Choosing an Addiction Treatment Center

Choosing a drug or alcohol rehab center for yourself or for a loved one can be an overwhelming and difficult process. Unfortunately, with the rise of the opioid epidemic, the addiction treatment field has seen an influx in deceptive marketing and unethical practices by drug rehab “providers” whose only concern appears to be monetary gain. This leaves many consumers confused and distrustful about where and how to find effective treatment options.

Today, more than ever, consumers need to know what to look for in a rehab center. As you research treatment centers and speak with rehab providers, here are important questions to ask and topics to cover.

Accreditation, Licensing and Certifications

Reputable drug rehab centers are accredited by The Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF®). Both the Joint Commission and CARF are independent, nonprofit organizations that base accreditation on industry performance standards and demonstrated results, quality and value. State licensing is not the same as accreditation given the fact that states vary widely in their licensing requirements.

In addition, drug rehab centers need to be certified in order to advertise their programs and services on Google and Facebook via a third-party provider called LegitScript. This certification ensures that, through a rigorous vetting process, only legitimate, quality treatment centers can advertise their services on these channels. It’s a process that provides a level of protection for the consumer.

It’s not always obvious which rehab centers are ethical or unethical, so be cautious when researching if you find a multitude of negative news stories about a facility.

Clinical Staff Credentials and Licenses

Credentials and licenses indicate whether the individuals who provide drug rehab programming and services meet nationally recognized standards for professional practice. If clinical staff are not licensed or accredited, they may not have the training and experience needed to provide the most effective care. Specific credentials held by addiction treatment professionals may include LADC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor), LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), CAC (Certified Addictions Counselor) or CCDP (Certified Co-occurring Disorders Counselor).

Multidisciplinary Treatment Team

The highest quality inpatient substance abuse treatment programs involve a multidisciplinary care team in order to address all aspects of the disease—mind, body and spirit. This means your rehab program should include a mix of professionals who work together to create an individualized treatment plan. All team members should be licensed to practice in their particular discipline. Be wary if one staff member wears many hats. A multidisciplinary treatment team typically consists of:

  • Chemical dependency counselor
  • Medical doctor
  • Nurse
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Wellness specialist
  • Spiritual care counselor

Use of Evidence-based Practices

The most effective treatment programs rely on evidence-based practices that have been proven through science-based research. Examples of evidence-based practices include Twelve-Step Facilitation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Medication-assisted Therapies and other treatment models.

Mental Health Services

Many people who struggle with alcohol or drug addiction also have a co-occurring mental health condition such as anxiety or depression. In order to provide the right treatment, an accurate dual diagnosis is needed. For patients with a dual diagnosis, the most promising treatment incorporates care for addiction and the co-occurring mental health disorder at the same time. If an addiction treatment program doesn’t provide mental health services, be sure to ask how these services are coordinated with other providers in the community.

Treatment Success Rate/Outcomes

Too often, treatment outcomes are not measured by rehab providers—or they’re measured inconsistently. Even the definition of treatment “success” can be different among providers. Be wary of rehab facilities who claim to have “the cure” or 100% success rates. If rehab success rates are quoted, the data should be collected using research-based methods or be published in peer-reviewed journals.


Treatment for substance abuse can be expensive, so look for rehab facilities that are in-network with your insurance. Being in-network also means the program has met the quality standards of the insurance companies. Some treatment providers will say they “work with your insurance” company, but that doesn’t mean they’re in-network. If in doubt, check with your insurance provider.

Medical Detox or Medication-assisted Therapies

Medical detoxification services can be provided by your hospital or health care clinic before you enter a treatment program, but going through medical detox on site allows you to begin the rehab process at the same time. The medical staff of a detox unit should include both nurses and physicians who have expertise in easing the discomfort of alcohol or drug withdrawal and reducing drug cravings. Ongoing monitoring of your physical health is an important part of your recovery process.

Specialized Programs

Quality treatment providers do not take a cookie-cutter approach to care. It’s important to find rehab programs where care is individualized and tailored, whether that means providing gender-specific programs, targeted treatment for teens, young adults or other specific populations, or other types of specialized rehab. Many issues discussed during rehab can be difficult to have when in mixed groups.

Rehab Program Length

The length of time spent in treatment is best determined by your progress rather than a specified number of days. Some substance abuse programs give an estimated time frame, but if progress isn’t made during that period, the length of time in treatment could be extended. Look for programs that provide multiple levels of rehab so that, as progress is made, you can step into a less-intense level of care.

Post-treatment Recovery Support

Addiction treatment typically involves a high level of clinical care and support. When drug rehab ends and you’re on your own, it’s important to have a support system in place to help prevent the risk of relapse. Quality treatment centers offer a variety of post-treatment options including phone-based coaching, apps to build and strengthen recovery, continuing care groups and other resources and support.

Family Support

Addiction is often referred to as a family disease because it’s a condition that affects the entire family. Families need to heal and recover from addiction, too, by learning to work through the chaos they’ve experienced, set healthy boundaries and build trust in relationships. Treatment patients tend to have better recovery rates when the whole family is educated about addiction and involved in the recovery process.

