City of Franklin Takes Action to Evict Sober Residents

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Driven By Circumstances

In September of 2015, while the State of New Hampshire grappled with an unprecedented and deadly opioid epidemic, eight clean and sober men were living peacefully as a single household focused on addiction recovery in Franklin, NH.  The home is 3,600 square feet with two full bathrooms; the previous owners raised seven children in the house. The men supported each other in recovery, attended regular 12-step meetings together, passed random drug tests, met regular curfews, and shared in household chores.  Down-time was often spent in fellowship on the front porch while watching federal marshals and local police raid the apartment building across the street.  No law enforcement ever came to raid the home at 60 Depot Street.

Then City zoning officials came calling.  While these officials appreciated what the home was attempting to offer “certain” members of the community, the City issued a Cease and Desist Order with a 30 day deadline.  Six of the eight sober men would have to go.

On October 8, Driven By Circumstances responded with a detailed explanation of residents’ protected status under the Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988, a status affirmed repeatedly by federal courts. DBC asked for reconsideration of the City’s position.  The City stands by its decision.  DBC is appealing that decision.  Officials say a public hearing will be scheduled on the matter in February.

To our knowledge, this will be the first time the federal right to fair housing for persons in recovery from alcoholism and addiction has been rescinded in the State of New Hampshire.

 

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6 thoughts on “City of Franklin Takes Action to Evict Sober Residents

  1. Anonymous

    Whenever I have been faced with people that are in trouble for one reason or another I make two comments 1. What would Jesus do… 2. There,but for the grace of God, go I. It’s a shame that people are unwilling to give a person with this kind of problem the same help they would want if the situation were reversed. I’ll wager that these men would help these” holier than thous, ” if they were in trouble. With this addiction they way it is, and growing, you will find that people like these men would be wanted here, after all, when the times comes for people to speak about the horrors of addiction, they will have the knowledge it takes to help others in that situation, who knows, it just might be one of you or your child. So, it might be a good idea to help these people all you can. You might relate this message to some of your club buddies. There all kinds of addictions.

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  2. Kelly

    I will help I think it’s good these people need support on staying sober if they’re staying sober while living at the residence that I feel it’s only fair to give them a chance I’ll sign whatever position I have to

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  3. Tom Cronin

    As a supporter what can I do?
    Call a politician? Petition the governor? Where is the hearing & address so I can get other neighbors to show up and support the house?!?

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    1. Thank you so much Tom! The hearing is scheduled for April 6. We will get back to you asap with the address and time. Just knowing there is support out there means so much to the residents. If you wanted to write a letter or start a petition suggesting to the City that this situation presents an AMAZING opportunity for Franklin to take a stand FOR addiction recovery and AGAINST disability discrimination, that would probably be hugely effective in raising public awareness. Franklin is in a position to change actions and attitudes in Town and City Halls across the State by getting behind The Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act in support of persons in recovery. This could be a win-win for everyone!

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