Frequently Asked Questions
Who can join the Mare’s House program?
The program is open to women ages 18-35 who are ready to move forward in their recovery.
Why do you call residents of Mare’s House, ‘members?’
When young women join our program they become members of a small community. There is a group support/sisterhood aspect, where they hold each other up and hold each other accountable. It’s more like a family than a facility, a home rather than a halfway house.
How long is the program?
The Mare’s House program is six months in length. If a member needs or wants additional time to get a little stronger or to coordinate with her independent living plans, we can usually accommodate this.
How much supervision do you provide?
We have staff on site 24/7, and there are many structured and required participation activities. After an initial orientation phase (approximately seven days), unsupervised time increases as members gain employment, show responsibility with program requirements and use free time blocks for work and other pursuits. All members have contact information for program administration in case of emergencies. Program participation requirements decrease over time as members shift to self-directed and independent living, but everyone is always welcome and encouraged to participate in group activities as schedules allow.
Does Mare’s House drug test its members?
Maintaining a sober environment and accountability is critical to our work. Mare’s House uses both urinalysis and breathalyzers weekly (more if necessary) to test all members for substance use.
What about transportation?
Transportation to program activities is provided while at Mare’s House. Many members learn to use public transportation, skateboard, bike or walk to their jobs and other free-time activities.
How are clinical services provided?
We require all members to participate in clinical services. All services are provided off-site with local professionals with whom we have long-standing relationships and who understand our mission. Licensed and credentialed clinicians offer a variety of services that can be matched to best support each member’s individual needs. Typical weekly services include individual, family, group and equine therapy; psychiatric oversight; and medication management. While clinicians operate independent from Mare’s House, they are active and integral members of the treatment team. Clinicians participate and offer guidance with program planning, crisis intervention and family integration. Because clinicians are independent practitioners, members can continue receiving their services after leaving Mare’s House.
Why is there a community service component to Mare’s House?
We believe that service is a cornerstone to healthy living, so we work alongside and contribute to numerous worthy, local organizations. Stepping outside of themselves, members gain new perspectives on their own life. Oftentimes our members find community service a way of making amends to the larger community and maintaining the humility necessary for a sober and purposeful life.
What about educational pursuits?
Many of our members have negative experiences related to education. Past failures, expulsions, substance use triggers and undiagnosed or unsupported learning issues are common. As time in the program progresses, we encourage members to develop an educational plan that supports their future goals to help re-write this part of their story. San Diego offers a variety of post-secondary options and resources including adult schools for high school completion, community colleges, vocational training courses and world-renowned universities. Oftentimes, we encourage our members to engage educational consultants, tutoring organizations or other educational resources to make sure that they find the right fit for their needs.
Do Mare’s House members have to have prior work experience?
No, but work and employment is a primary component of our curriculum. We want members to experience the satisfaction of knowing they can support themselves. We’ll help you prepare by building a resume, performing mock interviews, and guiding you to seek employment that matches your skills, experience, and interests.
Is there support after leaving Mare’s House?
The main goal while in the final months of the program is to create an after plan that fits your needs. We’ll help you pull the pieces together so that when you leave Mare’s House, you have a solid road map for your future that includes a budget, living arrangements, and relapse prevention strategy.
When do I get my phone, laptop and other electronics?
When members progress to Phase 1 from orientation (typically 7 days), they are eligible to have their phones, laptops and other electronics. In the orientation phase, we want members to be focused on acclimating to the new environment and getting to know staff and other members. The easiest way to do this is to minimize the distractions as much as possible. Many of our members have struggled with electronic overuse and addiction. If warranted, we’ll ask members or parents to monitor or restrict usage temporarily if other responsibilities and goals are being neglected.
Can I smoke at Mare’s House?
Mare’s House has a designated, outdoor smoking area at both houses. There is no smoking or tobacco product of any kind allowed inside the houses. The State of California has mandated the legal smoking age at 21.
Do you allow members to be on medication?
Yes, under the supervision of a licensed physician. Most of our members transition to our local psychiatrist for on-going medication management. Medications that can be considered addictive or create dependency such as long-term stimulants, medications often prescribed for ADHD, and many opioid treatment medications such as Sub Oxone are not permitted.