Opinion Piece By Samuel Strait – August 13, 2019 –
I am somewhat stunned by the lack of understanding by Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director, Heather Snow, as she has once again got to stick her nose in something
that shouldn’t be any of her business. Most of us have no doubt long forgotten last year’s controversy over the original funding of our local Oxford House by DHHS. Unfortunately, Director Snow either hasn’t educated herself during the course of the past year with the contents of
the Oxford House Charter, or feels she knows better than those that have developed the Oxford House platform which has been much more successful in houses that adhere to that Charter than government funded houses. I fail to understand just how Ms. Busybody Snow can fail to acquaint
herself with the Charter of the Oxford House which clearly states that the residents of said house shall NOT accept outside funding from any GOVERNMENT agency, as it leads to the kind of dependency that Oxford Houses exclude from their programs. The Houses are meant to be
independently funded by the members of the house themselves in order to foster the necessary skills to remain so once the member has successfully completed a treatment program, is able to leave the house, and become totally self sustaining.
Director Snow has before the Board of Supervisors today, August 13th, on the consent agenda, in an effort to avoid public scrutiny no doubt, the renewal of $15,000 in public money to be used for “unspecified services” to the DHHS by Oxford House members when there are NO
“UNSPECIFIED SERVICES” THAT OXFORD HOUSE MEMBERS ARE QUALIFIED TO PERFORM. This is nothing but a blatant attempt by Director Snow to interfere with the proper operation of an Oxford House and make it into an Oxford House in name only. The whole point of Oxford Houses and their chartered structure is to eliminate as much dependence as possible
to the point that members can shed past issues in their lives and return to being successful members of society. While it is unlikely that Supervisors Cowan, Hemmingsen, and Howard can wrap their collective minds around the concepts found within the Oxford House charter, it was a successful way of helping those that lived within that Charter. Much more so than what will result if Director Snow is allowed to break down the system with her form of financial pandering. THIS IS WRONG IN SO
MANY WAYS. The Board of Supervisors should be the grown ups in the house and should not let this happen to the local Oxford House.
There are many people in this local community that understand what dependence has wrought through out the United States in the past seventy or so years with climbing destruction of so many lives by what seems like socially conscious programs funded by federal and state dollars.
Tax dollars, that make the problems worse. While it may seem like a small thing to do, perhaps attending Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting to protest yet another travesty cloaked in the form of the benign, would be a way of breaking the bonds of dependency for the residents of our local Oxford House.