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Transitional Housing and Job Needs Increasing For Cookeville

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Transitional Housing and Job Needs Increasing For Cookeville

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The need for transitional housing and employment has grown over the last year in Cookeville.

UCHRA Substance Abuse Solutions Director Glen Sayes said his office sees 10 to 15 people a week who are in need of emergency or transitional housing. Sayes said the pandemic and a lack of affordable housing has made recovery a struggle for many people.

“You have to have a job, you have to have a residence, a place to live,” Sayes said. “And you have to have transportation between those two. So which comes first? Do you get the transportation first, the housing first or the employment first?”

Sayes said these three key parts to recovery after treatment are called the “three legged stool” and unfortunately all three parts almost have to happen simultaneously. Sayes said Substance Abuse Solutions can get someone into treatment, where the path to finding employment and housing can begin in a stable environment.

“A person that is coming out of their substance abuse, maybe it has been for five years or 10 years,” Sayes said. “I’ve got one guy who came to me last week, 17 years of substance abuse. He has nothing and so we’re having to start completely from scratch with that young man. Getting him into a treatment program and then after he finishes the treatment program, then we begin simultaneously looking for job, housing and the way to get between those two.”

Sayes said that often people complete treatment without Substance Abuse Solutions, but they still find themselves lost about what the next step in life should be.

“If you have a service out there that you would like to be included in our referrals and you would like to be a part of this continuum of care,” Sayes said. “Get a hold of us and let me know, I would love to talk to anyone.”

Sayes said he has seen this need increase over the last three years, but 2020 saw the biggest increase and it has continued.


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