The residents of Isla Vista’s only sober living house for male students opened their doors to the public on Saturday, sharing refreshments and conversation with prospective residents and curious community members.
At the open house, held at New House I.V. on Sueño Road, current New House inhabitants and managers gave tours of the house and answered questions from the approximately 20 people who attended the event. New House I.V. is owned and operated by Santa Barbara New House, a nonprofit organization that also runs three other sober living houses in the Santa Barbara area. New House I.V. Head Manager Jim Daniels said the house, which opened Summer 2005, provides a safe and alcohol-free environment for its residents.
“It’s a sober living environment for males, 18 and older,” Daniels said. “It’s for those who don’t want to party.”
Noah, a first-year Santa Barbara City College student who would only give his first name, spoke at the open house about his experiences living at New House I.V. He said he chose to move into the house because he needed a place to live in I.V. where he would not be tempted by peer pressure.
“I needed a foundation for recovery,” Noah said. “There are too many parties here. I needed a safe place to live.”
Noah is one of six students who currently live in New House I.V., Daniels said. He said New House Santa Barbara hopes to eventually house as many as 15 students.
Santa Barbara New House, established in 1955, was created to provide living accommodations for men who are recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. Michael Halford, who manages two other New House locations in Santa Barbara, said New House I.V. provides a strict routine to help its residents — most of whom are recovering alcohol and drug addicts — stay sober.
“It will provide a safe, sober structure,” Halford said.
New House I.V. was built specifically for students, Daniels said. He said residents pay a monthly rent of $700 and are provided with food to make themselves breakfast and lunch, as well as a dinner cooked by a New House manager each night. The recently remodeled house also includes a washer, dryer and dishwasher, as well as a structured schedule and rules designed to help its residents resist the temptation to drink or use drugs.
UCSB Dean of Students Yonie Harris, who also serves as one of 12 members on the Santa Barbara New House Board of Directors, said some students who leave school because of drug and alcohol problems never come back, but New House I.V. provides a good place for the students who do choose to return.
“New House helps us [at UCSB],” Harris said. “It’s a mutual relationship [between UCSB and New House] we want to have. Students in recovery need a clean and sober place.”
More information about New House is available at www.sbnewhouse.org or by calling (805) 563-6050.