Permanent Housing for Homeless Alcoholics

King County, Washington, offers permanent apartments for "chronic public inebriates" who are allowed to drink in their new homes.
July 11, 2006, 5am PDT | maryereynolds
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Chronic alcoholics in Seattle are part of first-in-the-nation experiment to provide housing to individuals suffering from drug and alcohol addiction -- all the while saving taxpayer dollars.

75 "chronic public inebriates" in King County 75 were offered permanent homes in a new government subsidized apartment building.

"Each had been a street drunk for several years and had failed at least six efforts at sobriety. In a controversial acknowledgment of their addiction, the residents â€" 70 men and 5 women â€" can drink in their rooms. They do not have to promise to drink less, attend Alcoholics Anonymous or go to church."

Bush administration officials like John Meyers, Director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's regional office here, support the project. HUD invested $2 million dollars, and Meyers calls 1811 Eastlake "a glorious experiment. . . . It's a lot cheaper having them spend the night at 1811 than at the E.R. or at the drunk tank."

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Published on Wednesday, July 5, 2006 in The New York Times
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