GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Franklin County and North Quabbin Region Opioid Task Force hosted a summit to discuss sober housing in the area.
People at the summit told 22News that housing is one of the biggest challenges that people who are sober face after struggling with addiction.
“We’re interested in increasing the stock of sober housing in Franklin County and trying to solve this issue of where people are going to live when they finish recovery,” Chief Operating Officer of GAAMHA, Shawn Hayden said.
They said they’ve done a good job with increasing treatment in the county but need to work on what happens after. Sober housing is a drug and alcohol free place that promotes recovery.
One of the speakers is currently in a recovery program and has had trouble finding sober housing once she gets out.
“So when it comes to a landlord looking at my application he’s looking at what’s on the paper not looking at me as a person and the things that I’ve done to turn my life around,” Jessica Secore of Greenfield said
She said she was denied by housing authorities but was given the opportunity to appeal the denials with the Franklin County Sheriff’s office and pleaded her case for turning her life around.
“You get out of a treatment facility and you have no housing. You know you’re apt to go back out,” Secore told 22News.
Organizers said the chances of people getting better in the long term are slim if they don’t have proper sober housing after treatment. They told 22News the amount of sober housing available in the area now, does not meet the demand.
There are more than 170 “Massachusetts Alliance of Sober Housing” homes in the state, but none in Franklin County. The only option is a few places are run by non-profits.
One of the goals of the summit was to identify strategies to get private landlords to participate in operating sober housing.