Austin, Tx, March 8, 2023 – CLEAN Cause Foundation, in partnership with the Addiction Research Institute at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a grant to improve the sustainability of recovery housing for individuals in recovery from substance use disorders (SUD). The FIRST Fund, which is managed by the Austin Community Foundation, awarded the grant, which reflects one of the final distributions made pursuant to the fund’s interest in providing support to charities in areas that insurance does not cover. The FIRST Fund’s advisors are Max Sherman, Allene Evans, Holly Sherman Peña, and Lynn Sherman.

SUDs are chronic conditions requiring intensive interventions, long-term care, but most treatments are time-limited and do not address structural barriers to recovery. One barrier is limited access to safe and stable housing and at least 1 out of 3 people entering treatment experience housing instability. Recovery housing (e.g., recovery homes, sober living homes, Oxford Houses, halfway houses) addresses this critical need by providing supportive living environments for people in recovery from SUDs.

Numerous research studies have documented that recovery housing facilitates positive outcomes for residents through substance use recovery, decreased criminal justice involvement, and higher employment. “This grant will help CLEAN Cause Foundation and Addiction Research Institute essentially save lives,” said Julie McElrath, President – CLEAN Cause Foundation. “Research has indicated individuals in recovery who are able to live with others who are also on the same journey, will significantly increase their ability to stay healthy and well.”

Housing costs in recovery residences are not presently covered by private or public health Insurance, which presents barriers to individuals without insurance who need recovery housing. Lack of insurance coverage may also threaten the ability of providers to offer quality and sustainable recovery housing. “Partnering with the CLEAN Cause Foundation on this work is a natural fit for us. Our institute focuses on creating real world solutions to improve practice and recovery science. Together, we will be able to bring our scientific and community expertise to develop an innovative solution to change the landscape of recovery housing and make it more accessible,” said Kasey Claborn, Director – Addiction Research Institute.

With the $1 million grant, the Addiction Research Institute will develop a consortium of experts across The University of Texas system to develop a system-level intervention and innovative funding model that facilitates recovery housing sustainability and addresses the financial gap created by insurance coverage ineligibility. The generation of this empirical research will inform new policy initiatives that advocate for recovery housing organizations’ insurance coverage eligibility.

The CLEAN Cause Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to act as the trustee for giveback funds generated by CLEAN Cause, Inc. The foundation envisions a world where everyone with a substance use disorder has what they need to support their recovery journey and we are committed to bridging the critical gap between addiction and early recovery, by funding recovery housing initiatives that promote best practices, further research, and impact systems change.