Naysayers claim this “sober house” is a bad element for the neighborhood, especially because it's near Oak Street School. However, wouldn't it be worse to deny a concerted effort to help overcome our crippling drug problem, one that certainly affects the Oak Street area, too?
The halfway house, Hughes said, is not a money-maker for TCC and if the house proves problematic, they'll take action.
Imagine New Boston, and all of Scioto County, without the good work of TCC. They have lead the area's fight against addiction. Where would the Oak Street area be without them?
Of course, a half-way house has its potential problems. Addicts are notorious for their ability to screw up and some of the folks who make it into this place will fall short of the expectations. But that's happening throughout our region already. Addiction is an epidemic and a house full of recovering addicts is certainly better than what some neighborhoods must contend with. The addicts who will live in this house were once full-blown abusers somewhere around here.
Still, “not in my back yard” is a noble attitude. People should want to live in a nice neighborhood, but people should also understand the realities we face. There's a big need for these houses. A healthy environment free from old influences is vital to recovery. A half-way house is one of the best opportunities to reintroduce a recovering addict to society.
Where would these addicts be better served? Jail? Is there a more appropriate section of town? If there was a pain-free answer, we wouldn't be in this situation.
Hughes said during the village Council meeting that he welcomes community oversight of this house. If something goes wrong, he wants to know.
That sounds like a more reasonable and accountable landlord than we can hope for in many neighborhoods.
JOSH RICHARDSON may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 244, or firstname.lastname@example.org.