Are you or a loved one looking for a sober living program? Give us a call! 424-327-4614

Are you or a loved one looking for a sober living program?  Give us a call!

Transitional Living: Understanding Its Definition and Importance

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Table of Contents

Transitional living programs are a common next step for individuals who undergo major life changes, such as completing a treatment program or being released from prison. These facilities provide a safe and structured environment where people may learn independent living skills while gradually reintegrating into society.

Find out more about transitional living and its various types of programs.

What is Transitional Living?

transitional living what is transitional living Design for Recovery

Transitional living is the blanket term for a house where people temporarily reside as they readjust to regular life. It is a type of housing program that provides structure, supervision, counseling, and assistance for homeless youth or people struggling with addiction or domestic problems. Most young people consider transitional living after a major life change, such as completing a treatment program or being released from prison. Transitional living is typically run by governmental agencies, religious groups, and charitable organizations.

Examples of transitional living arrangements include halfway houses and sober living homes. A halfway house is a government-run facility mainly used for court-ordered stays. This type of housing is frequently occupied and built up like a dormitory. Compared to a sober living facility, the living situation may be free of charge and far less ideal. On the other hand, a sober living home is structured as a regular home, complete with privacy and space. Young adults in sober living homes pay a rental fee and may be required to participate in 12-step meetings and therapy. 

What Types of Programs are Available?

There are many types of transitional living programs available. Here are the most common programs: 

  1. Addiction Recovery

Halfway houses and sober living homes are types of transitional housing for people recovering from addiction. These are communal residences where people can stay while they work on overcoming their substance use disorders.

The recovery home provides residents with the structure they need to conquer their addiction, build a strong support system, and transition back into normal living. Less restrictive than an inpatient treatment center, transitional houses for addiction recovery can be a group house or apartment. Residents are usually required to follow the regulations of the house. To maintain their sobriety, they are required to work during the day, adhere to a curfew, or undergo random drug testing. They are also responsible for the food, utilities, and rental payment.

  1. Homelessness

Homelessness is often attributed to socioeconomic factors such as poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to affordable housing. Temporary housing for those experiencing homelessness is provided through transitional living programs, which typically offer stays of six months to two years.

By providing a range of vital recovery support services, transitional living can help tackle the underlying issues that lead to homelessness. Transitional living generally offers supportive programs to help individuals enhance their well-being, employment, and educational opportunities. These strategies assist people in obtaining permanent housing as soon as possible.

  1. Domestic Problems

Transitional living has resources and trained staff members who can assist the family as a whole, including the children and parents. Not only does transitional living provide emergency shelter, but it also assists residents with obtaining medical care and child care, acquiring parenting skills, enrolling children in school, finding employment, and searching for more permanent accommodation.

A transitional center also offers family therapy and a foster care system that helps re-establish family roles and relationships. In addition, those who have been the victims of domestic violence may turn to transitional living for protective services, which helps them escape an abusive partner.

When people are going through a financial or domestic crisis, transitional emergency shelters are generally the first place they look for help. This type of transitional living helps individuals and families stabilize until they can locate a permanent accommodation that matches their needs.

Research shows that most transitional housing residents reported an improvement after being required to work with a case manager, attend meetings regularly, abstain from substance abuse, and focus on getting a job. Numerous residents cited these factors as the tipping point that allowed them to finally overcome homelessness and find stable living arrangements of their own.

The Benefits of Transitional Living

transitional living the benefits of transitional living Design for Recovery

For young adults with addiction or mental health issues, transitional living programs after completing residential treatment have produced many benefits. Most people who have undergone residential treatment are not yet ready for complete independence when they return to their home surroundings. Relapse often occurs because of the abrupt and overwhelming transition from a highly controlled environment to being on one’s footing.

As its name suggests, transitional living helps people transition from residential treatment or circumstances (incarceration, homelessness, or domestic problems) into leading independent lives. Transitional living also offers the following benefits:

  • It allows residents to employ the skills they acquired at a residential treatment facility.

  • It provides residents with onsite health services.

  • Transitional living provides structure.

  • It offers a secure environment far from harmful influences.

  • It allows young people to do things at their own pace as they get back in touch with loved ones, meet new people, and start or continue looking for work.

  • Transitional living helps create a sense of personal and social responsibility.

  • It offers a sense of independence and autonomy, which is important for developing confidence. 

Transitional living may aid in a person’s sustained sobriety by offering simplified access to support resources, such as law enforcement, social services, child welfare, legal services, affordable health care, and more. Additionally, having a secure place to live can lessen the likelihood of:

  • Substance abuse and relapse

  • Participation in a criminal activity

  • Physical health problems

  • A decline in mental and emotional well-being

Furthermore, a 2018 report by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services stated that transitional living programs aided more than 2,080 homeless young adults in the transition to independent living. 

Support Services Offered in Transitional Living Programs

transitional living support services offered in transitional living programs Design for Recovery

Transitional living programs help individuals regain independence and confidence. Those who have completed inpatient residential treatment can live in transitional housing and receive therapeutic care around the clock. In contrast to residential treatment, transitional living allows people to live independently and interact with the community, where they can practice healthy coping mechanisms to combat triggering situations.

Depending on the type of program, most transitional living facilities offer the following support services:

  • Peer Support– Living among others who are also recovering from addiction, trauma, or homelessness helps individuals share their experiences, gain support, and form lasting bonds.