The Test of Time

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, more Americans have access to health insurance to help cover the cost of drug rehab. While this is great news for people who need treatment but were unable to access care in the past, there’s been a rush of companies eager to get into the addiction treatment business. Most rehab programs provide quality care, but do your research and remember the test of time: treatment providers who’ve been around for a long time have established their credibility.

What Else Should I Know?

Depending on your specific needs and situation, there are a multitude of additional questions to ask treatment providers when you are trying to select the right drug rehab center for yourself or a loved one. Be sure to read reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook and other sources of consumer feedback.

Conduct your own web search to find more information about specific drug rehab centers. Here is a list of questions to assist in your research:

  1. What type of accreditation or licensing does your facility have?
  2. What credentials or licenses does the clinical staff hold?
  3. Is treatment done by a multidisciplinary team?
  4. What is the patient-to-counselor ratio?
  5. Do you use evidence-based practices?
  6. Do you have gender-specific programs?
  7. How successful is your treatment program?
  8. Are you in-network with my insurance?
  9. Do you provide mental health services?
  10. Do you offer medical detox or other medication-assisted therapies?
  11. Do you offer treatment specific to teens, young adults, older adults or other populations? (as it applies to your situation)
  12. How long does the program last?
  13. What kind of post-treatment support do you provide?
  14. Do you offer family support?
  15. How long have you been providing addiction treatment?

Addiction treatment marks the beginning of a new way of living. The insights you gain and the changes you make during rehab will become the foundation for your recovery throughout the challenges life brings. Keep this in mind as you choose a treatment center. It will help you determine a good fit and identify the best treatment approach for build a solid foundation for lifelong recovery.

Learn more about HarborHouse.Org, the efforts we’ve taken to become a premier addiction treatment center of choice, and how we can help you reclaim your health and your life from addiction.… Read the rest

What Are the Benefits of Drug Rehab Centers?

When substance abuse negatively impacts your life and the lives of the people around you, it’s time to get help. …

When substance abuse negatively impacts your life and the lives of the people around you, it’s time to get help. Addiction is treatable, and obtaining treatment in a drug rehab center gives you an opportunity to get professional help to stop using drugs and begin to build or resume living a productive life.

Substance use disorder can’t be cured, but it can be successfully managed. Discontinuing use of substances is the first, but not the only, aspect of addiction recovery. Drug rehab centers are one of the most effective forms of treatment for recovering from drug addiction, and there are many benefits to obtaining treatment from a drug rehab.
For More Information About Our Drug Rehab Center

Safe Environment for Breaking the Cycle of Addiction

Habitual drug use triggers intense cravings to continue to take drugs. While you might have believed you could stop taking drugs anytime you wanted to, stopping cold turkey can cause unpleasant and possibly even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Going to a drug rehab allows you to go through detoxification in a safe environment where you can receive professional medical treatment and care during withdrawal. You may be able to receive medications that reduce the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes, you may receive prescription medication that help to reduce cravings.

Focus on Recovery

At rehab, you will be able to completely focus on recovery. While you are in treatment, you will be separated from people and places that may have tempted or encouraged you to use, and from people who may try to tell you that they don’t believe you can recover. You won’t have to deal with the stressors of day-to-day life while you put all your effort and energy into what it takes to live a drug-free life.

During your time in treatment, you’ll learn much more about addiction, including what may trigger the urge to use in the future and what you can do when you experience cravings. Your days will be structured, leaving you with little or no downtime for thinking about wanting to use.

Exploring Underlying Issues

Do you know what caused you to want to use drugs in the first place? While you are in rehab, you will have the opportunity to explore any underlying issues you may have. Some people struggle with co-occurring disorders such as depression or anxiety, and using drugs was a way to self-medicate and relieve symptoms of hopelessness or anxiousness.

Counselors on staff at drug rehab centers have received specialized training for helping you dig into problems that you may been trying to avoid dealing with. They can help you look at your problems and teach you new coping skills for dealing with them that don’t involve turning to substances.

Peer Support

Long-term recovery depends on connecting with other people who truly understand how you feel.  At rehab, you will begin to participate in group support meetings with other people who are also learning what it takes to live a sober life.  Together, you will share your experiences and challenges, and you will share with each other what works and what doesn’t.

Participating in peer support programs can help you to feel less alone and strengthen your ability to relate to other people. You will learn the importance of building a support network that can continue to be part of your long-term recovery journey.

It’s important to stay committed to treatment, both during your time in rehab and after you leave. With that commitment, a drug rehab program can give you the foundation of living your best life without reliance on substances.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug addiction, please call us today!

 … Read the rest

Why is Rehab Important?

woman overlooking mountains wondering Why is Rehab Important

Why is rehab important? Well, according to the Department of Health and Human Sciences approximately 23 million people require some form of addiction treatment. This means that they have to go through the rehabilitation process. The hardest step in the fight against drug addiction is deciding to quit and getting help.

But drug and alcohol detox isn’t easy. As someone addicted to drugs or alcohol uses more and more, they become physically dependent. For that reason, they may experience severe withdrawal symptoms when they decide to quit. Nevertheless, detox is the first step to a successful recovery. It usually involves three steps which are evaluation, stabilization, and treatment.

Addiction is a disease like any other and with the right rehab, you can live a completely healthy life.

Why is Rehab Important?

