Van Ness Recovery House in Los Angeles, CA

Overall Rating

(3.6 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
1919 North Beachwood Drive
Los Angeles CA 90068

Van Ness Recovery House Philosophy

The Van Ness Recovery House opened a 20-bed facility on Beachwood Drive in 1973 and became aware of serving its first HIV-infected resident in 1984. The program has since served 1,632 HIV-infected residents. In the past five years, 61% of transgendered clients entering the program have been HIV-infected, 80% of all residents have been HIV-infected and over 86% of the residents have been homeless, having had little or no reportable income of the previous year. Over 2500 men and women have been given a new start in life thanks to a community that cares.

Areas of Specialization

  • Residential Treatment
    Residential treatment programs provide housing (food and meals) in addition to treatment for substance abuse. Some facilities offer only short-term residential treatment, some offer only long-term treatment and others offer both, ranging from a few days to many months, based on patient needs.

  • 12-Step
    The term “12 Step Program” describes a way to recover from addiction that is based on the model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers base their treatment on 12 steps – the first three of which are situational, the next four addressing the practical issues created by the addiction, followed by two steps focused on making amends for hurting others. Steps 10 and 11 involve a deeper examination of the previous steps and the final step is focused on helping others avoid and recover from addiction.

Facility Highlights

Sober Living

Employment Program

Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and heterosexual communities 360 Guide

Review by Contributors


Located in Los Angeles, Calif., Van Ness Recovery House provides residential treatment to adult men and women struggling with substance use disorder. Catering to the LGBT community, it's among the 27.1 percent of treatment facilities in California to offer programming tailored for LGBT individuals.


Clients receive an assessment upon admission, which is used to create an individualized treatment plan. The program lasts between four to six months and offers an average of 88 hours of treatment per week. In 2017, only 33.6 percent of treatment facilities in California offered residential treatment that lasted longer than 30 days.

In addition to attending group therapy, 12-step meetings, and one-on-one therapy, clients also have the opportunity to find jobs and move to a sober home toward the end of their stay. Van Ness is also among the 61 percent of facilities in California to provide HIV or AIDS education, counseling, and support.

The facility hosts a variety of house meetings every week such as CMA Panel, alumni meetings, OA Meetings, and AA meetings.


Staff include HIV/STD counselors, sponsors, therapists and psychiatrists trained to help clients deal with issues such as internalized homophobia, childhood sexual abuse, repeated incarcerations, acceptance of HIV, and both diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health disorders.


Residents live in a large house with a backyard and an outdoor pool. Activities include walks, art therapy, movie viewings, Big Book groups, and meditation. Clients also begin paying bills after finding employment. Smoking is not permitted at the facility.


The majority of former clients surveyed by to date (three out of four) have Van Ness Recovery positive feedback. They described the staff as caring and the rehab as an effective, no-nonsense environment for people who are serious about getting sober. "No frills, serious recovery house," an anonymous alum wrote in a representative review. "Foundation in AA and sobriety were strengths."

Alum E.B. awarding the facility high four-star ratings for the staff's level of experience and training, ability to treat co-occurring, and the likeliness they'd recommend the facility to others. "The staff at this facility are the most loving and caring people I've ever me in my life, they love you till you can learn to love yourselve," E.B. wrote. B.C., the one negative reviewer, noted that the program's tough love approach did not work for him.

Van Ness Recovery also fared well on secondary sites, where it earned an average rating of 3.9 out of five stars based on 14 Google reviews[1] and a 4.4 out of five star rating based on the opinions of 70 people on Facebook, which the facility may manage[2]. Across both sites, the majority of alumni who left comments reported that the treatment was effective, and praised the facility for its strict and highly structured approach. "Tough love but you will never forget what u learn... and its a lot if u learn and absorb," John wrote in a representative review on Google.


Rocco, the sole loved one polled by to date, gave Van Ness negative feedback, giving the facility just one out of five stars for its treatment effectiveness. They also claimed that the facility's connectivity policy and family involvement were terrible. "Didn't allow me to be a part of anything and made him believe I'm the enemy," Rocco wrote.


According to Van Ness's website, the center doesn’t turn clients away for either their inability to pay or HIV status.

[1] GoogleReviews

Published on July 2019

User Reviews

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
My Partner entered this so called Rehab and it pretty much followed the script Ive read happened to peoples loved ones. the imposed the 60 black out period. Our last phone call at that time was him wrestling with someone for the phone, he yelling my name and people in the back ground screaming no at him. and silence.. No one would tell me what happened. I asked to speak to a director or a councilor but no one would or did. After the 60 days, when I head from him - he was angry, hostile. paranoid like he was still using. blaming his drug use on everyone but himself. Way to go van ness. You turn a drug users psychosis into reality for him. he basically told me they are feed a script to tell their loved ones but it was to save his life. That was one ten minute call and he has since disappeared. no family therapy no repairing lives I believe that they try to break up couples and brainwash them into drinking their Kool Aid - their new addiction


  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
no frills, serious recovery house�foundation in AA and sobriety were strengths.


  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
I give four stars across the board. This place is not a joke, not a meal, not a roof, not your moms house. I was just told to pack my bags because I treated it as such. If you want Recovery and are serious about getting clean and sober this is it. I learned a lot and have tools for sobriety if I so choose to use them. Good house and can feel the recovery. Goddess blesses you.


  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
It provides behavior modification, and it serves but not exclusively the lgbt community. The love too much. ` The staff at this facility are the most loving and caring people I've ever me in my life, they love you till you can learn to love yourselve .they also provide job training and assistance with finding a job towards the end of the program truly an amazing place. At Van ness you don't find yourself you build yourself from the ground up. This place will always be my home it's we're I learned about honesty, integrity and how to be a friend.


  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
If you want an in your face kind of place, go there. Unfortunately for me it does not work. I need a more gentle approach, leading to me wanting to know more about addiction and feelings than simply doing something because I\'m afraid to be yelled at.

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