Help Make Thanksgiving Special This Year

Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen

For almost 30 years, the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen has participated in a community-wide effort to deliver meals to people in need on Thanksgiving morning. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is limiting the scale of this annual program, we’re determined to get at least 500 meals out to those most in need on Thanksgiving Day, focusing on people experiencing homelessness and staying in warming centers, hotels, and shelters. In addition, we will once again be providing plenty of Thanksgiving foods at our weekly pantry on the Wednesday before the holiday.

Here’s how YOU can help:

Donate Food!

Help us make Thanksgiving special for those in need in your community by donating food from our Thanksgiving Shopping List.

  • Frozen turkeys (Nov. 15 drop-off only)
  • Stuffing (boxed)
  • Green beans (canned)
  • Cranberry sauce (canned)
  • Yams (canned)
  • Corn (canned)
  • Broth (turkey, chicken, or vegetable)
  • Butter (1-lb. boxes)
  • Reusable shopping bags

Please drop off frozen turkeys on Sunday, Nov. 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. All other items can be dropped off during DESK’s regular receiving hours (Sun. – Thu., 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) through Sunday, Nov. 22. Drop-off Location: 311 Temple Street.

Questions? Call us at (203) 624-6426, ext. 6137, or email info@deskct.org.

Donate Money!

Your financial support will ensure that DESK can serve those in need on Thanksgiving and all year-round! Show your support and we’ll be able to purchase supplies to keep everyone safe and protected during these difficult times. Contact us with any questions at (203) 624-6426, ext. 8557.

Donate Your Time! Volunteer!

While we won’t need all 250+ volunteers who typically take part in Thanksgiving for All, we still need some folks to make this happen! If you’re interested in helping out onsite or delivering meals, email us at volunteer@deskct.org, and we’ll be in touch in the weeks leading up to let you know how you can help.

Thanksgiving for All is a community partnership of Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, Interfaith Volunteer Care Givers, Yale Hospitality, and Chabaso Bakery.

Statement from Green Party of Connecticut Candidate Justin Paglino

by Ronna Stuller, Secretary, Green Party of CT

A unity of local Green Party chapters, the Green Party of Connecticut is committed to grassroots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom. These are the Four Pillars of all Green parties worldwide.

Green Party candidates accept no PAC contributions, only donations from individuals. In this year’s election we are running over a dozen candidates in municipal, state, and federal elections all across Connecticut.

In this PAR article we feature a statement by Justin Paglino MD, PhD, of Guilford, who is our nominee for US House of Representatives in the Third Congressional District, the seat currently held by Rep. Rosa DeLauro. We invite readers to visit our website https://www.ctgreenparty.org to learn more about our positions and our candidates. We also invite readers to consider changing their voter registration to Green Party, and/or to consider visiting your local Green Party of Connecticut chapter to learn more and get involved. You will be most welcome.

Statement by Justin Paglino M.D. Ph.D., Green Party of CT candidate for US House of Representatives, CT-3:

This year I decided to run for US House of Representatives so that voters in my congressional district would have the option of voting for a representative who supports Medicare for All, Ranked Choice Voting, Reduced Military Spending, a bold Green New Deal with Carbon Pricing, Fracking Ban and Federal Jobs Guarantee, and other policies that my opponents in this race do not support. Many voters do, however, support these policies, and these issues need at least one candidate on the ballot who supports them, so that voters can show where they stand on these issues.

Unlike my opponents, but like most Americans, I support Medicare for All.   Single-payer healthcare will not only provide comprehensive healthcare without charge to all Americans, but will also save up to $500 billion a year thanks to efficiencies of scale and removing the profit motive from healthcare insurance.

Unlike my opponents, I am a strong advocate for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), an electoral reform that ends two-party dominance by eliminating the spoiler effect.  RCV accomplishes this by allowing voters to rank their candidates in order of preference on the ballot. This reform exists now in Maine, where Lisa Savage is running as a Green Party candidate for US Senate; because of RCV, she will not act as a spoiler.

Unlike my opponents, I seek to rein in overblown Pentagon spending and redirect these funds towards the needs of Americans, including a Federal Jobs Guarantee. Rep. DeLauro, in contrast, this year voted YES for the $740 billion dollar Pentagon budget, and voted AGAINST a modest 10% cut (the Pocan amendment).

