Fostering Female Recovery with Gender-Specific Sober Living

By The Fix staff 08/02/17

Women in recovery often face a different set of obstacles than men so it’s helpful to be surrounded by co-residents and staff with whom they can relate.

room at Westwind Recovery
Westwind Recovery offers gender-specific living arrangements for women that are personalized to help ensure their safety and optimize their recovery within a community of their peers. image via Westwind Recovery

The initial time period after rehab can be just as crucial as the days spent in treatment, if not more. The right sober living sets someone up for solid, long-term recovery and a safe transition back to reality—the reality where booze, drugs and other temptations are never far. The Los Angeles-based Westwind Recovery Residences is a unique network of sober living homes that offer security, support and a seriously awesome staff.

“I think we have more staff than average sober living so what that means is, we have more oversight and ability to help these people having real challenges that normal sober living wouldn’t be able to help them with,” says Justin Wells, one of the three founders of Westwind Recovery. Wells and his co-founders, Justin White and Zachary Ament, set out to create an environment that had structure and accountability for the newly sober, along with outlets for them to have fun in sobriety with like-minded folks. Some of their best events are parties at Christmas and Halloween, where folks from all their locations (14 in total) are invited to mingle booze-free. “Those parties are a great way for people to connect,” says Wells. “It tells these people living in our houses that we care about them; it’s giving back to them a little bit.”

Another way Westwind stands out is giving the option for men and women to live in gender-specific residences. Its women’s house has special significance because it’s the original Westwind Recovery residence. The Sycamore House was founded in 2014 and although originally a co-ed home, it now accommodates only females. Positioned in a great neighborhood, Los Angeles’ Hancock Park, the home comes equipped with a swimming pool and a ton of other upscale amenities. The décor is modern, bright and cheerful, and residents can enjoy comfy common areas, a fully equipped kitchen and a meditation room.

image via Westwind Recovery

Women in recovery often face a different set of obstacles than men so it’s helpful to be surrounded by co-residents and staff with whom they can relate. “It’s designed to lead women through example,” explains Westwind’s Director of Operations, Scotty Sanders, CADAC-II. “It’s female house managers and more accountability from a management perspective to make sure they’re safe. [There is] different stuff than guys, emotional stuff happening. Our regional manager spends a lot of time there to make sure they’re taken care of but the rules are structured exactly the same.”

There is a lot more monitoring of who is coming in and out, as well as a lot of hiring from within. Residents go on to become house managers. When outside managers are hired to offer different insight, they’re thoroughly vetted to make sure they’re a good fit for the Sycamore vibe.

Knowing each resident personally is another key component of Westwind’s success. Sanders continues, “It’s very personalized, not just bodies in a house. We’re all in tune with what’s going on with each other.” Staying connected with other people in recovery is perhaps one of the number one components of staying sober. Westwind Recovery positions its clients for success by providing that connection, along with safety, community and comfort—and a sweet backyard certainly doesn’t hurt.

Do you want to learn more about Westwind Recovery Residences? Reach Westwind Recovery Residences by phone at (800) 223-5750 or by email. Find Westwind Recovery Residences on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

The Fix staff consists of the editor-in-chief and publisher, a senior editor, an associate editor, an editorial coordinator, and several contributing editors and writers. Articles in Professional Voices, Ask an Expert, and similar sections are written by doctors, psychologists, clinicians, professors and other experts from universities, hospitals, government agencies and elsewhere. For contact and other info, please visit our About Us page.