TGECI Housing
The Grand Experiment Charities, Inc.

A   New


A Short History of our
Housing Program and the
Ideals it is trying to instill
in its residents.

The Grand Experiment
Charities was formed
originally with the idea in
mind that filling the void
of lack of housing in the
social service structure as
it was a few years ago
when it related to the

"Did a person graduating
a treatment program for
alcohol or drug abuse in
the lake county area have
any other option with
regards to living
environment other than
returning to the old area
where they used their
alcohol or drugs?"  

The answer was the choice has been very limited.  This caused a number of
problems as we saw it and all it did was send people back to using or
drinking and the behaviors that related to that life style; crime,
homelessness, sexual abuse, and violence.

This is the solution we decided was the best course to take.

We decided to recruit property owners who were disenchanted with the
idea of continuing relationships with their current renters and talked to
them about offering people who were coming out of treatment a
different option to what has existed in the past.  The response has been
wonderful to say the least.

We started by suggesting the use of the Oxford Model for running the
houses and were able to create 21 new beds in 26 months in 3 houses in
the Lake County Area during 2005 -2006.  Here is the upside of this as we
see it.  First and foremost we had helped give 21men hope for their
future. Next we had helped take 21 men from a life of homelessness and
physical, emotional, and material bankruptcy and given them an
environment where they can grow into productive, law abiding citizens
with an attitude of returning what they have learned to those who come
behind them with volunteer service to the newcomer.  

Finally in the Fall of 2007 we were able to go to the next
step of opening actual Grand Experiment Houses with
our official approval of 501(c)3 status from the Internal
Revenue Service.   

We are honored to be able to make this announcement:  The opening of 3
new Grand Experiment Houses in our area.  The first house to mention is
the conversion of the Acorn House in Beach Park from an Oxford House to
TGECI-Acorn.  The house was fully chartered through our housing
committee and will be used as the model for the other houses in the
housing group to follow.  The second house to mention is the opening of
the TGECI-Hope House in North Chicago and this house is conditionally
chartered and has 4 new residents with room for a total of 5.  We also are
addressing needs of those communities outside of Lake County but which
have shown an interest in what we are doing and in responding to that
interest and fulfilling their need as well as showing commitment to our
mission with replication of our program as a staple for our growth, we
have opened the TGECI-Action House in Racine, Wisconsin where there
are currently 4 residents with room for 8 total and the house is in the
process of applying for their conditional charter.  As of April 2009 TGECI
Housing Program now consists of 3 houses.  We were notified by the men
in the Action House that they had started their own organization called Men
in Action and have decided to charter the Action House under this new
organizations program.  In November of 2009 we added the Horan House in
downtown Waukegan, Illinois with beds for 6 men/women to the Housing
Program and are currently in the process of opening a new house in
downtown Waukegan, Illinois with beds for 7 men/women, to be called the
Franklin House, with availability in Mid April 2011.
 Due to the change in the
public transportation portal through PACE Bus in northern Lake County, the
Acorn house in Beach Park lost the usable bus route and as such lost its
resident applicant flow.  We are sorry to say this house had to close in
August of 2014 due to this action by PACE having caused low occupancy
and thus the inability to financially keep the house open.

As we have grown as an organization and continued our mission we have
seen both success and failure and have become stronger as an
organization because of working through those experiences.  We have
expanded our knowledge base in dealing with people in the recovery
process and addressing continuing needs that we find are not evident in
all cases but yet become accute to the individual.  We have learned that
our successes have come from keeping things simple and keeping what
works so when opening The Grand Experiment Houses we have instituted
a new house manual for those to follow.

This manual incorporates new rules for the houses to follow that address
issues we have found to be common in a group living situation and not
addressed in the Oxford Model.  These new rules apply to behaviors
demonstrated that help an individual reintegrate into the community as a
fully functioning individual.  The rules are designed to develop behaviors
that seek to commit a person to either working in an existing community
project or if one has the desire to, then start their own project that they
can  involve their community in.  The idea is to bring a person out of the
sole existence of just recovery related situations and more in to the main
stream of their community and thus expanding their life experiences, their
friendship base, their spiritual balance and their life successes all working
to improving self image and self sufficiency beyond the staples of working
a recovery program through an independent 12 step fellowship group and
gainful employment.

We think the Experiment is a continuing success and ask any of you who
are interested in knowing more to contact us at our phone number listed
on the welcome page or fill out an information request on our contact
page.  We will be happy to share with you the joy of giving to others and
living their successes with them.

The Oxford House
Model group
home system of
operation is a well
designed model
that was started in
1978 and has been
in existence for
many years
. It
has been
replicated in
many ways by
many other
groups operating
similar systems.  
The Oxford House
Model designates
the operation for
each home to be
self run and self
governed by the
members who live
in the home.  
There is one
steadfast rule
that means
eviction...Use of
alcohol or drugs
either inside or
outside the house
by any
are 2 other rules
that are strictly
monitored and
can lead to
eviction.  The first
is no disruptive
behavior inside or
outside the
second is that
each member
must pay their
equal share of
including the
lease payment.  
In becoming a
member of an
Oxford House the
individual waives
any due process
from local
landlord tenant
laws and subjects
himself/herself to
a majority vote of
the members with
regards to
admittance and
eviction.  The
Oxford system
has been a great
success because
it teaches the
individual to live
among others,
and regain self
respect, and self
confidence.  The
individual also
lives with others
in the same life
circumstances as
they and e
can support one
another by
strength, and
hope.  The
requirement for
membership in an
Oxford House is
having 30 days
clean and sober
and remains a  
solution for help
in bridging the
gap from active
alcohol or drug
use to
TGECI would
like to talk a bit
about The
Oxford House
model for group
housing that we
built our own
program from.
    > > > > > > > > >
TGECI  Horan
Opened in November 2009, Horan
House has beds for both men and
women and has been a big
success in our program having
been financially stable and
keeping beds full with little
relapse turnover.
TGECI  Franklin
Opened in April 2011, Franklin
House has beds for both men and
women. The house is our early
recovery house that accepts
applicants with very little
clean/sober time but can
financially meet their responsibility
and show a sincere desire for
TGECI  Alumni
Opened in June 2012, Alumni
House has beds for both men and
women. The house is our Alumni
recovery house that accepts
applicants with significant
clean/sober time and have lived in
and financially met their
responsibility to a recovery group
home either with TGECI or another
similar program.