Crossroads Antigua Acquires The Sanctuary

Located near Palm Beach in the epicenter of South Florida’s now thriving private treatment industry, Delray Beach has long been home to many halfway homes and sober houses. And next door in Boca Raton, Steve Manko runs Boca House, which, with 28 properties and hundreds of beds, is probably the nation’s largest for-profit sober living operation. These facilities, and many dozens of others in South Florida, have grown up in the last fifteen years as ancillary businesses serving the area’s treatment centers, which often recommend that their clientele remain in the area, at least for a time, before returning to the people, places and things of home. And, until Nancy Steiner and her husband Jeff came along a couple of years ago, for the most part the region’s sober houses charged modest rents of about $150 to $175 a week. But Steiner, a veteran industry clinician who was then working as a U.S. clinical outreach agent for Crossroads Antigua, got the idea that perhaps the market could support a high-end sober house. Along with her husband, who as an accountant has had several area treatment centers as clients, she bought a couple of neighboring houses in Delray Beach. They converted them into a high-end sober living compound, charging $3,500 a bed for mostly double occupancy rooms. Initially the going was slow, but business picked up and the Steiner’s eventually bought another house nearby, bringing their capacity up to 15 beds. Naming the high-end sober living operation The Sanctuary, Steiner left Crossroads Antigua to run the new operation, though she kept strong ties with her former employer, which began referring clients to the Sanctuary. And, late last year, with the business on solid ground and referrals coming in from such places as CRC’s Wellness Resource Center, the Hanley Center and others, Crossroads Antigua approached the Steiners about the possibility of acquiring The Sanctuary. A deal was closed to buy the sober living operation at the end of 2006 for an undisclosed sum. Crossroads CEO Tim Sinnott says that the acquisition represents an effort by the Crossroads Foundation, headed by guitar legend Eric Clapton, to expand the center’s operations from a continuum of care perspective, something the center has recently done on its home island of Antigua with the expansion of its Bevon House sober living facility there. But the Bevon House is used exclusively to service local Antigua clientele, so Crossroads has been looking for ways to offer continuing care services to the many clients from the U.S. and Europe who come to the center. “The acquisition of The Sanctuary in South Florida, a well known recovery mecca, is ideal for the purposes of serving our clients who are returning to the U.S.,” says Sinnott, who is proud of Crossroads’ reputation within the treatment industry as a center renowned for providing high quality care, in a high-end environment, at prices that are relatively affordable. Looking to provide continuing care for its overseas clients, Crossroads is currently scouting properties in the U.K..