Homeless alcoholic option leaves township with questions

Garfield Township leaders have more questions than answers after an organization opened a house to help people who are homeless and suffer from alcoholism.

Garfield Township leaders have more questions than answers after a non-profit organization opened a house last week. Organizers are looking to help people who are homeless and suffer from alcoholism.

Dann's House is considered permanent housing. The house is currently being funded with grant money and residents will be required to pay rent. This will allow people to have a roof over their head and still be able to drink while under 24/7 supervision.

â??Our residents are also people who have not been able to achieve sobriety. Abstinence-based treatments, detoxes other approaches to their disability have not helped them,â?? said Karen McCarthy, StonesHouse Board Secretary.

StonesHouse founder Greg Stone approached Garfield Township officials about three months ago with the idea of opening a rehab facility, but township officials say he never showed them a license to start one. Officials say he later came back to them wanting to start a wet house.

Township officials are trying to figure out exactly what's happening at Dann's House because Stone has changed his plan a few times.

â??We have to begin the violation phase if you will. We don't know if it's in violation yet but we have to research what's there and it may be best to contact the board at that point since we're not getting cooperation from the individual,â?? said Rob Larrea, Garfield Township Director of Planning.

StonesHouse's founder says he still doesn't have a plan to work with the township, but does have a plan for the house.

â??The people who will live at Dann's House are the most vulnerable; the most in need. They're people who sometimes can't go to Safe Harbor because of their addiction. They can't go to the Goodwill Inn. There's nowhere for them to go,â?? said McCarthy. â??The hope and the goal is that they will moderate their drinking and be able to achieve some stability; address their secondary health issues.â??

Neighbors who live next door with small children say they don't have a problem with Dann's House moving in.

StonesHouse organizers say homes like this across the country have been successful at reducing the amount that residents drink which ultimately saves taxpayer money.

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