Sunrise House: A True Sanctuary

Throughout history, story after story has been retold of troubled individuals seeking to escape their demons and peril, seeking sanctuary at the doors of a church or monastery. No questions asked, no judgement offered—all an individual had to do was knock on the door, claim “sanctuary,” and be welcomed into the safe presence found there, warmly lit by candlelight, their darkness and enemies left at the gate.

One such AAC facility has a similar reputation, with a bit of a modern twist.

The History of Sunrise House

Many have walked the serene courtyards at Sunrise House, an AAC Facility, and found peace with their struggle with addiction. Not many people actually know its roots and what makes it so special. Estela Rowe, Director of Admissions, sat down and shared the story of this special place of restorative healing.

Before its transformation into Sunrise House in 1982, the facility was known to the community as Christ House, owned an operated by a brotherhood of Franciscan monks. Christ House was a cornerstone of the community, acting as a centralized infirmary and religious retreat for those who needed to escape, commune with God, and rebuild crumbling relationships with special people in their lives. Since its inception, the former Christ House had been an established haven for those seeking to retreat and find themselves again through physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.

It is said that the great Mother Teresa once visited the halls of the former Christ House, choosing to reject a bed and sleep in a tent instead, in keeping with her vow of poverty.

When Sunrise House was founded, it was a 25-bed facility focused on those struggling specifically with alcohol. Gaining a reputation in the community for its superior programs and care, Sunrise House quickly flourished to a 90-bed facility. Throughout its history, Sunrise House has been a beacon for those around it, being specifically chosen for the care and rehabilitation of 9/11 victims as they recovered from the aftermath of the traumatic event. A gifted flag from Ground Zero is still proudly displayed as a token of the Sunrise House team’s dedicated care.

Sunrise House has always been innovative in its treatment approaches. It was one of the first treatment programs to offer a “Mommy and Me” program that worked to keep the family together in the midst of healing from substance abuse. While that program is no longer active, Sunrise House is still firmly committed to the long-term recovery of the individual and the healing of the entire family.

Continued Dedication to Healing

Sunrise House knows for its dedication against substance abuse and addiction

Sunrise House continues to be known for its dedication to the battle against substance abuse and addiction. While it is no longer a monastery, patients and their loved ones can still find restorative peace with the welcoming courtyards, stained glass windows, and calming presence of both building and faculty. Sunrise House remains a sanctuary to all who enter its doors. Sunrise House is a comprehensive drug and alcohol rehab in New Jersey.

If you find yourself struggling with darkness and you need a safe space to find yourself again, contact one of our Admissions Navigators at and claim your own “sanctuary”. Your temptations and battle won’t go away, but inside the walls of Sunrise House, you can regain the inner strength to face them again with the tools, resources, and healing you will find here.



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