Sober Housing Program Improves Massachusetts Neighborhoods

The Cycle of Homelessness and Addiction

Nothing is sadder than the sight of homeless men and women sleeping in private doorways or public parks even in the nicest neighborhoods. One solution that appears to be gaining ground is the construction of sober living facilities, designed to break the cycle of homelessness and addiction. A state agency and its non-profit subsidiary are funding affordable housing options for men, women, and families, which will ultimately improve Massachusetts neighborhoods for all residents.


MassHousing (The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency) is an independent, quasi-public agency created to finance affordable housing in Massachusetts. MassHousing sells bonds to raise capital and lends the proceeds to low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners, as well as developers proposing to build or preserve affordable or mixed-income rental housing. MassHousing is self-supporting, not dependent on taxpayer dollars to sustain its operations. It does administer some publicly funded programs on behalf of the Commonwealth. Since its inception in 1966, MassHousing has provided more than $17 billion for affordable housing. As announced in 2014, $292,200 in funding by MassHousing will help create or preserve 66 units of sober housing in Framingham, Holyoke, Leeds, Tewksbury, and Worcester for men, women, and veterans.

Center for Community Recovery Innovations Creates Affordable Sober Housing

The Center for Community Recovery Innovations, Inc. (CCRI) is itself a nonprofit, functioning as a subsidiary corporation of MassHousing. CCRI distributes grants that in turn support non-profits that create or preserve affordable sober housing in Massachusetts. CCRI has awarded more than $7.8 million in grants to build or subsidize 1,700 units of specialized housing in more than 40 communities. CCRI funding is a crucial bridge over gaps in financing for this type of housing, targeted to get projects completed for the residents who need them.

CCRI annually solicits proposals for funding that must meet its priorities and fit within its eligibility categories. These grants are used to fund capital projects for affordable sober housing in Massachusetts. CCRI also seeks proposals for programs to provide substance abuse-related services for residents in MassHousing-financed rental housing facilities that address alcohol or drug abuse or addiction. All programs receiving CCRI grants must be 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that also obtain matching funds to demonstrate community support.

Organizations That Benefit From CCRI Grants

Some of the non-profit organizations receiving grants in the latest round of CCRI funding are:

  • Providence Ministries for the Needy, Inc., Holyoke, where $75,000 will be spent on construction of 30 new units of affordable sober housing for men at McCleary Manor;
  • Janet’s Place, Inc., Tewksbury, where $75,000 will be used for creation of 18 units of housing for women in recovery;
  • Jeremiah’s Hospice, Worcester, where $75,000 has been targeted to remodel and improve 16 units of housing for men;
  • South Middlesex Non-Profit Housing Corporation, Framingham, where $60,000 will be used to remodel and improve two large family apartments as part of a project known as Preservation of Affordable Sober Housing Units in Framingham; and
  • Self Esteem Boston Educational Institute, Self Esteem Skill Building Programs, Leeds, where $7,200 will be spent to provide assistance with life skills and support services to women veterans and their children living in recovery housing.

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