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New Resident Orientation & Intake Policies

The House Manager or Operator will conduct the new resident’s orientation. If a House Manager conducts the orientation, it is generally prudent for the Operator or staff to be present if able. The details of the House Manager’s role in the orientation are contained in the House Manager Handbook.

When the resident arrives, greet them and proceed according to the following plan in sequential steps:

  1. Describe the process. Describe the orientation process in detail to the new resident.

We will need to verify your identity

We will fill out and sign a Resident Agreement

We will then collect payment; the $200 pre-paid rent fee is non-refundable if you fail the screen

We will administer a urine drug screen, breathalyzer, and search your belongings

Then, we can move you in to your room


  1. Verify identity. Verify the resident’s identity with a photo ID.


  1. Resident Agreement. Fill and sign with resident. Make sure to fill in all blanks and obtain signature from the resident before collecting funds, conducting screens, or searching belongings.


  1. Collect monies owed. Collect required funds. If they cannot pay the full amount or have other payment issues, the Operator should be involved to make a call on what to do. Residents are typically required to pay first week or first month, plus the full pre-paid rent fee, however other arrangements may be made if approved by the Operator.


  1. Administer a urine drug screen and breathalyzer. If they fail the screen, they may not be allowed to move in except in cases of THC or prescribed medications. THC specifically can show up positive for up to a month after use. A resident may contest the screen results by visiting a lab to have bloodwork done but may not stay in the home until we have reviewed the results. Do not refund the pre-paid rent. This covers the cost of conducting the intake, holding the bed, and conducting the urine screen.


  1. Thoroughly search their belongings. Be cautious reaching into bags or boxes where you cannot see what you are touching. If you do find items on the Banned Substances and Items, this could be an opportunity to educate the new resident. All items confiscated should be turned over to the Operator. Prescription medication is subject to additional restrictions, see our Medication Policy.


  1. Review of policies, procedures, agreements, etc.

Review Resident Handbook – go over each section in detail and answer any questions

Review all house information with the new resident, including the following:

  1. Tour of home: common areas, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.
  2. Location of sign-in, sign-out table
  3. Location of emergency exits, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment
  4. Location of naloxone (Narcan)
  5. Lock code and use of doors in the house
  6. Restricted areas of the home
  7. Their room, their bed, their closet space and other storage concerns
  8. Trash day, trash policies, current list of chores and assignments
  9. Day and time of house meeting


  1. Tee Shirt. Participating Operators may present the new resident with a branded tee shirt.

Final Steps


Scan paper files. Scan all paper files especially the signed Resident Agreement. Leave all resident documents in the resident’s folder in your office.


Buildium move-in. See below for instructions. All new move-ins must be noted in Buildium as soon as is practical, but under no circumstances later than one business day after their move-in. Keeping Buildium current is the only way we can stay organized and properly inform residents as to the availability status of beds in our homes.


Resident check-in. After orientation, check on the new resident within the next week or so to see how they are doing in the home. Problems should be identified early, and any criticisms of the home must be taken very seriously. You cannot maintain high quality homes without feedback.


Referral check-in. After a referred resident moves in, it is important to check in with the referral source and update them on the status of the resident they referred. This is an important touch point which can set you apart from other homes and build your relationship with the referral partner.


Add notes. After checking in with the resident and referral source, add a Note to Buildium mentioning the check-ins and any further thoughts on the move in. Take note of how the resident is doing and any feedback they provide.

Intake Policies

Prescription Medication. Residents are allowed prescribed medication with certain restrictions. Residents must take medication exactly as prescribed and must provide verification of all prescriptions and notify House Manager each time a prescription is filled. House Managers conduct random pill counts for all residents. Residents who are prescribed controlled medication and wish to possess this medication in the home must do so with additional restrictions.

It is illegal to discriminate against residents prescribed medication by licensed physicians for medical conditions. As such, you must comply with the law while taking every precaution necessary to keep your homes safe. You can ask a prospective resident “what is this medication prescribed to treat?” Information regarding medications can be found on the DEA’s website, https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/.

Readmission. If a former resident reapplies, they may be readmitted to be a resident again, provided they meet certain qualifications. They must not have a history of egregious violations of rules and left on good terms. In the event they left owing a balance, they may come back provided the come up with some type of plan to repay their debts, even if on a long-term schedule.

Gender Identity. We do not discriminate against transgender applicants. Transgender applicants are placed in a home based on the gender with which they identify. We must not disclose someone’s gender identity to other residents. Residents must conform to the gender that they identify themselves as during drug testing.

Financial & Sources of Income. During periods of vacancy, you may consider a policy where residents may move in without money if they have a solid plan to obtain employment or otherwise secure income required to pay rent. This would be strictly on a case by case basis.

Deposit & Waiting List. We do not hold beds without a deposit and we cannot hold beds for more than 30 days. Waiting lists should be established for all full homes. Beds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Do not hold a bed for more than 2 weeks with a deposit. For anything longer, the resident can pay for the weeks that they want to hold.

Pregnancy. Pregnant women may move in, but because children cannot live in the home, they must have housing arrangements determined for after they give birth. You may refer elsewhere if this is not possible for the applicant. We do not encourage move-ins after 6 months.

Crimes. Approval for applicants who have been convicted of violent crimes can be considered on a case-by-case basis. Ask for details. How old is the charge? How likely are they to reoffend in the home?

Pets. Pets are not allowed, but service animals must be accepted. For an animal to qualify as a service animal, you must be provided with a letter from a doctor or other medical professional stating that the animal is medically necessary. You also must be provided with a current rabies vaccine certificate from a veterinarian.

Bedding. New bedding should be provided for all new residents moving in.

Transportation. You can pick up residents on a case by case basis. They must have been approved and have paid online, mailed (and we have received) payment, or payment is being held by a third party. Use discretion based on distance. House Managers with a car can pick them up also. You must have adequate auto insurance in order to pick up a resident.

Missed Move-In. If a scheduled move-in appointment is missed, it is appropriate to call and reschedule. Ask why they missed the appointment. Repeated missed appointments will not be tolerated. Use judgement in handling any rescheduled move-ins.

Payment Arrangements. The Operator may make an arrangement with a prospective resident at their discretion. Consideration should be made as to how many empty beds are in the home, availability of scholarship programs, or other factors.

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