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Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Visits LGBTQ+ Recovery House in Honor of Pride Month, Discusses Importance of Becoming Licensed

06/22/2022

Philadelphia, PA -Today, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) visited licensed recovery house, Stop and Surrender Wayne Ministries Rainbow House, to highlight their innovative approach in assisting people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGTBQ+) in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) and to highlight the importance of becoming licensed.

“The Wolf Administration is dedicated to ensuring that all Pennsylvanians are supported through each phase of their recovery journey,” said Special Assistant to the DDAP Secretary, Steve Ross. “These regulations are a significant step in ensuring safe, supportive housing for all Pennsylvanians. We applaud all recovery houses in the commonwealth that have become licensed and especially Rainbow House as they work to help people who identify as LGBTQ+ in recovery, a particularly vulnerable population.”

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), people who identify as LGBTQ+ often face social stigma, discrimination, and other challenges not encountered by people who identify as heterosexual. They also face a greater risk of harassment and violence. As a result of these and other stressors, sexual minorities are at increased risk for various behavioral health issues which can include the most severe SUDs for LGBTQ+ individuals.

Stop and Surrender Wayne Ministries Rainbow House is a state-of-the-art recovery house that combines compassionate care with evidence-based techniques, with the ultimate goal of improving client outcomes. Rainbow House is a 12-bed recovery residence that meets the housing needs of the LGBTQ+ population in Philadelphia. Rainbow House employs staff trained to provide services that are culturally affirming and supportive to the members of the LGBTQ+ population.

“All residents, regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, need to feel safe in their surroundings, in order for positive programming outcomes to occur,” said George Thomas III, Program Director at Stop and surrender Inc. “At Rainbow House, rules are maintained with dignity and respect for all, and most importantly, our residents are called by their preferred names and the use of pronouns are also in line with how each resident identifies.”

The purpose of the recovery house licensure program is to help empower sustained recovery for individuals with substance use disorder by ensuring a network of safe drug and alcohol recovery houses across the commonwealth. Individuals can find a listing of licensed recovery houses on the DDAP website.

The recovery house licensing regulations contain a number of provisions designed to protect residents in the areas of health and safety, finances, and resident rights, some of which include staff training on administering naloxone, CPR, first aid, and requirement of naloxone on the premises; nondiscriminatory practices based on age, sex, race, ethnicity, religion, economic status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression; and documentation of all financial transactions with residents and establishment of a written agreement before assisting in any management of resident funds.

Recovery houses can find more information regarding the application process on the DDAP website. DDAP is offering a free one-day training workshop designed to answer the various questions associated with the application process. Participation in the workshop results in a decrease in the amount of time it takes to approve applications, resulting in the license being issued sooner to those applicants who participate. To register for the workshop please email RA-licensureapps@pa.gov or call 717-783-8675.

Individuals seeking treatment or substance use supports for themselves or a loved one can always call the toll-free PA Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The free, confidential hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and staffed by trained professionals. A live chat option is also available online or via text message at 717-216-0905 for those seeking help who may not be comfortable speaking to a helpline operator.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephany Dugan - ra-dapressoffice@pa.gov

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