One paycheck away

Letter to the Editor:

Let's take a moment and look at the possibilities for a homeless shelter?

A wet house is a residential facility for chronically alcoholic and homeless men and women. Here, the homeless alcoholics eat, sleep, and drink as much as they want. Residents are not required to submit to counseling or treatment. It is a place with little expectation that residents will ever get sober.

Low Barrier Housing: Housing where a minimum number of expectations are placed on people who wish to live there. The aim is to have as few barriers as possible to allow more people access to services. In housing this often means that tenants are not expected to abstain from using alcohol or other drugs, or from carrying on with street activities while living on-site, so long as they do not engage in these activities in common areas of the house and are respectful of other tenants and staff.

Damp Housing: Housing where tenants do not need to be "clean" when entering the program but are expected to be actively working on recovery from substance use problems.

Abstinence-Based or Dry Housing: Housing where tenants are not allowed to drink alcohol or use other drugs while in tenancy. Tenants are expected to be "clean" before moving in and actively working on their recovery while living there. Tenants may be discharged from the program if they refuse treatment for a relapse.

So let us look at what is currently offered here in Brattleboro, shall we? Which one do you think we currently have? Until Groundworks proposed to take the property on 39 Frost St. I had no idea what kind of shelter was operating in Brattleboro. It behooves us to pay attention as many of us are one paycheck away from the streets.


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Robyn Flatley, Brattleboro, July 18