Unlike my opponents, I am willing to support bills that would enact the bold greenhouse gas-reducing policies that science calls for, such as HR763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (Carbon Tax and Dividend), or such as HR5857, the Ban Fracking Act. Neither bill is supported by our current representative.

I encourage PAR readers: always vote for what you want, not only against what you fear. If you want something, you have to vote for it, or you’ll never get it. There is a way out of the two-party system – it’s Ranked Choice Voting – but first you have to show you are willing to vote for it.

Please visit me at justin4all.org, e-mail me at justin@justin4all.org. Follow me on facebook/justin4all, twitter/justin4all2, insta/justinpaglino, youtube/justin4all.

And thank you to all you progressive activists!

– Justin Paglino M.D. Ph.D.

Medicare for All CT News

by Stephan Ramdohr, Medicare for All CT

We believe that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and that a single-payer type model, like Medicare, is how we achieve it. Medicare for All CT is pushing our state’s federal legislators to sign the single-payer bills in the U.S. House and Senate.

Join us for the upcoming Medicare for All CT virtual monthly meeting! Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 7 – 9 p.m. for our Zoom meeting, hosted by Medicare For All CT, Quiet Corner Democratic Socialists of America and 5 others.

Register here to receive the Zoom link to join via computer, or info how to dial in via phone: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtc-yhqz4vG93KTnLTdgqP-T1OjI2SRFRw.

Just a few months ago, New London was the first municipality in Connecticut to pass a Medicare for All resolution. Now we plan to discuss how we’ll continue to advocate for Medicare for All, even when due to current restrictions we cannot meet up in person.

Activists from all across the state are invited to join us from the comfort of their home! Bring your questions! Bring your ideas! Let’s meet on Tuesday, September 8, 7 p.m., to continue our fight for guaranteed healthcare for all!

For more information, e-mail Stephan Ramdohr at medicare4allct@gmail.com. At this time, our meetings are online. Please contact us with your ideas and suggestions by phone at (857) 472-0694 or on Facebook at Medicare for All CT.

June 2 Hearing: City of NH Peace Commission Ballot Referendum

A public hearing (by Zoom) will be held on Tuesday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. before the Health and Human Services Committee of the New Haven Board of Alders. The hearing seeks support to place the following non-binding referendum question on the November 3 ballot in New Haven.

“Shall Congress prepare for health and climate crises by transferring funds from military budget to cities for human needs, jobs and an environmentally sustainable economy?”

“Deberia el Congreso prepararse para una crisis de salud y clima mediante la transferencia de fondos del presupuesto militar a las ciudades para las necesidades humanas, los empleos y una economia ambientalmente sostenible?”

A 2/3 vote by the New Haven Board of Alders is required to put the question on the ballot. Please join the hearing and testify as to why you think the question should be on the Nov. 3, 2020, ballot in New Haven.

Cuts are being figured into our City budget that is already less than bare-bones thanks to more than a decade of under-funding from Yale and from state and federal sources. The bloated US war economy comes at the high cost of under-funding human needs and implementation of just climate change solutions.

Please confirm your participation by leaving a message at (203) 624-4254 or sending an e-mail to Peace Commission acting chair: joellefishman@pobox.com.

Update from Nicaragua as the Pandemic Arrives

by Susan Bramhall, New Haven/ León Sister City Project

In March and April, as the world began to face the historic public health crisis caused by COVID-19, the Nicaraguan government flagrantly ignored recommendations of health and human rights organizations by encouraging mass gatherings and requiring school attendance. During the April holidays, people were encouraged to celebrate semana santa as usual with trips to the beach and large gatherings. As of this writing, there are still no recommended social distancing measures and professional sports events continue to draw fans.

In the last few weeks, reports of the coronavirus illness have begun to emerge in the larger cities and there is now an outbreak in Chinandega – not far from our Sister City, León. There is still no acknowledgment that the pandemic is the cause but hospitals are reporting many cases of atypical pneumonia and a rise in sudden deaths from heart attack and stroke. Nicaraguans are reporting that when patients die, the bodies are buried immediately, often before families are notified. Testing, treatment and results are kept secret leading to more fear and suspicion.

