Residential Advisors: Practice for the Next Step

Waverly C | The Verve Residential Advisor

When Jude asked me if I’d like to be the Residential Advisor at the Holmby House, I felt honored. “This is going to be pretty cool,” I thought. I’m moving in the right direction. I’ve risen in the client ranks, being promoted from a regular client to a client with greater authority and responsibility. Now that I hold the title of Residential Advisor, what does this mean though? What authority does this title actually give me? What duties must I now perform? With great power comes great responsibility. I say this jokingly, but I truly do have a greater obligation and commitment to the house and my fellow housemates. That increased accountability has carried over into my recovery. The Holmby House is a Verve house, and so we don’t have the overnight staff as the other Transcend houses do. When the daytime staff leaves at midnight, I am responsible. While Program Directors are always just a phone call away, I become the eyes and ears of the house, the boots on the ground support. It’s important then that I lead by example 24/7. Clients and other staff members need to feel that they can trust and depend on me. This means doing my chore every day, being an active participant in house activities, working a solid program, and showing respect to all the ladies in the house. I’m not perfect though, and as a client, I’ve certainly gossiped and made comments about others in the house that didn’t serve to bolster my fellow residents. Now that I am a residential advisor though, I know that my behaviors and the way I present myself is ever more important. I have a duty to create a safe and supportive space for my fellow residents, and it’s very important that every girl in the house feels comfortable coming to me with a problem. As a Residential Advisor, that’s probably the most important thing to me. It’s also most important in my recovery. I am becoming an honest, productive, and giving member of society. That practice starts with me and the role I play within the Holmby house. I want to do for others what has been done for me, to be of service whenever I can.