  • Ongoing Therapy– Through an outpatient treatment program, residents can work closely with their therapists. As a result, they may focus on tackling the mental, emotional, and physical care plan they started working on while staying in residential treatment or prison.

  • 12-Step Meetings– 12-step meetings, such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, provide an opportunity to connect with people going through similar experiences and develop the tools necessary for long-term recovery.

  • Life Skills Training– A support team may offer guidance to individuals regarding their health and financial stability. They can equip the young and older youth with money management and educational tools needed to return to school or enter the workforce.

  • Employment Assistance– To help individuals get back on their feet after finishing treatment, transitional living programs offer resume-writing techniques and assistance in finding a job.

Looking for a transitional living home to help you on the road to recovery? Contact us at (424)327-4614 to learn more.

Transitional living programs provide a step forward for young adults who have recently graduated from a residential treatment facility, have been released from incarceration, or are otherwise experiencing homelessness. A typical stay in this program lasts six to eighteen months, although lengths of stay may vary based on each person’s specific needs.

Transitional living centers offer a supportive environment for people to rebuild their confidence, find compassion, rediscover their identity and self-worth, and establish lasting personal relationships. In a transitional living center, residents, staff, healthcare professionals, and case managers work together in various support services to facilitate the success of each resident’s long-term goals.

Eligibility requirements and services provided by transitional living may vary depending on the type of program. Most programs utilize the following admission criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must be prepared to maintain sobriety
  • Must be homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • Must display a strong drive to succeed in achieving recovery goals
  • Must display respect for property
  • Must display efforts and motivation to secure and keep a job
  • Must establish a record for following set rules
  • Must establish a track record of consistency in placement settings
  • Must prove capable of and eager to accept responsibility for actions

Transitional housing offers several support services for young people, including medical care and therapy, peer support, life skills training, education or employment assistance, referral to 12-step meetings, and more.

Young adults can benefit from staying in transitional living centers for six to eighteen months, or even longer or shorter, depending on their specific needs. After leaving transitional housing, most individuals can gain independence and develop skills that help them acquire regular employment and stable housing. Moreover, those who were abusing drugs or alcohol were able to overcome their addiction upon program exit.

There are several benefits to living in a transitional house, such as:

  1. Structure– Structure serves as the program’s foundation, regardless of the type of transitional home. Some transitional living centers will have a higher degree of structure than others. Some houses, for instance, may have rules such as a strict curfew or complete attendance at 12-step meetings and other social and cultural events.
  2. Support– Support for making positive changes in one’s life is the primary goal of transitional living programs. Support groups, life skills training, mental health programs, and even physical health care can all be accessed through referrals made by transitional living programs.
  3. Stability– Having a safe and secure residence provides a sense of stability, responsibility, and purpose. The stability people need to recover can be found in the structure and consistency of a transitional living environment.

Religious groups, charitable organizations, and the government may fund transitional living programs. The cost depends on the transitional living center.

Government-funded programs do not cost anything, while some programs, such as sober living homes, charge a monthly fee. For instance, the average monthly rent for a room in a four-bedroom sober living house may amount to $1,000 and above. This amount may be split in half to accommodate two persons in each bedroom with bunk beds at $500 each per month. Take note that some facilities may charge a higher amount.

There are a number of options for finding temporary accommodation. For homelessness, the Department of Housing and Urban Development may be able to provide referrals.

On the other hand, you can get recommendations for sober living homes by contacting your treatment provider. Meanwhile, if you are required by the court to live in a transitional facility, the court or your parole officer may provide you with referrals.

To know whether a transitional living facility is the right match for you, get specifics about the services they may provide. You may need resources like outpatient treatment or peer support groups to thrive in transitional living.

If you are battling substance abuse and have completed residential treatment, sober living homes can provide the support and guidance you need to transition into regular life.

At Design for Recovery sober living, we offer a secure and stable environment where you or your loved one can recover physically, mentally, and emotionally. We also provide a community of individuals who can empathize with your struggles. If you put in the time and effort, you can recover from your addiction and live a fulfilling, sober life. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and services.

  1. Wilder Research. (2015). Supportive Housing Outcomes in Minnesota. A Study of Outcomes for Formerly Homeless Residents.
  2. Administration for Children & Families. Transitional Living Program Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from


Edited by: David Beasley

David Beasley - Design for Recovery

David Beasley is a certified RADT (Registered Alcohol/Drug Technician). David, moved to California from North Carolina after many failed attempts to get sober.

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Charley earned his Masters of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).He teaches mindfulness to both adults and children in group setting such as schools, corporate workplaces, and medical treatment facilities.

We Can Help

Design for Recovery - Locations Pages Contact Form

Read More

Addiction & Recovery

Sober Living in Los Angeles - Design for Recovery

About Us

Design for Recovery empowers men struggling with addiction by providing 24/7 support, mentorship, and teaches them how to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

Chat with us on Facebook
relapse prevention

Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction? We can help!

Our advisors are waiting for your call: 424-327-4614

Reach out to us today.

Design For Recovery is committed to helping you or your loved one live a fulfilling life free from alcohol and drug addiction. Below you can find out what to expect when you contact us for help.

Call us at (424) 327-4614 or fill out the form below and we will be in touch with you soon.

Send us a message below and we will reach out to you.
Design for Recovery Contact - Popup