You might be wondering, why all the fuss about rehab? Rehab is a place to reclaim your freedom. Victims of drug addiction are often trapped and one of the main purposes of rehab is to help them break free from drug abuse. Rehab also reasserts your confidence and positive ways of thinking. This improves your ability to deal with various underlying issues that may be the cause of your addiction. Rehab allows you to re-connect with your loved ones and helps you make amends.

A good treatment facility gives patients long-term care because addiction is a life-long disease. Overcoming addiction is an every-day process and is a great answer to “Why is rehab important?”

Benefits of the Rehab Facility

Some of the benefits of going to a rehab facility include:

  • A professional team that will give you high-quality drug and alcohol addiction treatment healthcare
  • Handling different cases individually
  • Identification, diagnoses, and treatment of patients accordingly
  • Providing resources for a wide range of patient needs
  • A stable environment for fast recovery
  • Excellent peer support

A rehab facility is well-equipped, making it easy to offer the clients better services. They can also provide medical detox programs for more severe cases of substance abuse.

Rehab Programs at Summit Detox

Although many individuals abuse drugs for various purposes, Summit Detox helps them find a reason to quit. This is one of the most important processes in understanding the importance of rehab. The facility goes the extra mile to understand the patient, how they feel, and why they abused drugs in the past. This information helps them develop unique programs that can meet the needs of individual patients.

Some of the common programs include:

  • Benzodiazepine detox program: This program helps individuals in recovery during the detoxification process. The program involves the use of benzodiazepine and barbiturate medications.
  • Inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment program: Depending on the condition of the patient, the facility offers both inpatient detox or outpatient care. If the patient is doing fairly well, the outpatient program is more suitable.
  • Family therapy program: This is where the facility works together with the patient’s family to help the victim overcome addiction.
  • Opioid detox program: This program is specifically designed to cater to the needs of patients with opiate addiction.

Despite the reasons for abusing drugs, we help individuals know that they can get better. Hope is very important to the rehabilitation process. Knowing and believing that you can get better will help you overcome every challenge involved in rehab.

Get Help Today at Harbor House Rehab and Recovery Center

Addiction is one of the social vices that affect everyone in society. Don’t suffer in silence, we are here to help. As a modern rehab facility, we help you understand why rehab is important, especially to the community. The journey to recovery is often lonely, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Make the first move in fighting addiction by contacting a professional rehab facility. Contact us today by calling [Direct] and make the first steps towards a drug-free life.… Read the rest

Common Reasons Why People Avoid Going to Rehab

going to rehabAs stated by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 96% of people who are actively addicted to substances and not seeking help don’t believe they need to get treatment for help. The other 4% either felt they required treatment but didn’t try going to rehab, or tried to seek help but did not receive treatment.

Roughly 19.4 million people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol don’t believe they need help for it despite negative consequences. We must encourage those that need help to seek it. It’s impossible to overcome addiction without taking the necessary steps to heal and stop using. We’re here to help and support you from day one of your addiction recovery journey. If you need help with addiction recovery, look no further.

What are the Main Issues That Keep People from Going to Rehab?

There are many reasons that a person may use to justify not going to rehab. These reasons may cause anxiety and distress to the point of inaction. Inaction is dangerous. Many people need help with their addictions. Taking that first step in seeking help is crucial. Keep reading to learn more about the reasons that may be keeping you or a loved one from going to rehab.


Denial is a major reason many individuals feel that going to rehab isn’t necessary. It is the point in which we keep denying things we know to be true. Addiction creates a form of smoke and mirrors that can make a person oblivious to the extent of damage addiction has caused. In many cases, the use of drugs or alcohol becomes a coping mechanism.


Going to rehab may seem embarrassing in the eyes of struggling individuals. The feeling of shame can be overwhelming. Shame can lead someone to think that they are not worthy of receiving treatment. If you need help with addiction, seeking help is a courageous first step. It takes a strong character to admit that you need help with addiction. Your past doesn’t need to define your future.


The fear of going to rehab is a real mental roadblock for some people. When individuals think about the long-term effort that needs to be put in, they may shy away from seeking treatment. It takes motivation and determination to get treatment for addiction. The long-term benefits are well worth it though. As you conquer your fears, you gain confidence in yourself.

Giving Up the High Seems Impossible

Going to rehab may seem unappealing to those that can’t give up the high. Some individuals are so wrapped up in the high that they can’t imagine living without it. However, for these individuals, the consequences of addiction will continue.

Physical and mental health will continue to deteriorate. Seeking help for addiction is a long-term investment. There are endless benefits to finding the strength to give up the high. The future you will surely thank you.

Feeling That Nobody Cares

Struggling individuals may feel that nobody cares about them anymore. They may have burned a lot of bridges that lead them to a place of isolation. Lack of family or other support can feel like a big obstacle when it comes to going to rehab. That’s why we’re here to provide support, both from our community and staff.

While you’re in treatment for addiction, we’ll help you take the steps to rebuild broken relationships in your life. You’ll also be able to make new friends at rehab with people that share the same common goal: long-term sobriety.

Hoping the Problem Will Fix Itself

Some addicts hope that the problems of addiction will go away on their own. This state of delusion is dangerous. You must put effort into overcoming addiction. The process is well worth it, but it takes determination.

