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Home for women in recovery opens in Minot

Assistant Manager Sarena Jenkins and Manager Carolyn Engh sit Monday in the dining room leading into the living room of The Sanctuary, a Sober Living house for women recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. Jill Schramm / Minot Daily News1 / 2
A meditation room in The Sanctuary gives women a quiet place to reflect. Jill Schramm / Minot Daily News2 / 2

MINOT—Women in addiction recovery who need a place to transition into their new lives now have a sanctuary in Minot.

The Sanctuary is a sober living home that opened May 1 to provide a supportive environment for up to 14 women recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction.

Manager Carolyn Engh and assistant manager Sarena Jenkins, who are additional residents of the house, said Monday the home has acquired its first transitional resident and has another moving in this week. The Sanctuary, a nonprofit corporation, continues to take and review applications to fill other beds. Women can self refer or be referred by an agency.

Applicants include those coming from treatment programs, probation and parole, or the Ward County Jail. Although many residents are expected to come from the Minot region, The Sanctuary is open to any woman and has received applications from outside the region or other states, typically from women with connections to the area.

"An individual really has to want recovery in order to be in this house because that's what this house is about — safe, supportive, 100 percent sober living," she said.

Women also must be adults who are employed or in school at least part-time. They each pay $500 a month for rent. Women prepare their own meals and are assigned chores to be completed each morning. They sign in and out when coming and going, which Engh said teaches accountability and ensures staff can contact them in emergencies.

Residents are required to attend meetings through recovery programs. Random drug and alcohol testing is required. Anyone testing positive is immediately evicted under the zero-tolerance policy.

The four-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath house features multiple congregate living rooms as well as a shared laundry room and outdoor deck. A salon room is being created where women can get ready for their days.

Group living is part of the recovery model, Engh said.

"We don't want people isolating. We don't want people not bonding as a family," she said. "We are all women in recovery and we support each other."

The recommended stay is nine months to a year.

Between them, Engh and Jenkins keep a 24/7 presence in overseeing the home.

Engh, a Minot native, was a resident who became assistant manager and eventually manager at Hope Manor, a Bismarck transitional home similar to The Sanctuary. Jenkins, a Williston native, is a previous resident and former assistant manager at Hope Manor.

"If I didn't believe in the miracle this can produce, I wouldn't be here. It saved my life," Jenkins said. "I don't think I would have gone into a life of recovery without the hope and guidance of Hope Manor."

The Sanctuary is self-funded and welcomes donations. Engh can be contacted at TheSanctuary2018@gmail.com or 701-500-2216. Donations can be sent to The Sanctuary, P.O. Box 1944, Minot, ND 58702.

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