The Valley Lodge in Burbank, California has the reputation of being Southern California's oldest sober living home.
The house was founded just 14 years after the inception of AA in North Hollywood by a group of recovering alcoholics.
In 1953, the Valley Lodge moved to its current location in Burbank.
The Valley Lodge originally provided accommodations for 20 men, but in the past several years, has reduced the numbers to 12 men, with the idea that quality is better than quantity.
There is a meeting hall on the premises, adjacent to the house.
Valley Lodge's mission is to help recovering alcoholics stay sober, while building a 12-step foundation.
The Valley Lodge is just a few miles from the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.
The house is a quaint one-story bungalow with a gabled roof and a small covered porch by the front door. The house includes a paved pathway, a pristine lawn, shrubs and a tree.
There are four men to a room, which includes two bunk beds, storage cubbies and dressers, of which each client is allotted three drawers. Additionally, the men are provided plastic storage bins to stow their shoes and other items under the bunk beds.
The fully equipped kitchen includes a microwave oven and extra refrigerators. Clients receive three meals per day, which are prepared by a chef. Typical dinner entrees include pork chops, spaghetti, and meatloaf.
Residents have access to ample supplies of coffee.
While visitors are allowed during certain times, clients must meet them in the on-site recreation room. The kitchen is off-limits. House Manager Ray lives on the premises, and has been clean and sober for over 20 years.
Rules and Regulations
Potential clients undergo a face-to-face interview with staff to determine if the Valley Lodge is an appropriate fit. Certain admission criteria include a willingness to embrace the 12-step program, as well as a desire to be accountable in all areas of life.
Prior to admission, clients must pass an alcohol and drug screening, and have completed detox.
Requirements include attending five weekly 12-step meetings, performance of household chores, obtaining and maintaining an active relationship with a sponsor, working the steps and actively seeking or maintaining employment. The curfew is 11 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
At the Valley Lodge, a zero tolerance policy is enforced. Random drug and alcohol screenings are conducted and residents who relapse are immediately evicted from the premises.
The Valley Lodge's meeting hall provides weekly 12-step meetings, which are also open to the public.
The Valley Lodge celebrates its anniversary in conjunction with AA Founders Day, which is June 10. An annual celebration is held at the Lodge, and is open to recovering alcoholics and addicts from the local community.
The Valley Lodge truly upholds the altruistic principles of Alcoholics Anonymous—to be of service to their fellow alcoholics. This historical little sober living home is the real deal. Not only is it affordable, but also the staff cares about the well being of their clients. The only drawback is that those seeking an alternative to the 12 steps should keep looking, as a willingness to embrace the steps is mandatory to a successful stay here.
The Valley Lodge
446 North Varney St
Burbank, CA 91502