GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – North Quabbin Community Coalition and Opioid Task Force of Franklin County held a meeting at Greenfield Community College to examine how to create sober housing.

This is an important step towards helping those who are affected by substance use disorders recover in a safe healthy living environment. Currently, GAAMMHA has two transitional houses in Greenfield, MASH certified sober home and low developmental threshold housing through Clinical & Support Options.

The number of certified sober homes in western Massachusetts is only 10 and there’s a strong need for more from established providers to MASH-certified private housing owners. To get involved with the sober house initiative, visit mashsoberhousing.org.

“Sober housing creates opportunities for people that may not have been successful otherwise. That they get real peer support, real support every day to help them be the people they want to be.” Heather Bialecki-Canning, Executive Director of North Quabbin Community Coalition

Nearly another half dozen of sober homes are needed in the area. Those who live in sober homes with no income pay nothing if they have social security disability income will pay 1/3 of their income.

“Having an affordable place to live and available supportive services are critically important for people who are trying to overcome substance misuse,” said MassHousing Executive Director Chrystal Kornegay. “CCRI helps serve some of our state’s most vulnerable residents and MassHousing is pleased to support these nonprofit organizations who work every day to help people overcome addiction and improve their lives.”       

The panelists at the “It Can Be Done!” event included COO of GAAMHA Shawn Hayden, Vice President of Housing and Homeless Services at Clinical & Support Options Bill Miller, and MASH Executive Director Denise Menzdorf.

In November, MassHousing awarded $143,332 for affordable sober housing to help preserve 22 affordable sober housing units and provide supportive services to residents impacted by substance misuse  

The CCRI grants were awarded to the following:     

  • GAAMHA, Gardner, $75,000   
    • MassHousing grant funds will help acquire and rehabilitate a four-bedroom sober home for eight residents in Gardner.   
  • Casa Esperanza, Boston, $20,682   
    • Grant funds will help support the renovation of 14 units of sober housing for women and their children in Boston.   
  • Mental Health Association, Springfield, $22,850   
    • Grant funding will help fund an in-house recovery specialist for nights and weekends at an affordable sober home for eight men in Springfield.    
  • Self Esteem Boston Educational Institute, Boston, Lynn and Springfield, $24,800   
    • Grant funds will help implement weekly support services curriculum, preparing women in recovery in Boston, Lynn and Springfield for successful tenancies and transitioning from public assistance to sustained self-efficiency.