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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Apartments offer new take on sober living

Stephen+Flournoy+%28left%29+and+Stephanie+Pelletier+%28right%29+work+on+finding+more+job+resources%2C+Thursday%2C+June+29%2C+2023%2C+at+The+Vibe.

Stephen Flournoy (left) and Stephanie Pelletier (right) work on finding more job resources, Thursday, June 29, 2023, at The Vibe.

The Vibe, a new sober living apartment complex in San Marcos, offers a first of its kind experience. Recently opened, the complex requires at least one year of sobriety. 
Stephanie Ramirez Pelletier, the founder of The Vibe and seven years sober, decided to open the complex to combat issues she and other people who have experienced sober living have had, such as cramped conditions and high costs.
“[The Vibe is] completely different from my experiences,” EvaLe Adams, who went through sober living in Austin, said. “In my personal experience [with sober living] it was all about money. They had three girls living in a garage they had sort of redone and were charging them $700 a month.”
Sober living is a step in the recovery journey, and comes after completing rehab. For some going through sober living after rehab, and in some cases jail time too, it can feel like an extension of their punishment.
“It’s almost like a jail situation. It felt like a continuation of jail,” Adams said. “I didn’t feel free until after I was out of sober living.”
Pelletier hopes to create a more relaxed and positive healing environment for residents at The Vibe. Pelletier’s main method is trying to foster an internal community.
“We’re basically trying to create a community of people in recovery,” Pelletier said. “If someone is having a real problem, or a real hard time downstairs… there isn’t anybody who hasn’t been there.”
When Adams was going through her sober living she was forced to share a room with two other women. Cramped conditions like that are common at sober living facilities across the country, but at The Vibe, residents will instead share three bedroom apartments.
“There’s hundreds and hundreds of regular, you know, four or five to a room sober livings, especially in Austin,” Pelletier said “I want it to feel like you’ve upgraded your life because that’s what you do when you get sober, where you’re excited to come home to your nice room and your nice bed.”
Stephen Flournoy, who works at The Vibe and has helped get the endeavor on its feet, has been sober for a year now. He joined Pelletier to try and move the industry in a positive direction.
“Once you get in it, like you have the best intention to get sober,” Flournoy said. “Once you’re there for three, four or five months you start to notice that this [sober living] sucks because the owners of the sober living are just trying to fill beds.”
For Pelletier, The Vibe is not only a way to help others, but a step on her and her families path to recovery from addiction.
“Earlier this year one of my kids had a stroke from fentanyl. I had set up the apartments for them when they got sober and it’s not going to happen now,” Pelletier said. “So I just had all this love to give and I didn’t know where to put it. This became the new thing we’re doing as a family like, to heal, but also because it’s a great city to get sober in.”
Pelletier and Flournoy both hope their experiences with sober living, and the struggle of sobriety has given them the insight to create The Vibe.
“They [sober living owners] haven’t been through it. It’s like they’re trying to get rich off it, and make as much as they can,” Flournoy said. “That’s why I jumped to the door of this opportunity for this because it’s refreshing man. It’s like above the fray of all this.”
Pelletier and Flournoy hope that by coming in and changing sober living, that they can reshape the way the industry operates.
“The goal here is that because we’re the first, we’ll set a precedence and fair markets,” Pelletier said.
To help residents rebuild their lives the team behind The Vibe are hoping to partner with local businesses to offer resources, such as therapy, recreation and jobs.
According to Pelletier and Flournoy, one of the major goals for The Vibe is to find low-cost, or even free counseling for residents, in order to connect them with professional mental health resources.
“I don’t feel like you can have a healthy recovery without counseling,” Pelletier said. “No one is born an alcoholic, no, we’re born into trauma. Almost all addiction is rooted in mental health or some form of trauma that hasn’t been addressed.”
More information about The Vibe and the resources they offer can be found on www.liveinthevibe.com/

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