Liberty House: a noble mission

To the editor:As an elected member to the board of Liberty House in Manchester, I’d like to clarify and make known for public consumption what it is and what it isn’t.First, it is a transitional housing and case-management operation for qualifying, honorably discharged American veterans in need of housing and case management assistance. It is not a facility accepting any and all who may show up at the door at any and all hours of the day or night. The house also strictly enforces its policy of no alcohol or illegal drug use.Some of the eligibility criteria to become a resident of Liberty House program follows:• If in recovery from substance abuse, documentation of at least 90 days of sobriety is required prior to admission• Must be willing to follow case management program goals and requirements• Must actively search for employment, or if on disability be engaged in constructive daily activities• If unemployed, must be willing to volunteer in the communityIntake policies and procedures include, among others, completion of a written application with certification of homelessness, current income, length of sobriety and description of prior housing, work and medical history.Liberty House is a substance-free home, and staff reserves the right to conduct random alcohol testing on any resident during appropriate hours and circumstances.If any would think that a potential 12- to 24-month stay at Liberty House is a “free ride,” they’d be mistaken: Gainfully employed residents are required to share in the house’s operating expenses, with 30 percent of income going toward rent and 20 percent toward the resident’s savings or checking account for future resources.All residents must take an active part in being or becoming employed or attending school. (Current unemployment statistics for American veterans are twice the national to nearly three times the state averages: upwards of 21 percent.)There is a waiting list to get into Liberty House – 14 honorably discharged and qualified American veterans are waiting to become residents of Liberty House, which has a capacity to house 10 veterans at any given time.If any would like to learn more and or to donate needed household furnishings/materials and or funds, or to perhaps offer temporary or permanent employment opportunities to American veteran residents (and non-residents) of Liberty House alike, please visit the Liberty House Inc. Web site at McCarthyManchester

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