On Tuesday, March 26, Fred Way of the Pennsylvania Alliance of Recovery Residences (PARR) came in to speak to the class. Way is the executive director of PARR, an organization that was started in 2011. According to their website, their mission is to “create, evaluate, and improve standards and measures of quality for all levels of recovery residences.” Since 2011, they’ve certified over 170 houses across Pennsylvania.

I hadn’t ever put into thought all of the steps that it takes for someone to get their home certified. It makes sense, obviously, but I’d never fully understood it. I also hadn’t realized how some specific zoning laws can be used to keep people from getting their own homes certified to become recovery residences. Some counties can require residences to have sprinklers installed in their homes, which can run upwards of $10,000.

It’s frustrating to hear about the barriers that people starting a recovery residence face. The stigma that surrounds recovery residences makes it hard for some communities to see how vital they are. It was encouraging to hear, however, that people were willing to change their minds about them when they heard what was really going on.

It was a really timely lecture with the Liberation Way story breaking yesterday. I actually hadn’t read up on it until after class today, but wow. I actually wouldn’t have understood some of the article without today’s lecture. It was really informative. I learned a lot.