MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

May 11, 2012

Recovery home has open house

Erica Moulder said she found a peaceful place to recover from years of drug abuse.

It’s a four-bedroom house in a quiet neighborhood with a broad front porch and a shady back patio surrounded by trees and greenery. Moulder shares the house with five women also in recovery.

“It’s peaceful and safe,” she said. “It keeps me out of a bad area.”

The Muskogee 2 Women’s Oxford House has been open since March to help women find support for clean and sober living. It is part of a nationwide network of Oxford Houses offering self-help for sobriety and recovery.

The Oxford House will have an open house featuring a fish fry and cake Sunday — Mother’s Day — at 1303 W. Broadway. Admission is free, but monetary and housewares donations are welcome.

Women at Oxford House could use donations of clean clothing, towels, housewares, laundry items, cleaning and kitchen supplies, towels, wall pictures and picture frames.

Oxford House literature says the program offers recovering addicts a safe place to live while getting back into society.

“This will be a big asset to Muskogee,” said Rachel Neighbors, executive director of MONARCH, which provides housing, counseling, education and job search help to women in recovery. “It will be a great resource for us to refer women who need housing.”

Neighbors said MONARCH never lets women leave its program “without a place to go.”

Many go home or to live with their families, she said. However, at least 25 percent need other places to stay, she said. MONARCH has 55 at its community living center, and 28 at its residential treatment center.

Neighbors said Oxford House complements MONARCH because “it really helps them learn basic life skills.”

Oxford House’s northeast Oklahoma outreach coordinator, Laura Johnson, said the House “is just an added layer of support.”

Five women currently stay at the Muskogee 2 Women’s Oxford House. The house has capacity for seven women and two children.

Moulder, 36, said she’s been at the house for about a week. She said she went into a detox program for methamphetamine addiction in late March and was referred to Oxford by friends who also were residents.

“The girls here are focused on staying in the solution, not on the problem,” she said. “They opened their arms for me.”

Residents are required to go to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings several times a week, she said. “We’re only three blocks away from one meeting place.”

Residents also must have a sponsor for the first two weeks they are at the house. Sponsors help residents follow the steps needed for recovery.

Each Oxford House is designed to be democratically run by the residents and financially self-supporting.

Johnson said residents may stay at Oxford for as long as they need. Each resident must pay her share of expenses. That means $100 per week rent, which includes utilities, telephone, Internet access and other necessities,” Johnson said.

“We cook our own food, buy our own food and other supplies,” Moulder said.

Residents also must stay clean and sober and are subject to drug tests. Residents who fail the drug tests are given 15 minutes to leave, she said.

The website for the national Oxford House organization says anyone in recovery can apply to get into the home. The prospective resident is interviewed by current House residents. If 80 percent of the residents approve and there is a vacancy, the applicant may move in.

“I love it,” said Rhonda Snoderly of Ardmore, who is recovering from opiate addiction. “It’s very comfortable. It’s a way to get help getting your life back on track.”

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: Muskogee 2 Women’s Oxford House Open House.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: 1303 W. Broadway.

FEATURES: Fish fry and cake.

SUGGESTED DONATIONS: Monetary donations by money order made out to Oxford House. Also, clean clothing, towels, housewares, cleaning and kitchen supplies, paper goods, laundry baskets, pictures.

If you need help

• Muskogee 2 Women Oxford House, (918) 686-8111 or oxfordhouseok.org.

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