The staff of the New Haven/León Sister City Project are currently healthy and trying to work from home but it is difficult to do social distancing or self-isolation. It is common for homes to contain large extended families and multiple generations and often a small store open to the public. During March and April, our staff was able to continue visiting the rural communities bringing some protective gear (masks) and, most important, information about the facts of the situation. As the community has begun to hear of the cases in nearby areas they are becoming more fearful of people from the city and our staff are now doing as much as they can from their homes.
Our León Director, Erendira Vanegas, reminds us that this is a new crisis within the existing crisis created by the 2018 crackdown against protest and the devastating effect that was already having on the Nicaraguan economy. The crisis created by the pandemic on top of the economic challenges already in play have been overwhelming and has created increased food insecurity. Our Nicaraguan team advises that an urgent need is enhanced access to food for the rural population. The Sister City Project has long been supplementing the meal that children get at school – a meal they may miss if they are not in school. We are currently researching organizations we can partner with to ensure food security for Goyena and Troilo.

If you would like to make a special donation to bolster our programs please visit our website at newhavenleon.org/get-involved/give.

As always, muchisimas gracias to all our supporters in the area.

CT US Senators and Reps on Healthcare

by Protect Our Care Connecticut

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Rep. John Larson, Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro and Jahana Hayes took action to protect Medicaid and help people gain access to health insurance.

In April, Sens. Blumenthal and Murphy joined 35 of their Senate colleagues in signing a letter to Congressional leadership urging them to include “strong measures to secure continuity in health care coverage” for people who are currently uninsured or underinsured in the next relief package. The letter specifically highlighted the need to strengthen Medicaid, re-open ACA marketplace enrollment, and provide COBRA assistance to those who have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance.

Reps. Larson, Courtney, DeLauro and Hayes joined more than 150 members of the House in urging Congressional leadership to continue to require that states which accept higher Medicaid reimbursements from the federal government during the coronavirus crisis maintain their current Medicaid program without cuts to eligibility, known as “maintenance of effort” requirements.

Can you take a moment to thank and encourage them?

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (860) 258-6940
Sen. Chris Murphy (860) 549-8463
Rep. John Larson (1st District, CT) (860) 278-8888
Rep. Joe Courtney (2nd District, CT) (860) 886-0139
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (3rd District, CT) (203) 562-3718
Rep. Jim Himes (4th District, CT) (203) 333-6600
Rep. Jahana Hayes (5th District, CT) (860) 223-8412

Protect Our Care CT: jmcnichol@universalhealthct.org
Protect Our Care CT, 290 Pratt Street, Meriden, CT 06490

Medicare for All CT News

Stephan Ramdohr, Medicare for All CT

At this time, Medicare for All CT is considering three dedicated project groups for:

  1. A webinar, encouraging attendees to contact our U.S. Reps directly via social media etc., about the need for Medicare for All;
  2. The ongoing campaign for municipal resolutions. In February, New London city council unanimously passed a Medicare for All resolution. Now let’s have more cities and towns follow New London’s lead;
  3. Possibly putting on a (virtual?) statewide forum similar to the one last August as well as plan office visits with federal and state legislators & conduct outreach to other national, Connecticut and local stakeholder groups.

The newspaper article about New London passing a Medicare for All resolution is here: www.theday.com/article/20200207/NWS01/200209505.

At this time, our meetings are on-line. Please contact us with your ideas and suggestions by e-mail at Medicare for All CT medicare4allct@gmail.com, and by telephone at (857) 472-0694, or on Facebook at Medicare for All CT.

How You Can Help At-Risk People in Our Community

by Mark Colville, Amistad Catholic Worker

Friends,

I reach out today with an urgent call to come together as advocates, caregivers, organizers, activists and allies, in response to the ongoing unmet needs of some of the most at-risk people in the New Haven community. As the coronavirus pandemic has unfolded, many concerned people in the area have intensified our work with people experiencing homelessness, and from that perspective, we’ve seen the city and some of its institutions take bold and proactive steps. At the same time, there is a growing fear that those efforts are falling short in terms of providing safe spaces for significant numbers of people who still lack the wherewithal to follow the statewide directive to shelter in place.

The latest initiative has been to move all of the people who were using the city’s homeless shelters into hotel rooms, a move that was completed within the past three weeks. Thanks to a concerted raising of voices, we have now seen the city commit to expanding that initiative to include all individuals who identify as experiencing homelessness, regardless of whether or not they typically use the shelter system. This is a very positive development, and many of us have been working hard to get those folks signed up for the rooms as they’re made available.

