Has helped create nearly 500 sober units for veterans in 18 communities
Substance abuse and the inability to find quality affordable housing is a combination that leaves many of our veterans homeless or living in substandard housing, preventing them from being gainfully employed and productive members of society.
MassHousing has worked for many years to create affordable housing opportunities for our Veterans, with many housing communities providing supportive services that residents need to overcome addiction and other issues.
One way MassHousing has helped to create housing for Veterans is through the Center for Community Recovery Innovations, Inc. (CCRI), a nonprofit subsidiary corporation of MassHousing that supports organizations that create or preserve affordable sober housing in Massachusetts for recovering substance abusers. CCRI to date has awarded more than $9 million in grants for approximately 1,900 units of substance-free housing in more than 40 communities for men, women, families, Veterans, the homeless and ex-offenders.
Since 2001, 23 of those CCRI awards have been to nonprofit organizations that have completed affordable sober housing specifically for Veterans, involving nearly 500 housing units and $1.7 million in financing. The grants—typically capped at $75,000—involve 18 different communities with Veterans housing for men, women and families.
The grants are typically used as one-time gap funding for capital projects that increase or improve the stock of affordable sober housing in Massachusetts. Other proposals that provide services for residents in MassHousing-financed rental housing, specifically those that address alcohol and/or drug abuse or addiction, are also considered for funding. CCRI grant recipients must be 501c3 nonprofit organizations, and matching funds must be provided. All proposals and applicant qualifications are stringently reviewed and vetted by MassHousing.
"The CCRI program has been the difference in many units of sober housing being built or renovated across the state," said MassHousing Executive Director Tim Sullivan. "This housing is extremely important because it helps some of the most vulnerable members of the Commonwealth, particularly Veterans who are struggling with addictions and homelessness."
One of the more recent sober communities to benefit from $75,000 in CCRI funding is the Bilingual Veterans Outreach Centers of Massachusetts, which completed 19 new units of sober housing for veterans in Springfield as part of the Sgt. Gomez Veterans Campus.
Sober housing for Veterans has been developed in Dartmouth, Somerville, Worcester, Gardner, Leeds, Quincy, New Bedford, Bedford, Brockton, Chelsea, Pittsfield, Hingham, Chelmsford, Westford, Boston, Shrewsbury and Weymouth.
The nonprofit organizations that received CCRI awards include Veterans Inc., Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center, Soldier On, Neighborworks of Southern Massachusetts, Caritas Communities, Bedford Veterans Quarters, Father Bill’s and Mainspring, Massachusetts Sober Housing Corp., Volunteers of America, CHOICE, New England Center and Home for Veterans and Partners in Housing, Inc.