“I was sick of going to funerals,” said Robbie Bills, “I know that I can’t stop it from ever happening again, but I can make a difference.” As an accomplished recovering addict himself he knew that he could help others struggling with addiction and he knew that he could do it more affordably.
When it comes to recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, Salt Lake City didn’t have many options until Robbie Bills made the decision to open a sober living home called Balance House designed to help its clients succeed in life. They provide life skills coaching in the form of resume writing, job placement, budgeting skills and interviewing techniques.
But Balance House is not your typical sober living home. Besides 24 hour supervision clients are randomly drug-tested and held accountable for their own recovery. Also balance house is fully owned by recovering addicts. “We have a lot of fun” explains Robbie “You have to be able to laugh and more importantly you have to show that you love, care and appreciate the guy and that you don’t confuse their addiction with stupidity.”
It is no doubt that Balance House is a unique and effective option for recovering addicts but without help from the UMLF, Robbie would not have been able to touch the lives that he has. After spending over $60,000 of his own money Robbie learned that in order to open his home the city required him to have a fire suppression system that would put him over the top financially. The UMLF provided Robbie with the funds he needed to install the system and get his business running.
Since their opening in 2012 Balance House has succeeded in many ways. They have passed the $1 million revenue mark, increased staff from three to seven people, and continually added beds. Over 130 men have gone through the Balance House program. In the future Robbie has plans to add an additional 112 beds and open a women’s facility.
At the Heart of Our Community are people like Robbie Bills and organizations like Balance House and the Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund (UMLF) where the goal is to help provide the necessary capital to put individuals and families on the road to greater self-sufficiency. It’s what makes Our Community great!
Robbie’s story is brought to you through the Utah Bankers Heart of Our Community initiative. For more stories like Robbie’s follow our blog at www.heartofourcommunity.com or on FaceBook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest #heartofourcommunity #utahsbanks #balancehouse #umlf