The problem we face now is that the ”shelter model” of service delivery is simply being transposed onto these hotels. This includes supervision, security measures, invasions of privacy and disciplinary regimens which are in fact the reason why so many people refuse to stay in shelters in the first place. Regardless of how anyone feels about such refusals, this project of moving everyone from the street into hotel rooms will not be sufficient, at least in its current form, to accommodate everyone- particularly, for example, those who are mentally ill and/or active drug users.

In response, the Amistad Catholic Worker is joining an effort already underway to erect a tent city, in an as-yet undetermined open space somewhere relatively close to the city center. This is being organized collectively and with a fair degree of urgency. It will integrate the requirements of social distancing and sheltering in place, but the rules and regulations will be developed and agreed upon by those dwelling in that space. Thus the responsibility for its operation in a safe and sanitary way, maintaining the peace and respecting the privacy of its residents, will also be assumed collectively.

We are now looking for camping supplies, especially tents, sleeping bags, warm blankets and tarps. If you can donate any of these or other items, please contact me: (203) 645-5417 (call or text); markcolville9761@gmail.com. For anyone interested in taking an active role in getting the project off the ground, I’m happy to discuss that as well.

Stay safe everyone. Gratefully,

Mark Colville

Enroll NOW in Health Insurance Through Access Health CT!

by Protect Our Care CT

Because of the coronavirus, Access Health CT, Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, has established a Special Enrollment Period for uninsured people. This Special Enrollment Period will run from Thursday, March 19 through Thursday, April 2. Coverage will start on April 1 for those who enroll.

Normal qualification rules apply and federal subsidies are available to those who qualify for them.

Enrollment is by phone only. Call (855) 365-2428, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
For details on this new Special Enrollment Period: https://learn.accesshealthct.com

A reminder: Qualified individuals and families can apply for Medicaid through Access Health CT at any time during the year.

Resources and Information from SURJ

Stand Up for Racial Justice put together the following. If you want to receive the SURJ newsletters on a regular basis, please e-mail surjnewhaven@gmail.com.

This is a special issue with links to community response and mutual aid resources, webpages and groups.

Hope you’re doing well – stay safe!

We want to share regional resources for mutual aid, support for those who are the most affected on the basis of health but also by the economic impacts of the spreading disease.

Donate to a food bank! Don’t stockpile groceries! When everyone only takes what they need, there’s enough for everyone!

Think of supporting your local businesses by buying a gift-card or a voucher that you can use in the future. Put a dollar in a jar if you’re having a drink at home and send the money to your favorite bartenders or donate to an emergency fund!

Regional Groups and Support Networks:
Mutual Aid/Support Waterbury, Bridgeport, New Haven and Surrounding Areas
https://www.facebook.com/groups/501197987165893/?fref=nf
document for sharing resources:
http://bit.ly/2Wg2pvc

New Haven Area Mutual Aid
https://www.facebook.com/groups/639466263512268

CoronaVirus CT Community Support / Apoyo Comunitario – link

Handbooks:
Internet Book of Critical Care (IBCC)
https://emcrit.org/ibcc/covid19/

Corornavirus Tech Handbook
https://coronavirustechhandbook.com/

Coronavirus Community Care Resource Guide
https://www.ctznwell.org/coronavirus-care-guide

Mutual Aid Disaster Relief – When Every Community is Ground Zero: Pulling Each Other Through a Pandemic

Things To Do (at home for free!)
Collection of free resources – link
Time magazine and National Geographic for kids
Museums offering virtual tours
Free films from Indigenous film makers
Storytime for children

Fundraisers and Solidarity Campaigns:

Solidarity with Incarcerated People:

SURVIVING INSIDE: commissary payments for incarcerated people

http://www.ctbailfund.org/surviving-inside
https://www.facebook.com/donate/1003206333413384/639728416819386/

Urgent Action Needed to Protect Individuals in Connecticut’s Prisons and Jails from Coronavirus-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus Could Spark a Humanitarian Disaster in Jails and Prisons

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response & Resources from The Justice Collaborative

Homelessness:
‘Stay home?’ 500,000 homeless Americans can’t follow coronavirus advice