Going to rehab gives you a real chance of getting your life back. Not only that, but you’ll be able to build the kind of life that makes you a better person. You deserve a fulfilling and healthy life. If you need help with addiction, take that courageous first step of seeking it.

Treatment Cost

The cost of treatment can keep many individuals from going to rehab. Even if you need help with addiction, the worry of not being able to pay for it can seem like enough of a reason not to go. However, there are many options when it comes to paying for treatment. We accept a wide range of insurance providers.

We’ll also personally work with your insurance to make sure you get the most out of your benefits. If you still aren’t able to afford rehab, we can discuss other possible options for financing treatment.

Time Conflict

It’s true to say that treatment and recovery take time. If you need help with addiction, you must be ready to commit to attending treatment sessions. Maybe your main worry is not being able to fit treatment into your schedule.

However, we assure you that there is always a way to make the treatment work. We offer a wide range of programs all ranging in flexibility and time commitment. We’ll work with you to create a schedule that is tailored to your unique needs.

Uncertainty of What Going to Rehab Entails

Going to rehab means finally being able to focus on yourself and getting better. You no longer need to be shackled by the chains of addiction. The key component of addiction treatment at our recovery center are:

  • We’ll begin with a thorough evaluation to determine the severity of your addiction. We will assess your past and present health history as well.
  • Our team will also screen you for any other substance abuse issues or co-occurring mental health disorders.
  • With the information that we collect, we’ll be able to customize a treatment plan for your unique needs. No one treatment plan is the same. We understand that each individual’s recovery journey is unique.
  • The first stage of treatment is generally a medical detox (withdrawal management). It’s best to start treatment with a clean slate. The detox process helps rid your body of toxins accumulated through substance abuse.
  • Following detox, the core part of the treatment will begin. Your plan will include a combination of evidence-based treatment methods and therapies.
  • We’ll then create an aftercare plan to help prevent the chances of relapse from occurring. Your journey to addiction recovery doesn’t stop after rehab. We will help develop a plan that includes different forms of care to support your addiction recovery.

Why Going to Rehab is Key in Overcoming Addiction

Going to rehab lets you focus on getting better and overcoming addiction. In a trigger-free environment, you’ll begin to form a toolkit of healthy coping mechanisms. You will be able to work through the underlying roots of addiction and address them head-on. You’ll develop skills that’ll help you resist temptations long after you end treatment with us.

There are endless benefits to going to rehab when it comes to treating addiction. Keep reading to get a better idea of the advantages when it comes to going to rehab.

Benefits of Getting Addiction Treatment

A recovery center provides recovering individuals with a structured environment and treatment plan. In residential treatment, specifically, each day consists of a routine. This routine is full of evidence-based treatment methods, such as therapy and support groups.

There is little free time which is very helpful when it comes to temptations and cravings. We customize each treatment plan to best help the recovering individual. No matter what point you’re at, we’ll create a schedule and routine that helps you successfully overcome addiction.

You’ll have access to the highest quality of therapists and treatment methods. At Harbor House Rehab, we believe in treating the person from the inside out. We offer therapies ranging from cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy to group sessions and recovery meetings. Our treatment programs are designed to help you grow mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and even physically.

The community at Harbor House Rehab is one of our biggest advantages. Going to rehab means entering a whole new community of people. Our professional addiction counselors will help you from the moment you walk through our doors. You’ll be able to form meaningful connections with staff, as well as other recovering individuals. It’s especially helpful to be around others that are on a common journey.

Going to rehab means access to 24/7 medical care and support. Recovering individuals can be confident in knowing that there’s a professional staff ready to help them at all times of the day. This provides many individuals with a lot of relief. Addiction recovery can be physically and mentally exhausting. We’re here to help keep you motivated throughout the entire journey.

Need Help with Addiction? Call Harbor House Rehab Today!

Going to rehab is a courageous and admirable step to take. With the right resources and support, you can transform your life. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, we’re here to help you address them. Contact us today.… Read the rest

6 Key Benefits Of Going To A Private Rehab

the outside of a private rehab center represents the benefits of going to a private rehab

It’s hard enough to admit you have a problem. Then you have to ask for help. In 2016, 3.6 million brave souls did ask for help. 2.1 million of them received that help in a private facility. When you decide you’ve had enough and you need help, there are a lot of decisions to make. Deciding where to seek treatment is one of the most important of those decisions. Many times, a private rehab center may be the best choice for you. Here are six key benefits of making the choice to choose a private center to get the help you deserve.

1. They’ll Develop A Personalized Treatment Plan

There is no one reason why someone develops an addiction. The reasons vary from person to person depending on their life circumstances and their choices. That’s why one of the best ways to ensure a successful outcome is to develop a personalized treatment plan for each person who enters the private rehab. A personalized plan starts with diagnostic testing. Psychological assessments and physical exams are also performed. Each of the therapies offered as a part of the treatment plan is tailored based on a specific set of criteria. People have different learning styles and personal histories. Each patient’s needs will change depending on the type of substance(s) they use. How long the patient has been abusing the drug(s) of choice will also factor into the personalized plan.

