Hidden History of North Dakota

Celebrating Women: Meet the Founder of North Dakota’s First Sober Living Home


All month long we’re honoring women in our area who are making a difference in their community.

Tonight, in our special series celebrating women, we introduce you to Judith Roberts. 

The Hope Manor Founder knows what it’s like to struggle with a disease like addiction.

Roberts shares, “At 28 I had my first drink of alcohol. I had never touched alcohol.”

From that point, it became her first priority.

Roberts explains, “So within a year of that first drink, I was divorced and lost my community, my friends, everything, and started moving around.”

After hitting rock bottom, she had a moment of clarity.

Judith Roberts has been sober, now, for ten years. And In 2014, Roberts refinanced her house and opened Hope Manor, a sober living home in Bismarck. The first of its kind in the state. 

She adds, “Every place in the state, at that point in time, had a four or five month waiting period, and by that time, the person is either dead, relapsed, back in jail or whatever.

Megan Frankl moved into Hope Manor when she felt she had no options left.

She explains, “I was 31-years-old, living with mom and dad, drinking myself to death.”

Frankl shares, “I expected to walk into a place with bars on the windows, and just not clean and dirty, and people I couldn’t relate to. And I walked in and it was a beautiful, well-kept home.”

It’s a 100 percent sober environment, where women are able to make recovery their number one priority.

Roberts adds, “As well as rebuilding their lives: getting a job, getting a driver’s license, living on a budget, building their relationships with their family again. You first have to have recovery, and then all the other stuff comes.”

Frankl has been sober for five years, and she’s now the Administrator for Hope Manor.

Roberts emphasizes, “Let’s get people help, not just lock them up, because we keeping locking people up. They get out, and do it again because we’re battling addiction, not criminals.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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