Working against the clock to open controversial wet house

A committee working to create a wet house for homeless alcoholics in Traverse City is hoping to get more community backing for the controversial project.

The concept of a wet house is to provide shelter that is warm and safe for the homeless struggling with chronic alcoholism. The wet house is controversial because residents would be allowed to drink alcohol while staying at the shelter.

Greg Stone, a local addiction counselor is the man behind the proposed wet house and hopes to have it ready by this winter.

"My dream is that we find something before snow flies. I dread the thought of another alcoholic dying in the snow passed out because he didnâ??t have a place to go. It makes me sick." said Stone.

While several properties are being looked at, one location on the table is the building formerly used by work release inmates next to the Grand Traverse County Jail. While this work release building is currently empty, Sheriff Bensley tells 7&4 News, one issue that may get in the way is the possible need to use it again in the future due to jail crowding.

A committee made up of about 20 community members including police officers, Munson ER nurses, and area church leaders are giving input along the way.

Wednesday night, Stone and other members of the committee will go before the Traverse City Planning Commission in an effort to further explain the project and get more community support. The meeting takes place at the Governmental Center at 7pm.

The group will also speak to the Traverse City Downtown Development Association at its meeting Friday. ã??

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