Perspective from disabled folks

National Fund for bartenders
https://usbgfoundation.networkforgood.com/projects/95524-covid-19-relief-campaign

Fund for musicians impacted by Covid-19 shutdowns:
https://www.sweetrelief.org/covid-19-fund.html

Online Meetings:

ACTIVIST SONGBOOK audition process is now entirely online. (March 14th & 28th library auditions are canceled) You can submit video or audio of you performing a song or rap here
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeNspw3HnYruXaOi7fFcIlvlsYedwHoV4U69WyhZw9_5g-ceg/viewform

Sat Mar 28th 1pm The Annual Meeting of Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP)
More Details coming at www.PEPeace.org
Including Exclusive Video of Naomi Klein’s Lecture at Harvard AND we will announce the winner or winners of the 2020 Gandhi Peace Award

Opportunities to Get More Involved

To hear about more opportunities, join the SURJ New Haven General Body Google Group. We use this group to let members know about last-minute events and actions, as well as to coordinate SURJ’s presence at actions. Go to groups.google.com, search for our google group, and click “join.”

Another way that SURJ members can get more involved is by volunteering with our committees and working groups to organize and facilitate events. These groups often meet outside of general body meetings. If you see a project you might be interested in, email surjnewhaven@gmail.com to get connected with the co-chairs.

Recommended Media of the Week:
Tiny Pricks Project
the material record of Trump’s presidency
LINK
by Diana Weymar


SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. We work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change. Join us!

Medicare for All meets online beginning this weekend — Mar. 29, April 1, April 26 — Facebook events

This Sunday, March 29, 7.30pm – Medicare for All CT planning meeting
https://www.facebook.com/events/2976003719109510

Wednesday, April 1, 8pm – Public Citizen’s national Medicare for All resolutions webinar
https://www.facebook.com/events/2227982930838012

Sunday, April 26, 2pm – Medicare for All virtual organizing meeting
https://www.facebook.com/events/608278636420904

 

In Memoriam, Anne Hall Higgins, 1921-2019

by Lesley Higgins-Biddle

Anne Higgins died on October 21, 2019, at her home in North Haven, Connecticut. Known for her commitment to social justice and racial equity, Anne was active in greater New Haven as a founding leader of People Against Injustice (PAI), with a special concern for prison reform and changes to Connecticut’s drug policy. She was active in New Haven/León Sister City Project after traveling to Nicaragua in her 60s and in the United Church of Christ state conference Peace and Social Concerns committee, which led her to be arrested for protests against nuclear weapons in Groton at the submarine base and in Washington, D.C. As an ordained minister, Anne believed unequivocally in “talking the talk and walking the walk.”

Anne was born in Bridgeport where her grandfather had been a progressive minister at Park Street Congregational Church on the city’s East Side. She attended a new, John Dewey-based elementary school that encouraged young girls to play sports, explore their intellectual gifts, and challenge social norms. She graduated from Smith College (1943) with a major in art and then became one of the first women to graduate from Yale Divinity School with a Master of Divinity, subsequently becoming an ordained Congregational minister. At Yale Anne met the love of her life, Arthur Higgins, with whom she co-pastored small rural churches in upstate New York, Colorado and Maine, at a time when the profession was almost entirely dominated by men.

Anne and Arthur moved back to Connecticut to serve parishes in Chester and Wilton, and raise their four children. While in Wilton they became very active in civil rights, with Arthur attending the March on Washington and Anne becoming active in SNCC and CORE chapters in nearby Norwalk. Anne’s critique of the American power structure was a major inspiration for her art and she created many paintings that expressed both oppression and hope, often at the same time.

Throughout her life, Anne remained indomitably committed, both aesthetically and ethically, to a life well lived and that ‘spoke truth to power.’ From her friend Paula Diehl: “Her last years of ministry took the form of programming for elders in affordable housing. She always tried to increase residents’ world-view and help them to better tolerate and understand those who were not like them.”

Anne is sorely missed by her sons, Bart and Gerry, and her daughters, Lesley and Ethel, who are pictured here with her at an exhibition of her paintings at the New Haven Friends Meeting in 2018. Anne’s friends from PAI, the Nicaraguan Prayer Group, and the Friends Meeting, are grateful for having known her. The sparkle in her eyes will be missed by everyone who knew her.

