Founded by Lee Tillman in 1969, Dallas 24-Hour Club provides 24-hour housing services for addicts and alcoholics. The 24 has now been in operation for over 50 years. It includes 78 beds and hosts 37 Twelve-Step recovery meetings each week. As the name suggests, services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In 2021, the organization opened Tillman House, which operates as a sober living house for 24-Hour Club graduates transitioning out of full-time recovery, offering a solid space for long-term sobriety and recovery.
The 24 is the only operation of its kind in the metroplex that primarily provides housing at little or no cost for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts for up to six months. The 24 is neither a treatment center nor a halfway house, but specializes in providing safe housing and connecting residents to treatment centers, detox centers, healthcare providers, and multiple other sober living resources. This list is expansive and includes partnerships with several other related organizations in the Dallas area.
Perhaps what makes the 24 unique is its connection to its community.
The 24’s location includes a full-service restaurant, called The Hubcap Café, that feeds residents for little or no cost, with meals also available at a discount to the public. The dining room and kitchen are self-supporting, with the kitchen staffed by residents who are simultaneously trained to work in the restaurant industry.
CEO Marsha Williamson notes most sober living facilities are not open to the public; this is something that further distinguishes The 24 from other recovery resources. The 24 hosts a Steak Night fundraiser the first Saturday of each month that is open to the public with live music. The event provides supporters a chance to fellowship and support residents and enjoy a delicious meal.
For incoming residents, The 24 runs on a credit system. Williamson explained all residents are received even if they have no funds and build up credit they can pay back once they are financially stable.
“We welcome them into a family environment without any funds. They may leave owing us money, but that’s OK,” Williamson said. “Most of them are dealing with a lot of trauma, domestic abuse, and lost children on top of that.”
If residents stay and complete the six-month program, the benefits are multifold. While at the very minimum the program supports rehabilitation and sobriety, The 24’s restaurant also actively prepares residents for a return to independent life by training them to work in the restaurant industry.
Notably, many residents go on to become staff members at The 24. The majority of the staff at The 24 are alumni, which spurred the programs recently implemented resident liaison training program. During a six-month transitional period, program alumni can train to become mentors in The 24’s recovery programs.
“We don’t hire based on them being alumni,” Williamson said. “We hire because they’re good at their jobs.”
The fact that so many alumni go on to become staff members at The 24 is a testament to the efficacy of the program.
To learn more about how you can support Dallas 24 Hour Club visit www.dallas24hourclub.org.