House of Worship Opens Sober Living Transitional Home for Men

By Benjamin Cox on October 2, 2023 at 8:02am

A Jacksonville church’s project to give men in recovery from addiction a second chance with a sober living facility is now in operation. Members of the public were able to tour the newly-renovated home this past Thursday at an open house event.

House of Worship – Church of God in Christ purchased the house at 302 North Church Street more than a year ago. Strictly through tithes, offerings, and work by church members, the home was fully renovated furnished.

Pastor Jim Burries says that this facility will be a strictly-monitored sober living house to help men transitioning out of a treatment facility like Gateway and back into society: “The whole bottom line is that I want to give somebody an opportunity that society doesn’t give because they might be in a rehabilitation place and they don’t want to go back home to live where they came from. I want to give them an opportunity to prove to themselves that they can do it and they have a place to go right here. It’s all about sober living. If you can hold up to your end of the bargain, we are going to hold up to our end of the bargain and let someone stay here at 6 months at a time. If you are okay, you are able to renew your contract and go six more months.”

The 6-bedroom sober living home will have residents required to retain a job to pay rent, eventually hoping to position them to transition out on their own. The home has a staff, including an on-site manager, that will host meetings and activities for on-site addiction recovery programming.

Pastor Burries says there are 58 rules that each resident has to abide by and initial when they sign a contract to live at the home: “We make sure that they understand each one of [the rules] because our name is on here and the community’s name is on here. We don’t want to be in a community, in a church and have this turned into a dope house, drug house, or have prostitution here. It’s very important that it’s a sober living environment.”

Burries says that if the program is successful, the church may extend into purchasing another home and starting a facility for women in recovery.

Burries believes this landmark program might be a good example for possible other similar programs and homes to come to Jacksonville because of the massive need for people to have a means of transitioning from in-patient recovery back out into society.