Guilford Town Hall Dec. 15 With Sen. Chris Murphy

by Medicare4AllCT

We absolutely shook the walls at last night’s town hall. Nearly 3/4 of the questions for Murphy were about Medicare for All. The senator tried to gaslight the crowd with industry talking points and lies, but we were not having it. We are putting together a video of the event but, in the meantime, please like and share our Facebook and Twitter posts and help us keep up the pressure.

Call for Proposals for SCSU Women’s & Gender Studies Conference Due Dec. 16

PAR readers are invited to send in proposals for panels, workshops or lectures for the Southern Connecticut State University 2020 Women’s & Gender Studies Conference. The theme is “Gender, Race, Community, & Conflict: Pursuing Peace and Justice.” The conference will take place ​Friday and Saturday,​ ​April 24 ​and 25​, 2020. Submission deadline is Dec. 16​, 2019.

The world is right now witnessing the unprecedented destruction of communities—mostly Indigenous—and their habitats, including the ongoing fires raging across the Amazon rainforest, the Dakota Pipeline construction, and the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Major conflicts have been exacerbated among genders, races and cultural groups, resulting in unspeakable suffering and violence in communities, from the desecration of Indigenous lands and sacred spaces to climate strikes and the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit people, and trans women of color.

How do feminists and their communities, Indigenous and settler-colonial, address these problems and heal the breaches that have divided and torn communities apart? How have feminists and activists creatively used the existing power structures to reverse the fragmentation of peoples and break down hierarchies? In the pursuit of peace and justice, what are feminist activists doing within their families and communities to stop the divisions and violence and counter the hatred and demonization against “the other”? How are peace and justice achieved through the intersectional and transnational coalitions across gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, nationality?

Please submit proposals and supporting materials to womensstudies@southernct.edu, with attention to “Conference Committee.” If you have any questions, please call the Women’s & Gender Studies Office at (203) 392-6133. Include name, affiliation, e-mail, and phone number. Proposals should be no longer than one page (250-400 words). Panel proposals are encouraged.

The Women’s & Gender Studies Conference at SCSU is self-supporting; all presenters can pre-register at the dis-counted presenters’ rate. The registration includes all costs for supporting materials and all meals and beverage breaks. For more information, visit the SCSU Women’s & Gender Studies page, or contact Women’s & Gender Studies Program: womensstudies@southernct.edu or (203) 392-6133.

“Sober” Houses Need to Be Regulated and Held Accountable

Holly Hackett, Community Advocate, Member of Coalition for People

My life has been impacted immensely by substance use disorder. Has yours? The statistics say yes, that 1 in 3 people know someone with substance use disorder, a chronic and debilitating brain condition. There are approximately 2.1 million people (and growing) in the U.S. suffering from this condition but only 1 in 9 seek treatment, usually due to the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction. These untreated traumas or mental health issues that lead to the person self-medicating can also lead to other health issues, criminal activity and unfortunately, deaths of despair. Every 11 minutes someone dies from an overdose and half are in private homes. In doing my research, I’ve concluded that a lot of these deaths at private homes have occurred in so-called “sober” houses.

My love Tom passed away just 20 days shy of his 39th birthday of liver failure after being in a “sober” house for about 3-4 months. I’m trying to bring awareness to these illegitimate, unsafe, fly-by-night houses that anyone can start, where MANY people across the country struggling with substance use disorder have died.

The cost to live in these houses can range from $700 to $10,000 a month and may not include food, cable TV or linens. In Connecticut there is Public Act No 18-171, but by using simple verbiage these houses are absolved and no one seems to want to enforce said act.

I’m also discouraged that these managers and/or owners of these “sober” houses aren’t held criminally liable if someone dies of an overdose at the house or perhaps drinks and drives and gets into an accident. I’d like to gather everyone together who has been affected by this disorder to stand together, work together, and find a way to let our local, state and federal legislators know these houses are UNACCEPTABLE and MORE needs to be done. We need to protect the vulnerable communities of people with mental health and substance use disorders. The process of Tom dying was long, and at times extremely physically and emotionally painful for him, but his parents suffered through emotional turmoil that cannot even be put into words!

I am hoping PAR readers will want to join me in working on this. Please contact me via email at hollyh1133@gmail.com.

1 2