Together, we can do what we can’t do apart––The Haven at Santa Barbara was born from this notion. As a peer-led residential community, we identify with each other’s challenges, and help each other navigate early recovery while succeeding in college. We offer recovery support services, live-in staff, and social activities for students who are committed to staying in school while learning to lead a sober lifestyle. By sticking together, we keep the college experience fun, safe, and supportive––clean and sober.
The Haven at Santa Barbara is safe, comfortable and convenient. We are located in a beautiful private residence in the west end of Isla Vista just steps from the Pacific Ocean and a short walk or bike ride to the UCSB campus. Haven residents live and grow together in furnished bedrooms with same sex roommates who support each other’s recovery while forming lifelong friendships. The house is stocked with surfboards, kayaks and bicycles available for Haven students to enjoy in their spare time.
Our Program Director (who also serves as our Recovery Coach) helps our residents develop and review individualized wellness plans during weekly one-on-one meetings. These plans encourage our students to balance their recovery, academic work, and social life. We also encourage attendance and participation in 12-step meetings (or other modalities).
Our live-in House Manager provides peer support, facilitates weekly community meetings, and organizes group activities that include camping trips, service projects, and sober raves and parties. Our House Manager also administers routine drug tests to keep The Haven safe and to ensure early intervention in the event of relapse. The Haven at Santa Barbara also extends support to the entire family through monthly conferences with the Program Director, Parent education and process groups and family activities and programs.
“I have to work harder than most people to live a normal life, and I don’t want to worry about the stigma of being an addict. People’s general idea of an addict is some dude with a brown paper bag in the gutter, shooting up heroin, or something. That was never my life. The Haven gives me a safety net, and helps me navigate my life.”
--Current Haven Resident, Junior
“I really need to bounce [my] life off of other people, to know that I’m not alone. It’s hard being surrounded by a college environment that encourages alcohol consumption. I still miss that nightlife, and I know I can’t live with friends who consume alcohol and engage in other behaviors. I love living at The Haven with people who have the same challenges I do. I’m doing better in school than I ever have!”
--Former Haven Resident, Senior
“The Haven taught me to love myself. You taught me to take responsibility for my actions. You taught me to acknowledge that I was affecting the people I loved the most with my addiction, but that I could do something to change that. You showed me that I am my own worst enemy, but that I am also the creator of my destiny.”
--Former Haven Resident
“During the past Christmas, we remembered where we were as a family a year ago … we feel very grateful for how incredibly far our son has come. I know The Haven played a major role in helping him accomplish this remarkable turnaround, and he, above all, is reaping the benefits. Thank you for your vision, hard work, and humanity in support of talented young people."
--Parent of Former Resident
“The Haven is aptly named. The people here are knowledgeable, compassionate, insightful, and generous. They understand the struggles of bright, young adults trying to move forward from substance abuse to success, anticipating their struggles and meeting their needs in ways that are uncanny. There's no road map to finding the ideal environment for someone working toward recovery. If you have found The Haven, leap at this opportunity! Tell others about it! There is no safer, better choice out there.”
--Parent of Former Resident
I had no idea that there were options for sober students attending university other than living in a sober dorm. Now that I know so much about The Haven and how it operates, I’m even more excited about the prospects for establishing new properties on campuses throughout the US. This program will change the face of the colleges and universities by offering a “cool” place for students to live, attend meetings or just hang out without the pressure of drinking alcohol or using drugs.
--Parent of Future Haven Resident