Glenn Langohr spent 10 years in some of California’s worst prisons on drug charges before becoming a best selling author. Now he is to producing a Docu-Reality TV show about a Sober Living Home which shines the light on the process of getting sober and staying sober in a house filled with alcoholics and drug addicts. Picture The Jersey Shore turned up to one million. Everyone that lives in the house has to feed the homeless at a Soup Kitchen once a week and maintain all the other rules, including a random drug test. Glenn works as the advocate in the series bringing in new arrivals, some of whom are just getting out of prison. All new arrivals begin their journey in a small spinner room to see if they are serious about sobriety. The GR1ND sat down with Glenn for a Q&A to discuss the series, what its about and where he is going with it.
What is the Hope House Men’s Sober Living about?
The Hope House Men’s Sober Living is a Docu-Reality TV Show idea I came up with. In California there are over 30 state prisons with over 80% of that prison population incarcerated with drug or alcohol related crimes, or addiction issues. Once a prisoner is released from prison, most go back to prison, but some choose to live in a sober living house. This TV show is going to shine a light on this process.
How did you come up with this concept?
I lived it. I went to prison 4 times for drug crimes that started as addiction and led to heavier drug crimes and longer sentences. One common problem was not having a stable place to live. Sober living homes offer a stable place to live where all who live in the home are trying to recover their lives from addiction. They all have a common goal, to stay sober, get a job, get their families back and focus on healthy dreams.
How did you get the people to come on the show?
I found a sober living home and put together a quick video to cover some of my vision for this funding project. The sober living I chose for the first shoot was already in place. I did add a couple of ex convicts I had done time with who both had previous experience living in sober living homes. I found another sober living home that I want to shoot 3, 22-minute episodes at that fits with my vision even more. At this sober living home, they take people straight out of prison or off the streets, as long as they are serious about sobriety, on a trial basis. This house has a “Spinner” room where the new arrivals start that is similar to prison conditions where there are 2 bunk beds to house 4 men. The entire house has 13 men who all have to donate a few hours a week feeding homeless people at a local soup kitchen, plus they give their testimony in other forums and are drug tested upon demand to stay in the house. Once residents find a job they have to pay about $100 a week to continue to live there. That cheap rent takes some of the pressure off and allows the residents to get their lives back together.
What is the background of all the participants?
Everyone who lives in the sober living home has different backgrounds. Addiction is color blind so there are Black, Mexican, White and Asian races who live in the house. Some have been to prison, some have gang affiliations, some are rich kids who ran out of options.
What does living sober mean to you?
Living sober means living life on life’s terms without any mind-altering drugs or alcohol.
What is the premise of the show?
The Sober Living Home has two managers who maintain the house. All the residents have to follow the rules that include donating time to the soup kitchen, giving their testimony, looking for a job and maintaining all the other rules. A surprise drug test can come at anytime. I am “The Advocate” who finds people who just got out of prison, or elsewhere to live in the Hope House. Some are going to make it and get their life back and move out, some are going to crash and burn and get kicked out or leave, and some are going to be in the process.
How many episodes do you envision?
I am looking to hire some film students to shoot the 3, 22 minute episodes to shop across all the Cable/TV outlets. Getting picked up by one would be the first miracle. Making it past season ONE would be the second miracle. Having a top rated Reality TV show that impacts society would be the third miracle.
Where is the show or house based?
In Orange County, California, right next to LA.
Do you have a substance abuse background? Explain.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been in prison 4 times. My last sentence was for 11 years. During that sentence I started writing my first book on the back of 600 pages of my trial paperwork from court. When I got out of prison, I chose to live in a sober living home to keep my publishing dream alive. So I lived out this process.
What are your qualifications to do a show like this?
I’m a Writer/Director who knows this lifestyle. I know what it takes to make it and I know what can get in the way of making it.
Give us a little of your background and accomplishments?
My background: I spent over 10 years in some of California’s most violent state prisons, with 4 years in solitary, for drug related charges that topped out with “Alleged Organized Crime” charges. I became a best selling author of Prison and Drug War books, with over 500 reviews. Here is a list of my prison books in Audio, Kindle and Print. One of my best reviews for my first novel “Roll Call” from Kirkus Discoveries Neilson Media~ “A harrowing, down-and-dirty depiction–sometimes reminiscent of Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic–of America’s war on drugs, by former dealer and California artist Langohr.”
If you like this piece then check out The Mad Science Interview with Writer Oliver Mertz.