A Community within a Community
Perhaps the single hardest thing a person (or a family) can do is to ask for help—our clients, alumni, and their loved ones honor us by allowing us to walk beside them in the co-creation of their new lives. We take this trust seriously, and the results are self-evident: at nearly 1000 strong, our alumni community has become something we never could have imagined. This not only speaks to the fact that we have created a family, but more importantly, it demonstrates that our program is effective. Despite not scheduling every minute of every day for each client, our program works because our clients are honoring their own commitments and pursuing their own goals, not trying to “check the boxes” or “do their time.” Balance House alumni continue to recover and remain a part of our community within a community. We keep our alumni close; they mentor and/or sponsor our current clients, play with us on sober sports leagues, attend our semi-annual social and alumni events, and proudly wear their B|H letterman’s jackets—which they earn at 1 year sober. We know we’ve succeeded when a client who’s completed the program stops by to have a meal, get some advice, or just to come and hang out.
It is important to note that 98 percent of our clients come from out of state, and of those, 85 percent choose to make Salt Lake City their home after completing our program. What individuals discover when they arrive is a breathtaking area surrounded by 12,000-foot mountains. Our properties are conveniently located near some of the world’s best ski and snowboarding resorts, three of which were ranked in Forbes Magazine’s Top Ten Ski Resorts in North America, all of which are 30-45 minutes away.
More importantly, clients find a city that is impossible to outgrow. Utah has the sixth-lowest unemployment rate in the United States, currently at 2.4 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salt Lake City provides excellent educational opportunities through Salt Lake Community College, The University of Utah, Westminster College, and various technical/vocational programs that are easily accessible for those interested in continuing (or beginning) their education.
In addition, there is a thriving recovery community in Salt Lake City, with over 400 meetings per week and one of the country’s largest sober softball leagues. Balance House sponsors three teams, one house team, and two alumni teams, but participation in sports is not a requirement. There are numerous 12-step recovery related events every month, Refuge Recovery for those interested in a non-12-step approach to recovery, and plenty of other opportunities available throughout the Salt Lake Valley.