VHFA joins VTTAR to fund recovery housing

By: Mia Watson

Recently on Recovery Day at the Statehouse, the Vermont Alliance of Recovery Residences (VTARR) announced the establishment of Jenna’s Fund, which provides financial support for recovery housing for Vermonters overcoming substance use disorders. The initiative is funded in large part by a $90,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (FHLB), obtained by Vermont Housing and Finance Agency (VHFA).

“Many individuals reentering their communities after treatment struggle financially and are unable to cover the initial costs of stay at a recovery residence. Their alternative all too often is to return to the environment that fueled their substance use to begin with.” remarked VHFA Executive Maura Collins.

Recovery housing offers a supportive alcohol and drug-free environment for individuals in recovery. These homes are community-based and peer-centered, with an emphasis on establishing employment and healthy lifestyles. Academic research on communal recovery housing has found that participants had significantly lower relapse and incarceration rates than individuals in outpatient programs.

Jenna’s Fund is named in memory of Vermonter Jenna Tatro who lost her life to substance use disorder last year. Her parents, Dawn and Greg Tatro, initiated the fund in her memory. The fund will be invested in partnership with the Vermont Community Foundation. VTARR will disburse proceeds to support individuals leaving rehabilitation facilities to pay for their stay at certified recovery residences for several weeks until they can obtain employment to pay for their own expenses.

Earlier this year, VHFA applied for funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (FHLB) to support the creation of the fund, with FHLB committing $90,000 for the effort.  

Ken Willis, Vice President from FHLB said that, “providing services and safe, stable housing to people who are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse is critical, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston is pleased that we were able to invest in this special Vermont fund to help individuals with their recovery.”