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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Happily Ever-After

Many of our fellow students are struggling with substance abuse. Veterans especially have many issues to deal with when it comes to balancing their classes with the rest of life and recently two prominent UMB veterans have stepped up to the plate and joined the board of a sober house program that funds veterans who chose to live a substance-free lifestyle. This is a statement from one of them:

“We can all look around and see that homelessness is made up primarily of our country’s veterans. Homeless shelters are simply a band-aid on a severed limb. There is a growing initiative in the state of Massachusetts aimed at helping Veterans who are recovering with substance abuse issues as it pertains to their living situations. The normal living arrangements presented to long time or newly returning veterans are not supportive of a sober lifestyle especially when we as a society look in every direction and see our fellow peers engaging in heavy consumption of any mind-altering substances. For a veteran this combination of substance issues and the aftermath of dealing with the realities of war and military life can lead to higher risks of destructive behavior. A foundation must be created offering someone the chance to succeed and this is exactly what the Vets-Welcome Home Loan Fund can do for recovering Veterans.

The Vets-Welcome Home Loan Fund was created by Bruce T. Macdonald and is co-sponsored by the Boston Alcohol and Substance Abuse Programs, Inc. and the Smedley D. Butler Brigade (Ch. 9) of Veterans for Peace, Inc. The Vets-Welcome Home Loan Fund works by engaging with the community of veterans and offering a $5,000 interest free loan to 6 or more recovering Veterans who would like to live in a sober house together. The sober house they live in takes on the model of the Oxford housing system, which was created in 1975 as a sober and safe house for recovering addicts to live and “solidify their recovery.” Oxford House, Inc is a experienced and proven system and comes with a list of policies intended to guide the house and the residents to resolving any conflicts that might arise while they are living collectively.

There is one house in Chelsea that represents the first house initiated by the Vets-Welcome Home Loan Fund and the success of the this house represents the future potential success of helping veterans along the path of recovery. Drugs and alcohol represent one of the most difficult obstacles for returning veterans and is the path which most often directly leads to homelessness. This initiative is one important new way to stem the tide of our homeless epidemic by providing an environment that restores positive development and personal responsibility unto the veteran.

With a large veteran community attending Umass we would like to extend our services to any Veteran who feels enclosed by a culture of substance abuse. It is difficult to choose between staying home alone or heading to a bar with friends. We would like to ask your support as friends of Veterans to encourage social settings where the consumption of drugs is not a priority to promote alternate ways of having fun and relieving pressure.”