Responding to the opioid crisis with H.O.U.S.E.

November 13, 2017

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As the opioid crisis devastates communities across Maine, Preble Street is reversing overdoses almost every week.

Once every eight days Preble Street staff have to respond to life-threatening emergencies. Just last week, we responded to two overdoses and saved two lives. For us, it is as real and as tragic as it comes.

Every day—every single day—people plead with us for housing and treatment options. And every day—every single day—we can barely offer them even a glimmer of hope.

This is a catastrophic public health crisis, one of the worst we’ve lived through, with deadly consequences to the people we serve. Thankfully, Representative Drew Gattine has submitted emergency legislation.

Despite such promise, H.O.U.S.E. is one of many new bills that have been rejected, blocked from being considered during the upcoming legislative session by a 5-5 vote split evenly along party lines. LR 2744, An Act To Save Lives and Create the Homeless Opioid User Service Engagement Pilot Project (H.O.U.S.E.) provides treatment for substance use disorders and stable housing to support recovery for opioid users who are among the most vulnerable in Maine. H.O.U.S.E. is based on successes of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) approaches in other cities specifically targeting the homeless population.

Representative Gattine filed an appeal, and we need you to insist that H.O.U.S.E. finds a home when the Legislative Council reconvenes on November 30Please contact your legislators and urge them to support LR 2744 being heard in the upcoming legislative session. Please also contact members of the Legislative Council to urge them to act on the fierce urgency of now. This issue cannot wait.

Pursuing legislation is challenging, but every eight days we’re reminded why it’s essential we try.

Legislative Council Contacts
Speaker Sara Gideon: (207) 287-1300 / Sara.Gideon@legislature.maine.gov
President Michael D. Thibodeau: (207) 287-1500 / Michael.Thibodeau@legislature.maine.gov /
Senator Garrett P. Mason: (207) 287-1505 / Garrett.Mason@legislature.maine.gov
Senator Amy F. Volk: (207) 287-1505 /amy.volk@legislature.maine.gov
Senator Troy D. Jackson: (207) 287-1515 / Troy.Jackson@legislature.maine.gov
Senator Nathan L. Libby: (207) 287-1515 / Nathan.Libby@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Erin D. Herbig: (207) 287-1430 / Erin.Herbig@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Jared F. Golden: (207) 287-1430 / Jared.Golden@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Kenneth W. Fredette: (207) 287-1440 / Kenneth.Fredette@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Eleanor Espling: (207) 891-8280 / Ellie.Espling@legislature.maine.gov