2. Close Medical Supervision

A private rehab center can provide the type of close medical supervision someone recovering from substance abuse so desperately needs. Detoxifying from substances often requires medical attention. The body and mind will have different reactions when the drugs they were so dependent on to get them through the day are no longer being used. But there’s more to addiction than just physical addiction. There is always a psychological reason why the patient chose to start using drugs in the first place. In order to effectively get clean, both the physical and the addictive behaviors must be addressed and dealt with.

3. No Waiting List To Enter The Facility

Public rehab centers often have long waiting lists. When you’ve reached the point where you want to get help, time is important. The longer you have to wait, the easier it is to fall back into bad patterns and habits. It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t really have a problem. That you can control your addictions yourself. That you’re not really sick after all. Most private rehab centers can accept you immediately. The treatment begins right away. If cost is a worry, there are plenty of ways in which a private center can help you afford the care you deserve. Whether it’s working with your insurance company and even taking a look at scholarships and government programs, it’s about getting good help straight away.

4. A Private Rehab Provides Group And Family Sessions

No one can kick addiction on their own. A support system must be built up to help you transition from a life dependent on drugs to a life without drugs. That means getting other people who are suffering as you involved. A private rehab center offers group therapy. Group therapy is a great way to rebuild relationships and trust. It also helps build up independence for yourself, while allowing other people to help you out when you need it. Group therapy also teaches you that life can be lived and enjoyed without needing drugs or alcohol. This will help you increase your motivation to continue receiving treatment. It also helps improve your self-worth. You can begin to remember that you’re worthy of love and healthy life, even when you’re not the life of the party. Family sessions are also a vital part of receiving proper treatment at a private center. No one person in a family suffers alone. When one person is sick with an addiction, the whole family is affected. With family therapy, broken bonds can now begin to heal. It’s a way for the whole family to recognize the addiction for what it truly is. It’s also a way to share the fears and expectations that each family member has been dealing with. As the family begins to have an open conversation, old wounds begin the heal. New expectations and hope begin to grow.

5. Life Skills Training

Bad habits are learned when someone is struggling with addiction. These bad habits are hard to break and are easy to revert back to after you leave the private rehab center. New skills must be learned in order to cope with the reality of the outside world without turning back to drugs and alcohol. Life skills training involves communication techniques. This includes managing stress and anger. Time management and organizational skills are also taught to help the person create positive coping techniques and new lifestyle foundations. But it’s not just about managing your time to get through the day without relying on drugs or alcohol. Life skills training also includes learning how to take care of your body properly. This means learning about how to eat nutritious meals that help heal your body. It also means incorporating a daily fitness routine into your schedule. Patients are assigned on-site responsibilities to help them learn new and healthy habits they can use after they’ve left the facility to continue the healing process.

6. Transitional Planning

While at a private rehab center, it can feel kind of easy to start using your newly learned habits. It’s leaving and dealing with the real world that makes it a challenge. There are fewer triggers in a rehab center than you’ll find on the outside. Those triggers can be hard to ignore. That’s why 40-60% of all addicts relapse. This is why transitional planning is so vitally important to your treatment. Solutions for avoiding and handling potential temptations must be found. Triggers such as environmental, social, career, and interpersonal must be assessed prior to leaving with a proactive plan for coping with those stressors. Lastly, the more support you have, the easier it is for you to get and stay sober for good. That means leaving a clinic with referrals for physicians, therapists, and 12-step programs.

We’re Here To Help

Accepting help is hard. Most people feel broken and unfixable. But recovery is possible. Our testimonials prove that others have been successful which means you can be, too. Don’t wait to get the help you so desperately need and deserve. Call us today.Read the rest

How Harbor House is working to end domestic abuse during the pandemic

One in four women and one in 10 men in the United States live through intimate partner violence, whether physical or emotional. And while it could be predicted that those numbers would rise during shelter-in-place measures in the midst of a pandemic, many domestic-violence organizations saw their number of hotline calls fall by more than 50 percent.

“Here in Central Florida, we’re seeing the same number of cases as we saw before,” said Michelle Sperzel, CEO of Harbor House of Central Florida. “That in itself is scary because we know that domestic violence is increasing because of isolation. The reason we’re not hearing from people, we believe, and we’ve been told by survivors who’ve been coming in, is it’s been very difficult to physically get away. Or their abuser is home all the time, so their ability to reach out and call has been difficult.”

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Harbor House: more than a safe place for those dealing with domestic violence

Domestic violence is a complicated issue.

The reasons a person chooses to stay in or leave an unhealthy relationship are as varied as the people who find themselves being abused by someone they care about.

Keri McGregor is program director at Harbor House, a ministry of Catholic Charities. A sign welcoming clients is behind her. (Advance photo)

Keri McGregor, program director at Harbor House, a ministry of Catholic Charities, said that is why the case managers and counselors at Harbor House Domestic Violence Shelter work one-on-one with survivors. They help each person develop a safety plan and strategy just for them.

“It’s important that we are supportive and caring; there is no room for us to be judgmental in any way,” McGregor said. “Each person and case is unique, making each plan unique. In many cases, it takes the survivor seven attempts at leaving the abuser before the relationship is truly over.”

