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05-06-11, 11:47 AM #1
"Wet" homeless shelters allow alcoholics allowed to drink alcoholSt. Anthony, which receives funds from the state and the Catholic church, is known as a "wet house" because Hagerman and the others are allowed to drink on site, with some caveats - including no mouthwash.
"It's not bad. I got cable TV," Hagerman says. "You can't drink in your room, but you can drink. You gotta do it outside."
The theory is that it's better to allow these guys to drink in a safe place than to end up on the streets and in the city's emergency rooms, jails, and detox centers. At St. Anthony, they have access to nurses - and doctors if the situation warrants - plus on-site case managers to aid in their addiction. Ideally, St. Anthony's counselors want the residents to sober up – but they realize that there isn't a strong chance of that happening.
St. Paul isn't the only city that has a "wet house"-style residence - Seattle was one of the first cities to put this concept into practice in 2005, and Memphis is considering building one, too.
Another argument in favor of the concept is that it saves money. Each St. Anthony's resident costs about $18,000 a year to house and feed, about $1,500 a month. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that if these men were out on the street, it could cost over $4,000 a month in incarceration, shelter and sobering center use, hospital-based medical services, publicly funded alcohol and drug detoxification and treatment, and emergency medical services.
05-06-11, 03:22 PM #2
Wow.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
05-10-11, 02:53 AM #3
It's about a kind of therapy for alcoholics. Homeless alcoholics or at-risk alcoholics are admitted to a wet house if they can't or won't get sober, and have a place to stay and safely use alcohol which will reduce harm to themselves and others. Similar programs have worked in the past, and far more cities are looking at the idea. More cities consider running wet house centers for addicts. I know the pain of isolation and hopelessness that some people fall into. Alcohol is the symptom - not the disease! Societal pressures and life-long rejection/disappointments are at the core of many guys' problems with alcohol. Remove the cause, and you may remove the addiction, in time. I think this program is good because it gives these people a safe place until there health concedes to alcohol.
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