Casa Esperanza May Implement New Sober Rules

The Casa Esperanza homeless shelter appears poised to adopt new rules requiring that its guests be sober while staying at the Cacique Street facility on the city’s Eastside. Traditionally, the facility has sought to accept the indigent as they were, but the new sober rules reflect a shift in philosophy as well as harsh financial realities. Day services will still be available to all parties, but access to parts of the shelter facilities will limited for those rejecting the new sober rules. The goal is to increase the number of individuals transitioning from the streets into housing, and sobriety is seen as key to this shift. The shelter relies on private donations for much of its funding, and private donors have grown restive with the status quo. If approved by the Casa board, the new policies will be gradually implemented over the next year. Casa director Mike Foley estimated as many as 30 percent of his clients could find themselves bounced in the short term because of the new rules, but he suggested the shelter would direct more into sobriety programs in the long term.

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