Harbor House has provided advocacy services for domestic violence for 26 years. Best known for providing emergency shelter, McGregor explained that Harbor House is much more than that. Through outreach services, including safety planning, protection order assistance, and counseling, Harbor House helps more than 8,500 people a year.

Harbor House also helps those who don’t need shelter

“Having an emergency shelter in our community for those in imminent danger is a blessing as it allows a safe place for women and children to stay so they can begin to heal, get their feet under them, and access the resources that they need to move their life forward,” McGregor said. “An even bigger blessing is that Harbor House can help thousands of other survivors who do not need a safe house, yet seek counseling, safety planning, and support through our outreach services.

Domestic violence happens every day in our community, she said, adding that it occurs at the same rate in all socio-economic groups, races, and faiths. It is a pattern of behavior in which one relationship partner tries to control the other through violence, intimidation, or threats. The abuse can be physical, emotional, or mental.

McGregor said that seeing firsthand the physical, emotional, and mental damage that one human is capable of inflicting on another is difficult but is balanced by witnessing the courage and resolve shown by survivors. Equally challenging for her and her staff of case managers, counselors, and support staff is to see what domestic violence does to the children who witness it.

“Too many children in our communities witness domestic violence,” McGregor said, adding that this can do significant emotional and mental harm to their young lives. “Our counselors help these children work through their experiences to give them a foundation for a happy, healthy life.

“This will help break the cycle of violence that is often passed down from generation to generation,” she said.… Read the rest

Different Kinds Of Home Rehab Projects

Different Kinds Of Home Rehab Projects

Real estate investors looking at the fix and flip model or the buy and hold model often look for properties that have some sort of value-add feature so that they can boost their investment through price appreciation.  Houses come in different conditions and investors should understand the different type of house repairs that will be needed as part of their investment decision making process.  This article looks at the different conditions investors can expect to find in a home bought for investment purposes.


The two main strategies are fix and flip and buy and hold.  With the fix and flip strategy investors are looking to buy a house that needs repairs, make the repairs and then sell the home for a profit.  With the buy and hold investment strategy the investor is looking to buy a house that needs repairs and then will keep that property in their portfolio as a rental property, making money from the rent and from the increase in value. Could be anything from a mobile home, to a single-family home or could be a barndominium.

As part of the buy and hold strategy or fix and flip strategy many investors will use cash or a hard money loan to make their purchase since the type of homes they are interested in usually do not qualify for a traditional mortgage loan.  Once the repairs have been completed the buy and hold investor will often times refinance the property into a traditional mortgage and take out cash at the same time to make another buy and hold purchase.


Houses come with different levels of rehab requirements and investment buyers need to understand the differences. With a light rehab most of the work to be done is usually cosmetic in nature.  Paint, updating cabinets with new stain and/or hardware, new carpet, refinished hardwood flooring, and an overall deep cleaning result in a home that looks better and will sell for more than if left as-is.  Generally the windows and doors are in working condition although new paint and new door hardware can improve the look and feel.  Light rehab can also include minor drywall repairs, upgrading fixtures (lights, faucets, etc.) and doing a landscaping refresh.  With a light rehab the exterior is in generally good calculating costscondition with only paint or simple exterior cleanup needed to improve curb appeal.


With a medium rehab, investors will be doing more than just cosmetic work as noted above.  The kitchens and bathrooms may have very old and outdated cabinets where staining/painting and new hardware simply won’t do.  Instead whole bathrooms and the whole kitchens may need to be remodeled.  That means new fixtures (plumbing and light), new tile, new tub/shower, new sinks, new paint and more.  Windows and doors may also need complete replacement due to age or functionality issues.  Generally with a light to medium rehab the investors are not usually having to redo plumbing or HVAC systems other than routine maintenance.  With a medium rehab the exterior may need some work such as new siding, gutter work, trim replacement/repair and more.


With a full rehab everything is on the table in terms of repairs/replacing things in a home.  A new HVAC install usually is needed with new ductwork as well.  Plumbing and electrical may have been stripped out of the home for the recycle value and thus needs to be entirely run again.  New roof, foundation and structural issues could also be part of the items that need to be addressed.  These types of homes will have old single pane or non-functional windows that need replacement.  Broken doors, walls that need new drywall in addition to new paint.  .

With these types of houses there may have been hoarders living in the place so there will be the need to remove any trash and excess items from the house.  With deferred maintenance like roof leaks and plumbing leaks that also means possible rotted wood and rotted floor boards that need replacing.  Outside of the frame and envelope of the house everything may need to be addressed in a home requiring a full rehab.


The level of experience of the investor and the strength of their team members are key in knowing what the investor should be buying.  Most investors regardless of experience can handle a light rehab and find plenty of ready willing and able contractors to do the work if they are not wanting to do the work themselves.  If they want to do the work on their own then light rehab is easier to handle and can be done quickly enough to make sure the costs of holding the property do not eat into the profit which is knocking over price cubesespecially important for those wanting to sell their property after completing the repairs.  Of course if an investor feels comfortable in taking on a larger rehab that works too but the investor should be careful they are complying with all building codes and obtaining the right permits for work.

Investors need to be coming in with a strategy of what type of property will work best for their situation and skill set.  Investors should also be working on building up a team to help with the process of buying, rehabbing and then selling or renting out the home.  Team members include a real estate agent, lender, contractors, and more.


