Building the “Mecca” of Recovery The St. Paul Sober House Network

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Jeanelle Carufel
Teresa Gowan


The St. Paul sober community is a compelling area of research. Most people involved in this community are extremely willing to be an open book for anyone willing to listen. Many have stated that St. Paul is the sober capital of the country due to the strength and fellowship found within it. We wanted to investigate through the avenue of interviews why it’s such a hub that draws people looking to gain sobriety from across the country. Sober housing plays an imperative role in the success of sober folks in St. Paul and should not be overlooked when it comes to the draw of this community as it aids in building the foundation for sobriety. The dynamics and encouraging characteristics of sober housing are key for people working their way towards sobriety. Folks travel from their usual stomping grounds, coined as treatment migrants, to be a part of this camaraderie. Rather than work on sobriety in isolation, they need the support of St. Paul’s strong community. Dependence on substances can throw curveballs into people’s lives, but the St. Paul sober community offers ways to subside the negative impacts that addiction can have.

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