A new men’s recovery house could open this fall, pending approval from the city of Bozeman.

The home, which would be located in the old Youth Dynamics building near Westridge Drive and Graf Street, would provide a sober, safe living space to men for three months to one year. Each resident would pay $650 per month to live there and would have access to services like mentoring and drug and alcohol counseling.

“We desperately need this,” said Steve DeBoer, who would run the nonprofit recovery home. “This town could use five of these.”

DeBoer, the director of Alive Again Life Recovery Mission, said about 12 people would need to live in the house for it to break even. However, there is some question as to whether having that many residents would violate city regulations.

It’s going “to be a little bit of a puzzle” to determine how the recovery house can comply with city requirements while carrying out its business plan, said Marty Matsen, the city’s community development director. He added that it’s too early to know what, if any, changes would be needed for the recovery home to meet city requirements.

Once the planning department receives the necessary information about the recovery home, it will decide whether DeBoer can move forward and open on Oct. 1, as he is hoping, Matsen said.

The recovery home would only accept men, including some enrolled in Gallatin County Treatment Court, an 18-month program for those convicted of alcohol- or drug-related crimes. County officials have voiced support for the home in letters to the Bozeman Planning Department.

“One of the primary stumbling blocks to recovery is having the basic needs of a person met, so they can focus their energy toward recovery,” Court Services Director Steve Ette said in a letter to the planning department. “Without sober, safe housing a person’s chance of recovery is significantly diminished.”

Ette also said the recovery home would benefit the county because it would give people the resources they need to recover from addiction, which reduces their likelihood of committing crimes and helps them find and keep jobs.

“This home would allow Mr. DeBoer the ability to provide beneficial services to this population,” Ette said. “The home would be community-based and provide the dignity and respect these citizens deserve.”

The Gallatin County Commission believes the recovery house would help address the county’s lack of housing and resources for substance abuse.

“Treatment and recovery facilities in Bozeman are going away, and they’re something we really need,” Commissioner Joe Skinner said. “The new facility dovetails with the work we’re doing to help those in treatment by providing them with a sober place to live.”

Gallatin County has few options for those struggling with substance abuse. Most programs cater to those involved in the criminal justice system. Those options seem to be dwindling with Bozeman’s only recovery house for women closing at the end of July because of state budget cuts and the city’s increasing cost of living. No one has announced plans to replace it.

Perrin Stein can be reached at 406-582-2648 or at pstein@dailychronicle.com. Follow her on Twitter @PerrinStein.

Perrin Stein is the county, state and federal government reporter for the Chronicle.

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