Real estate investing when done right can be profitable and help build wealth over time.  Investors need to understand the different levels of rehab needed when considering a purchase so that they are only taking on what they can handle.  Potential profits can immediately disappear if a buyer gets a property needing more work that they are equipped to handle.


About the author: The above article “Different Kinds Of Home Rehab Projects” was provided by Luxury Real Estate Specialist Paul Sian. Paul can be reached at or by phone at 513-560-8002. If you’re thinking of selling or buying your investment or commercial business property I would love to share my marketing knowledge and expertise to help you.  Contact me today!

I work in the following Greater Cincinnati, OH and Northern KY areas: Alexandria, Amberly, Amelia, Anderson Township, Cincinnati, Batavia, Blue Ash, Covington, Edgewood, Florence, Fort Mitchell, Fort Thomas, Hebron, Hyde ParkIndian Hill, Kenwood, Madeira, Mariemont, Milford, Montgomery, Mt. Adams, Mt. Washington, Newport, Newtown, Norwood, Taylor Mill, Terrace Park, Union Township, and Villa Hills.

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How Harbor House Can Help

Harbor House offers these free and confidential comprehensive services to survivors of domestic violence and their children:

  • 24-hour crisis hotline
  • Crisis intervention
  • Emergency shelter
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Adult and youth counseling
  • Support and assistance with the court system
  • Transitional housing
  • Case management
  • Information and referrals
  • Prevention and community presentations
  • And more, depending on your unique situation

Our staff understands that each domestic violence situation is different. At Harbor House, we tailor our services to your specific needs.… Read the rest

Rehabbing Houses For Beginners

There are many real estate exit strategies for investors to choose from. Not surprisingly, new investors are often most familiar with rehabbing a house. While this particular strategy requires the most work, the rewards are well worth it. Rehabbing houses remains to be one of the most lucrative real estate investing strategies. However, it does require time and acute attention to detail. Investors hoping to learn the intricacies of a truly profitable rehab will need to familiarize themselves with many skills.

Those who are familiar with this particular exit strategy have most likely reaped its rewards for years. In fact, rehabbing has long facilitated the largest real estate investing profits. More importantly: any investor willing to learn the process can experience similar profit margins. Please note, however, that while rehabbing does allow for sizable monetary gains, it is not a guarantee. The only way to mitigate risk and increase profitability is to study the rehab process in its entirety.

It can be difficult to decide whether or not this real estate exit strategy could be right for you. Ultimately, rehabbing can serve as a good investing strategy when:

  • You do not need to be paid immediately.
  • You are intent on generating brand awareness, as it is a prime marketing opportunity.
  • There is a potential for large profit margins on a subject property.
  • The property is a safe location.
  • You have a trusted team to work with—this includes contractors, lenders, title company, etc.

What Does Rehabbing A House Mean?

The rehabbing definition is when an investor renovates a property to improve it. Rehabbing can be approached several ways but is most often purchased at a discounted price and renovated intending to resell. This process is also known as house flipping. As a real estate investing exit strategy, rehabbing can lead to high-profit margins. Rehabbing can also include property owners who renovate their homes for personal use or to increase property value.

[ Rental property investor, rehabber or wholesaler? Get to know which investing strategy is the best fit for YOU by attending our FREE online real estate class. ]



How To Start Rehabbing Houses

If you think rehabbing houses could be the right exit strategy for you, there are a few steps you can take to be sure. First, it is always a good idea to lay out your professional and financial goals. Ask yourself where you want to be in five, ten, or fifteen years and what type of money you need to create the lifestyle you want. Write your goals down as you go to get a clear picture of your ideal lifestyle. At the same time, try and reflect on your motivations. This can help guide your decision-making down the line.

After mapping out your goals, it’s important to understand your current strengths and weaknesses. Examine your existing skillset and take stock of your financial situation. Perhaps you excel at networking or are highly organized; these skills will help you determine where to start. Identifying your skills will also help you learn which areas to improve on.

Do not be intimidated if you feel like you have less than ideal finances as you prepare to start. There are several ways real estate investors can raise funding. For example, investors without significant funding can work with a private lender or business partner to get started. Be sure to read this article on raising capital for real estate to learn more.

Average Costs Of Rehabbing A House

The average costs of rehabbing a house range from $20,000 to $80,000, though the finished cost could be more. The biggest determining factor when pricing a rehab is the location, which impacts the cost of materials and labor. The age and size of a home will also influence the overall budget.

Certain renovation types can affect average costs as well. For example, structural changes such as foundation repairs or a new roof will be more costly. Kitchen and bathroom renovations are often in the middle range, while cosmetic fixes have a lower budget on average. Review estimates online when pricing your rehab project.

Rehabbing Properties In 7 Steps

It is important to understand that rehabbing is one of the most complex real estate exit strategies. There are so many components involved that risks may be hiding around every corner. Therefore, if you are new to the industry, you should always start with projects that require a minimal amount of work—this way, you are not immediately in unfamiliar territory that you are unable to navigate. Then, over time, as your knowledge and confidence are supplemented, you can begin to take on increasingly larger projects that ultimately prove to be more profitable.

