By Kimberly Donahue, WIBW

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Topeka JUMP is looking to increase the number of Oxford Houses in the area.

Rooms in Oxford Houses are rented by recovering drug and alcohol addicts.

Roger Schmidt has been living in the Reuben house in Southwest Topeka since last December.

“I came here to save my life,” he said.

“I struggle with depression, PTSD, those things where I was at, I was living alone and that wasn’t a good thing, being here we’re kind of a family we’re pretty close-knit and just having the guys around to talk to and bounce things off of has been beneficial they’ve been real supportive.”

There are three rules of the house: no drugs or alcohol, pay weekly rent and do not engage in disruptive behavior.

Schmidt said living with people with similar experiences helps.

“They’ve all been through their rough times in life too so we can all relate to each other and help each other out through our own experiences,” he said.

“Truthfully it’s been kind of comfortable because I know and they knower’ every all been down in the dirt and we’re rising above it kind of like the Phoenix rising from our own ashes.”

Carole Denton, a member of Topeka JUMP said a community aspect is a key part of recovery.

“As we have done research with addiction care professionals they have identified that lack of community is one big factor for people who are in recovery they may feel isolated and go back to their same environment where other people are using drugs,” she said.

“So the benefit of Oxford Houses is that the people in recovery can live together and keep each other accountable and they understand what they’re going through so they can help and encourage each other and keep each other on the right track.”

Oxford Houses have helped people like Steve Morris who said the housing helped him get many opportunities.

“Life again, family life again, a job that I’ve had for five years that’s something in the last 20 years I didn’t have,” he said.

“You have a chance and if you want to take that opportunity to use it you can use it.”

Morris is hoping more people can get the help they need by expanding the number of Oxford Houses.

“If we have more access to beds it gives more people a chance to have a clean and sober life,” he said.

“Nobody in this house can judge anybody and that’s a big thing.”

Topeka JUMP plans to discuss their expansion plans at their virtual Nehemiah Action Assembly.

View the original story here.