Safe and affordable housing can be hard to come by for anyone, even more so for those struggling with substance abuse. One Bangor home is offering refuge for those who need it.
"It's just given me stability," said house resident Andrew Chalilia. "It's given me a fighting chance. I'm not sleeping in the homeless shelter anymore, I'm not surrounded by addicts and alcoholics who are in active use anymore. I'm surrounded by people who are clean and who are in recovery and who are doing the same things."
The Fresh Start Sober Living Men's House offers seven bedrooms. Five are already occupied.
"You're not a tenant, you're a member, and that entails subjecting yourself to drug tests, to alcohol tests, to being in some sort of recovery program," said house owner and operator Scott Pardy.
Residents have to apply to get in to the home. And once in, there are rules to follow. That includes maintaining or actively searching for employment, and keeping a relationship with a sponsor.
"We're all going through the same process," said Chalila. "We're familiar with the struggles that everybody is going through, we know the warning signs when someone is going through a rough time, so we're able to kind of maybe step in and aid somebody if they need help and if they show signs of struggling."
Scott Pardy bought the home to give back all the things given to him during his own long-term recovery.
"I'm hoping that if this house can be stable I'll buy another one, that's the hope," said Pardy.
To donate to Fresh Start's cause you can visit their GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/fresh-start-sober-living-house.