Lack of funding, recovery housing cited as challenges in Dover

DOVER — Leaders in the recovery field and their community partners discussed what challenges them Monday morning during a legislative breakfast and panel discussion at SOS Recovery Community Center in Dover.

John Burns, the director of SOS Recovery, cited funding and a lack of housing for those in recovery as two of the key issues he sees at his Dover, Durham and Rochester centers. Burns said they have four staff members charged with keeping the buildings open 125 hours a week. They rely heavily on volunteers to keep programs running for those in recovery.

Burns said the centers in Rochester and Durham opened last year with $5,000 from NH Charitable Foundation. In April, the Dover location opened with assistance from Goodwin Community Health and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.

Burns said only 10 to 13 percent of the state funds designated to fight the drug epidemic go to peer recovery support services. Meanwhile, the Granite Hammer program for police has received $4 million over the course of the last two years, Burns said.

Burns said half of the people arrested through Granite Hammer funds are caught with possession of drugs.

“We need to stop arresting people and get them help,” Burns said.

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