Wet House
February 17, 2011 10:54 AM   Subscribe

I just read this article and I'm curious about this place. A little searching brings up proposed sites elsewhere but I am wondering if any exist, specifically in the North East. Has anyone ever heard of such a place?
posted by Shanachie to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I just cried in my mouth a little.

Ottawa wet house.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:18 AM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

There's one in Seattle.
posted by djb at 11:18 AM on February 17, 2011

That's precisely my reaction.
posted by Shanachie at 11:19 AM on February 17, 2011

Wet houses are an example of "harm reduction" - an approach to public health that tries to minimize the damaging effects of certain behaviors like drinking and drug use. These programs - including so-called "heroin assisted treatment" are more common in Western Europe and Canada. I don't know of any in the Northeast US, but this JAMA article focuses on an experimental program in Washington state.
posted by googly at 11:19 AM on February 17, 2011

Seaton House in Toronto has a similar program as the one in Ottawa; however, their approach is to "manage" the alcohol consumption (a drink every 90 minutes or so), rather than leaving the residents on their own.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 11:33 AM on February 17, 2011

There is one that just opened last summer in St. Cloud, MN.
posted by jillithd at 11:44 AM on February 17, 2011

One is opening in anchorage. Locals call it the "Red Nose Inn" but its really the Red Roof. The idea is to truce the number of alcohol and exposure related deaths.
posted by fshgrl at 1:16 PM on February 17, 2011

A better term to search under is "Housing First" which is the term that researchers and the people who run the programs are more likely to use. Not all Housing First programs target people with problematic substance use, but many do. "Low threshold" is another good search term.

As with many media stories related to people who use drugs, beware the stigmatizing and stereotyping and need for drama in those stories. There's been plenty of actual academic research on the cost savings and improved health outcomes from low-threshold housing and Housing First models. Most of the supportive housing programs run by the Department of Public Health here in San Francisco use a Housing First model, with great success.

posted by gingerbeer at 1:19 PM on February 17, 2011 [4 favorites]

Pathways to Housing started in NYC and has other locations in the Northeast. Housing First is a wonderful model--who is more likely to succeed at treatment, someone struggling to survive on the street or someone in stable, permanent housing? And if the clients of these programs choose not to pursue treatment, then at least they have a roof over their heads, which is better for their health and well-being and cheaper for society. Big fan.
posted by Mavri at 2:05 PM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yep, there's one near Central Square in Cambridge, MA. It's been there for a good 15 years.
posted by oinopaponton at 2:43 PM on February 17, 2011

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