set the pace and the example,” she said. “Hopefully they see nothing because that’s what it is. It’s people living together, going to work, going to meetings and coming back home.”
For more information on Hope4Recovery, contact Tish Ottey at 443-523-4459 or Brandon O’Brien at 667-221-2299, email Hope4Recovery2017@gmail.com or visit the Hope4Recovery Inc. Facebook page.