PW: Frankford addiction recovery homes

Dignity Recovery sober-living home at 1734 Harrison St. in Frankford, as seen on Fri, Feb. 6, 2009. Add a Caption Save CaptionCancel

The heated debate on private addiction recovery homes in the Frankford neighborhood of Philadelphia takes the front stage in a story I wrote for today’s Philadelphia Weekly.

It’s 1997, and Jeffrey Jackson is getting wet.

He’s balled up, trying to sleep inside New Way Out, an addiction-recovery house in Kensington.

The 28-year-old addict is in the process of kicking heroin after moving on from cocaine, but he’s starving and sweating and can’t somebody stop that damn rain from coming in?

“I told the director, ‘Hey, your roof is leaking,’” Jackson says now. “The guy looked at me with a straight face and said, ‘Then move your bed.’” Read the rest here.

Go there, read the story, comment and return here to check out the extra information and quotations that didn’t make it into my final story.

  • “Some of the female houses in the area are good,” says Elvis Rosado, a therapist who has worked in Frankford drug rehabilitation clinics. “Unfortunately a lot of the male ones are not.”
  • There are two types of licensed treatment facilities approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and partially funded by OAS: licensed inpatient treatment centers, ones that house and treat, and licensed outpatient treatment centers, ones that just offer counseling and medication. No one is squawking about them. But, including Jackson’s, Frankford has at least 25 privately-owned recovery homes, which house recovering addicts who are using outpatient services and require little more than a business-privilege license to open legally. Some estimate there are more than 50 of these private recovery homes, some better managed than others, which would make Frankford home to more than any other neighborhood in Philadelphia.
  • The Office of Addiction Services is an agency within the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services
  • At last week’s community meeting, Councilwoman Sanchez said she wanted to coordinate weekly meetings between the police department, L&I, residents and her office.
  • “The civic is at a cross-roads,” says acting secretary Elizabeth Mccollum-Nazario. “Officially we have not said anything, but we’re leaning to saying no to all of them.”
  • “If we say yes to his two-beds, how will that will be perceived when we say no to someone who wants 12 beds?” Mccollum-Nazario says. “Saying yes to two is still saying yes.”
  • Frankford has found camraderie among the families that remain in the hard hit neighborhood, mostly in their criticism of these private recovery homes.