The rehab process can be broken down into several stages, seven to be exact. We strongly advise you do the same for your rehab business, as it will help to streamline the entire campaign. It is important to have a proven system in place to save both time and money. The following provides a quick snapshot of the entire rehab strategy:

  1. Scope of Work Development: Draft a step-by-step checklist that itemizes exactly what your contractor needs to do throughout the entire property.
  2. Job Bidding and Contractor Selection: Let prospective contractors know you are not a retail customer by bringing in several to bid for you’ your business.
  3. Contract Communication at Signing: As an investor, it is important to protect yourself. Make sure the proper paperwork is signed before you start a rehab.
  4. Six Critical Documents: Make sure the following documents are signed: Independent Contractor Agreement, Scope of Work, Payment Schedule, Contractor Insurance Indemnification Form, W-9 Tax Form and the Final Unconditional Waiver of Lein.
  5. Managing the Rehab Process: At this stage you will be managing your contractors through the physical rehab.
  6. The Property Closeout: The property closeout must include a final walkthrough and the final payments to your contractor.
  7. Preparing to Sell: Get the property cleaned up as quickly as possible and ready to sell.

Types Of Rehabbed Properties

There are often several categories within a given real estate exit strategy, and rehabbing is no different. When it comes to a rehab project, there are three main types investors should be aware of:

  • Personal
  • Flip
  • Rental

While each rehab type may suggest its own independent exit strategy, these approaches are synonymous. The same basic principles of renovating and improving a property will still apply. However, when it comes to each type of rehab, the way profits are made will be slightly different. A good way to think about it is by considering the final goal of the renovation. Keep reading to learn about each type of property rehab.


A personal rehab is exactly what it sounds like: a property is renovated for personal use. This type of project is when a homeowner makes improvements for their own benefit. They can be related to functionality, aesthetics and even boost property value. Personal rehabs are often referred to as home renovations or home improvement projects.

Personal rehabs can serve as a good starting point for homeowners interested in flipping houses. Homeowners can learn the ropes while overseeing a renovation within their own home before moving into purchasing and renovating other houses. In addition, personal rehabs can be a great place to form a relationship with contractors, learn about a scope of work, and even project management. An added benefit is that a personal rehab can be done without time constraints or other pressures.


If you’ve ever watched HGTV, you likely already know what house flipping is. This popular rehab strategy involves purchasing a house, renovating it, and then selling it quickly for a profit. The key to a successful flip often lies in securing a good purchase price and completing the rehab quickly to minimize holding costs. When it cHowever, when to a flip, time is money. Therefore, it is imperative to complete a flip in the shortest amount of time possible to reduce the costs of owning and operating the property.

Investors interested in successful house flipping should understand their local market area and how it works. This strategy also requires a working knowledge of the industry and rehabbing process. A great place to start flipping houses can be by shadowing another investor through the process. Ask your mentor or another investor in your network if you can tag along with their next deal. This can provide a first-hand look at the importance of a good team, a quick timeline, and a healthy market.


This type of rehab project involves renovating a property to rent it out to future tenants. As you might guess, this process is very similar to a rehab and flip scenario, but instead of selling the property, you will rent it to a prospective tenant. Many investors will often start by flipping houses and then work up to adding a rental into their portfolio. This is a great way to earn a steady, passive income.

If you are unsure of whether or not to sell or rent a potential rehab property, look at the current market conditions. Pay attention to average rent, time on the market, and what inventory looks like in a given area. Additionally, before renting a rehab property, you will need to determine whether or not you want to manage the tenants yourself or work with a property manager. Ultimately, deciding between a flip and a rental will come down to your specific market area and real estate investing goals.

rehabbing properties

Working With Professionals

If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work needed to rehab a house yourself, it may be time to consult professionals. It is highly recommended to have a home inspection done before closing. If not, have an inspection done before rehabbing. A home inspection report will be an essential reference point professionals will use to determine the major areas that absolutely require rehabbing.

When rehabbing a house, professionals you can consult include architects, contractors, engineers, and interior designers. Larger projects, such as taking down walls, are usually not DIY projects, and professionals must be consulted for safety and to avoid causing major damage.

Rehab vs. Fixer-Upper

Rehab and fixer-upper are commonly used interchangeably, but they don’t capture the same level of work on a property. A rehab project generally involves a full renovation, and the help of professionals. If you need to renovate a bathroom, kitchen, or any structural elements the property is likely a rehab. In many cases, rehab projects take properties that are not up to code and make them habitable before they can be sold.

A fixer-upper refers to more casual renovation projects, and generally sticks to cosmetic fixes. Fixer-upper projects are more amateur friendly and involve lower technical knowledge to improve the property. A fixer-upper could include new paint, flooring, light fixtures, or other minor changes before being sold. Homeowners can typically live in a fixer-upper while making these changes.


Rehabbing a house is one of the most popular exit strategies in real estate investing, and rightfully so. Real estate investors of all backgrounds and starting points have come to know the benefits of real estate rehabs, and there is no reason you can’t either. To get started rehabbing houses, carefully layout your goals and identify which rehab type will best align with your situation. Learn the process before taking on your first project, and don’t be afraid to start small—there is no reason you can’t be successful rehabbing houses.… Read the rest