I’m pleased today to be joined with Jerry Short with Erik’s House of Healing, sober living in Aurora, Colorado.
It’s good to have you here. I feel like it’s taken forever to get this, mostly on my side. I think we’ve canceled and started three or four times, but it’s definitely been worth the wait. So thank you so much.
Today’s meant to be. Thank you. I appreciate you calling.
It’s very. I’ve toured a lot of sober homes and I’m honestly very impressed with the quality of what you’ve put together here. It’s a really lovely place.
I thank you. I wanted to make it nice for people.
Let’s talk a little bit about Erik’s House. We started that conversation a little bit earlier. What was the impetus for you to launch Erik’s house?
Well, honestly, I wanted to … My son and I, Paul, when he was with us, we wanted to make a house better than we could find for him. We wanted to have a place where people could feel comfortable in a nice location. I wanted to offer counseling while people are here without charging extra. We got our house therapy dog, Lucy. We just wanted to make a place for people to heal. It takes a good environment.
We talked a little bit earlier about Erik’s House. Erik was your son.
Erik was my son who unfortunately took after his daddy, and got involved in the drug world. Became a statistic. He passed away from his drug use day before his last court date. We miss him horribly. But I felt like he’s hear in name and I feel like he’s hear in spirit.
You’ve created a beautiful legacy for him. He’s healing people in name and in spirit.
He was a good soul, a good man. I miss him, but I’ll keep trying to help people. There’s too many people dying, too many families being torn apart. So we’ve got to do what we can to try to help.
And in addition to the power behind why you’ve launched Erik’s House, you’ve also had a longstanding career in addiction treatment. You’ve done a lot of treatment. You’re a therapist as well.
I am an addiction counselor and a recovery coach and an interventionist. I just got trained for EFT, and I keep learning more and more as much as I can to help people. I do everything I can to try and help people.
I can see that. If somebody were interested in being a resident here, what kind of services would they be expected to receive here?
I kind of like to balance accountability and responsibility with compassion and love. Everybody’s got chores to do. Everybody’s got to help keep the house clean. Everybody’s got to get along. If you don’t know how to cook, you’re going to learn. Cause you’ve got to eat. Sometimes they go shopping together. Everybody gets along, for the most part. It’s a good community of of guys here, people serious about recovery that really want to save their lives.
Do they do meetings? Do they go to meetings?
They go to meetings. I like to see people going to at least a couple of meetings a week. I’m not going to kick anybody out if they don’t, because I don’t want people to have to go. They’re not going to get really much out of it. I don’t care if it’s 12 step meetings or smart recovery. Sometimes I recognize they need a little more therapy than what they had in the past. I’ll set them up with maybe trauma therapy if that’s necessary or whatever’s going to help them.
And with your connections in the community, I’m sure you’re very well resourced to help find the right people for them, which is great. A lot of programs don’t have that, so that’s fantastic.
I try to keep in touch with experts in the fields.
And family programs. You mentioned on your website that there is a family component to what Erik’s House offers. Can you describe that?
I think what’s neglected a lot of times in treatment is people’s families. Sometimes there’s issues and the dynamics and the dramas of families that leads to and complicates a person that has a substance use disorder. I’m not a licensed family therapist, but I’ve done a lot of parent, couples with families. And that can be very helpful for when people are here. And then when they leave this house to go live back with their families.
Sometimes people forget that it’s a family disease. And the families sometimes even forget that they’re dealing with their own recovery process as well. And so it’s good to have that component. Again, I don’t know a lot of sober living specific programs that offer family components. That’s great to have that resource available for your residents.
Yeah, thank you.
I like to always get to know the person behind the programs. I’m going to ask you a couple of personal questions. Are you okay with that?
As me anything. I’m an open book.
Open book. Okay. If you had a giant billboard that you could say anything you wanted to the world, what would the message be?
There’s a good question. I guess the problem with addiction I’ve seen is that traumatizes many levels, physically, emotionally and mentally, spiritually. Heal the traumas to achieve balance and live a long life. I just made that up.
Very nice. Yeah. Then if I were to offer up the word harmony, what do you think it means to live a life in harmony?
I’ve always liked the name of Harmony Foundation. Harmony in the community, harmony within an individual’s life. I think what harmony does is it’s been so important for the state. For the country. Harmony’s been around a long time. Beautiful facilities. If I needed more treatment, that’s where I would go.
Sometimes people come up and if they don’t want treatment, they still want to check in because it’s beautiful. Except in the winter. Winters can be a little-
There’s beauty in winter, too.
There is. There’s a calmness and quietness to it. That’s true. And if someone wanted, who was listening today, wanting to access services and visit and spend some time here, how could they get in touch with you?
Easiest, most direct way is to call my cell phone. (720) 641-6529. I’ll do everything I can to help people get in and stay in recovery.
And you have a website as well. What’s your website?
It’s just erikshouseofhealing. Erik spelled with a K. E-R-I-K. Erikshouseofhealing.com.
Jerry, thank you so much for giving the time and for the service that you’ve offered to those in recovery.