I recently toured one of the occupied Women’s sober living homes in Columbus, and I was lucky enough to get to spend some time with a couple of the residents there. The word that comes to mind to describe the residence is peaceful. The house is charming and clean and held a feeling of hope in every room. The girls are expected to keep their surroundings clean and put together, and I could feel the pride the residents have in their surroundings. From the basil growing in a pot in the kitchen to the made beds and a hammock hanging in the back, these girls seemed to be trying hard to make this little house their own.
Leigh Gadek met with me and I witnessed her interacting with the girls. What impressed me the most is the sober living is not a free for all. These girls are held accountable and expressed to me that they know how lucky they are to be living there. They go to meetings, know that they will be randomly drug tested and are very aware of who is serious about staying clean and who isn’t within the house. Leigh inspected the home while I was there, and the girls responded to her with respect. One of the women was getting ready for a job interview that afternoon, and there was a strong feeling in the home that each girl wanted the other to succeed. Life beyond drugs and alcohol is their ultimate goal. The neighborhood seemed safe and quiet, and the girls have strict rules surrounding interacting with the neighbors. The neighbors are also aware the house is a sober house, and Leigh expressed to me that the neighbors will communicate with her on what goes on there. This was another comforting level of accountability that the girls have.
As a professional in this field and a recovering person myself, I am refreshed by the work Leigh Gadek and Heidi Riggs have put into their sober livings. Helping people one person at a time is the least that any of us can do, but Heidi and Leigh have found a way to impact more than that on a daily basis while providing structured and safe surroundings. I most definitely feel comfortable sending people to them. Great work ladies! Tiya Stokey