What Exactly is
the Four Pillars Program?

At EPC we assume residents willingly participate in our Four Pillars Program because they have chosen to be here. Residents should recognize that living at EPC presents a unique opportunity to live in an environment that actively supports efforts to develop good lifelong habits. Spending a minimum of 30 minutes a day on each pillar amounts to a 2–hour per day investment towards a healthier, more meaningful life. That should leave plenty of time for work, chores, other meetings, recreation, and sleep. However, some pillars can be accomplished simultaneously, such as community with exercise and/or service work.


The act of acquiring knowledge, increasing powers of reasoning, improving judgment, and developing maturity.

Examples include attending school classes, working on your GED, reading a book, and researching a topic on the internet. (Any staff member can recommend books and offer suggestions).

NOTE: The endeavor should be separate and apart from your 12-step work, if you participate in a 12-step program. The goal is for you to cultivate interests and connect to other facets of life, not to just focus on you as a person with an addiction.

You are expected to spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day on education.


Regular and sustained physical exertion to improve and maintain health and to increase skill and strength.

It takes at least 20 minutes to begin producing endorphins! You’ll be amazed; the human body responds quickly to regular exercise! If you need assistance beginning a program, ask a fellow resident for guidance or contact a staff member to find someone to work with you. On the two days you’re not in the gym or exercising, you are encouraged to engage in other physical activity that brings you joy such as jogging, hiking, climbing, biking, or walking.

You are expected to spend a minimum of 30 minutes exercising in the gym or 30 minutes of other sustained exercise – at least five (5) days per week.


A social group whose members reside within a specific locality and/or have a common bond or interest.

This could be as simple as talking with another resident, cooking or eating a meal together, or playing ping pong. The purpose of this pillar is to be encouraged with – and to get to know – those you live with so you may forge healthy and meaningful relationships that will continue beyond your time at EPC. It is an opportunity to practice your community skills while interacting with friends, fellow residents, and even with those you may not get along with.

NOTE: This should be separate and apart from any 12-step meeting you attend.

You are expected to spend a minimum of 30 minutes per day involved in EPC’s community.


Helpful acts done by persons or groups that benefit others without any expectation of personal reward or payment.

Service work may be performed as one activity or in increments. Examples include painting, tutoring, gardening, doing extra chores at EPC, and volunteering at a school or other non-profit organization. (All staff members can offer suggestions.)

NOTE: Since the Four Pillars Program was introduced at EPC, this pillar has been the most challenging for the residents. It may take time to willingly incorporate doing for others into your daily or weekly schedule.

You are expected to spend a minimum of 3 hours per week involved in service activities.