Fred Way is the founder and executive director of Pennsylvania Alliance of Recovery Residences, PARR for short. Way came in to talk to our class about what PARR does and how it has been helping those who have a property and are looking to become a certified recovery house. PARR had its start up in 2011 and has since certified over 170 houses across the state of Pennsylvania. PARR is also the state affiliate of the National Alliance of Recovery Residences and serves as as a nonprofit charity. Way discussed what it takes to become a certified recovery house as well as the many requirements that are needed to be approved. Some of the necessary requirements are to obtain a commercial activity license, getting the house properly zoned as a “roaming house” instead of a “single-family” residence, having the correct living standards and more. However, these requirements can sometimes serve as barriers and become a challenge for those who want to make their property into a recovery home.
Way also talked about the issues between communities not wanting recovery houses in their neighborhood because of the stigma. To prevent a recovery house from being shut down, Way told us that it’s better to be up front with the members of the community from the very start. By going door to door and explaining what the house is going to be helps the community understand better and become more accepting. Way is one of the people that speaks at community meetings, explaining to concerned neighborhood residents what and how a recovery house works. Now, only about 20% of houses don’t become recovery houses because of the community.
Way also discussed the problematic issue of patient brokering and how it is unethical and can be illegal. Patient brokering is the practice of paying a third party to make sure a patient in recovery goes to a specific recovery house. After talking with Way, I received some help towards my semester reporting project and learned a great deal about recovery houses and what they can do for those in recovery and how they become part of a community.