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Halfway Houses for Drug & Alcohol Addiction

Last updated on: Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Halfway houses in Canada for recovering addicts provide excellent support options and a transitional period for someone who has finished a drug rehab program. The information will help you or your loved one decide what halfway house to select. A halfway house can help find work, meetings, and a place to live.


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Halfway houses operate throughout Canada and very generally help people who have criminal backgrounds, have physical, mental, or emotional problems, or have completed a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center and require a transition period back into society. This transition time allows the person to gain new skills, re-integrate into society, establish work, and become a stable contributing member of society again. Within Canada, a halfway house is typically referred to as a Community-Based Residential Facility and provides a bridge between a treatment center and or prison and the community. More often then not these halfway houses or community bases residential facilities are for offenders who are still under custodial care by Corrections Services Canada or the Parole Board of Canada. The offender is released into the care of these facilities and is given a chance to re-integrate back to society and become a contributing and productive member again. In other circumstances, some halfway houses can act as sober living communities or a transition point for recovering addicts; those who may have become clean in prison, or those who have left a drug rehab center after being ordered there by the Canadian judicial system.

What is to be expected from Halfway Houses?

Halfway houses and these community-based residential facilities have been operating within Canada for over a century, but the idea to help people who were still under a sentence began in the early 1960s. Many of the original facilities began in Toronto, and throughout the years, there are now well over 170 community-based residential facilities in Canada, and over 90% of these centers focus strictly on male and female offenders. One of the common misconceptions is that halfway houses should not be within residential neighborhoods. It is important to understand that residents of halfway houses are extensively screened, specifically for behavioral profiles. Within each halfway house are the appropriate supervision that is maintained around the clock and 24 hours a day. These types of facilities have offered a better solution for offenders, rather than just transitioning them right into society out of prison. People staying at these facilities should expect daily counseling and support, and assisting them with reintegration back into society. This may include locating gainful employment, creating healthy relationships, and learning new skills to help them succeed in life.

Ask a Professional

  • What is a halfway house?

    Halfway houses are community-based residential facilities for offenders who have been allowed to serve part of their sentence under supervision in the community. These are also known as community-based residential facilities. Halfway houses in Canada are usually facilitated by the Correctional Service of Canada or by voluntary agencies.

  • Do halfway houses help people with substance use disorders?

    Yes, halfway houses help residents who are struggling with drug addiction. These programs tend to offer 12-step support, vocational help, behavioral therapies, and other methods to address substance use disorders.

  • What does a halfway house cost?

    Halfway houses in Canada are entirely funded by tax dollars. Generally, it is more cost-effective to house offenders in halfway houses than correctional institutes.

  • Are halfway houses a viable rehabilitation option?

    Yes, it allows residents to look for jobs, work, attend school, or attend addiction or mental health services. They are assigned cleaning tasks and are required to contribute to the maintenance of their living and sleeping areas. Every resident is expected to follow house rules.

  • Want to know more?

    The questions from DrugRehab.ca’s “Ask a Professional” are answered by Nickolaus Hayes. If you need further clarification on any of the questions above or have any other questions you can contact him directly at N.hayes@drugrehab.ca.




More Information

Nickolaus Hayes has been working with Drug Rehab Services for the past ten years. Over the past 15 years, he has remained connected to helping people who have been struggling with addiction. He first started working as an intake counselor at a drug rehabilitation center in 2005. During the five years as an intake counselor, he was able to help hundreds of people find treatment. Nickolaus was also fortunate to be able to work with professional interventionists, traveling across the country performing interventions.