The Beginning of Opportunity House

 

The idea behind Opportunity House evolved when a New Mexico Magisitrate

 



Judge asked some of the local A.A. people to take a meeting to the county

 

jail. He was concerned about the high recidivism rate.  People coming before

 

him with drug or alcohol charges were seemingly only being temporarily

 

removed from the streets.  Incarceration didn't help - they came back.  So a

 

weekly A.A. meeting was scheduled at the jail.  After 2 years of weekly

 

meetings where inmates expressed a desire to change, nothing actually did. 

 

 They kept revolving in and out of jail.  They hated being incarcerated, but

 

they seemed powerless to change and doomed to repeat their mistakes. 

 

 Returning to the same environment with no job or money, they were soon

 

back doing what had placed them in jail initially.  To break this cycle, it was

 

determined that a drug and alcohol free environment was needed for

 

inmates to come and live once released or sentenced.  They needed to be

 

shown how to get and keep a job, taught responsibility, helped to find a

 

higher power and eased back into mainstream society.

 

Thus, the Opportunity House Program was born.  In December 1996,

 

Opportunity House, Inc. was established as a non-profit 501(c)(3)

 

corporation.  By August 1997, we were ready for our first residents. A year

 

later, a larger house was added that could hold 14 women. In December

 

1998, another men's house was added.  Regretfully in September 1999, the

 

Board of Directors moved to closed the female facility due to the low volume

 

of residents and the lack of results it produced.  The men were then

 

transferred into this house from the original house which was vacated. In

 

January 2001, we ventured out of our local community and into another

 

county in New Mexico.  We operated this facility for men until October 2003

 

 when the Board made the decision to close due to lack of community

 

support.

 

By 2003 we were looking  for a larger success rate and undertook revamping

 

 our entire Program.  We divided it into three phases while extending the

 

commitment time to 18 months thus becoming a "long-term" facility.  We

 

were already operating two houses in Hobbs, NM and this expansion

 

required us to purchase a third house.  This house was totally for Phase II

 

residents.  Phase II gives the men a chance to try out the new life skills they

 

have learned in Phase I with the support of the Program and with the

 

direction of Opportunity House management. Men took up residency in this

 

 house in February 2004 and since 2006, we have noticed an increase in our

 

success rate of about 50%.  Also in 2004, we purchased a building at 206

 

North Turner St. in downtown Hobbs to serve as our Administration

 

Building.  Here we have our Admin. Offices, Private Counseling Office, Training

 



Classes, and Board Meetings.  We also hold Open Recovery meetings here

 

twice a week to accomodate anyone in the community who struggles with

 

addiction.

 

In 2009 we enlarged the Phase II part of our Program by purchasing another

 

 house.  We now have four houses in the community of Hobbs, New Mexico

 

 with a total bed count of 45.