A $460,000 grant from the Washington Department of Commerce will help pay for a duplex in Chehalis that since 2019 has been used to house participants in the Lewis County Drug Court program, according to a news release from the county.
The money will allow the county to provide “permanent transitional housing” for 18 to 26 Drug Court participants. It was provided through a Rapid Capital Housing Acquisition Grant.
The duplex is “used to provide housing to unsheltered program participants, markedly improving the program’s outcomes and benefit to the participants and the broader community,” the county states in the release.
“For almost 20 years, the Lewis County Drug Court has helped participants overcome addiction, learn life skills, develop a peer support network, find stable housing and employment, and avoid incarceration and recidivism,” Lewis County Housing and Infrastructure Specialist Eric Eisenberg said. “Someone at high risk to reoffend is a good candidate for this intensive two-year-long program, which assists them in improving their lives and not committing crimes in the future.”
Eisenberg added that the Drug Court program uses a “carrot-and-stick approach to overcome setbacks and relapse and reward progress, and overall is recognized nationwide as an effective, compassionate means of encouraging long-lasting life change and self-sufficiency.”
Eligible defendants who complete the Drug Court program are given the ability to have criminal charges dismissed.
Stephanie Miller, manager of the Lewis County Drug Court and Family Recovery Court programs, said the transitional housing provides a solid foundation for success for those on the journey to recovery.
“The comradery among participants provides a sense of family, and along with intensive treatment and court supervision, are reasons why the program is so successful,” Miller said.