Fred Way is the executive director for the Pennsylvania Alliance of Recovery Residences, PAAR. Fred was the only person involved when he started PARR, but now today it has its own training center office and staff of eight. PARR serves as a model, therefore, Fred also travels to other states to help people replicate what he has done in Philadelphia. He also spoke to us about the differences in certified/non certified recovery housing and what are the steps for someone who wants to be certified. I think that it is honestly amazing how Fred voluntarily decided to not only become involved in recovery housing but create a model that can be successful and implemented in other states.
I thought it was interesting how Fred explained to the class that houses that are not certified do not get any funding, unlike certified recovery houses. Therefore, houses who get no funding rely on the residents to pay the bills, which is unfortunate because it is then added stress for the residents as well and it puts the quality of the environment at risk, such as bed bugs or lack of resources. It was also interesting how Fred brought up the affect that community opposition has in the process of a houses certification. For example, the women’s recovery housing that he brought up. It had been up and running for about 7 years and the people in the neighborhood actually loved and got along with the women who lived there, up until it was brought to their attention that they were living in a recovery home. The fact that a successful recovery home for women was shut down because people in the neighborhood simply felt uncomfortable with recovery homes was very disheartening, especially because there were no issues before they knew it was a recovery house. Fred mentioned that a solution could be personally telling people in the neighborhood about any plans one may have for a recovery home, before establishing it. Opening the door for people in the community to see the possibilities of a recovery home in the neighborhood instead of trying to secretly do it.