Massachusetts State Laws, Policies and Funding
RH terminology used by the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS) References sober homes.
Accreditation, Certification, and State Licensing Requirement: Certification is required for referral to a home.
RH Law(s): Massachusetts Sober Homes Law (2014) Chapter 165, Section 37 of the Acts of 2014 required the Department of Public Health (DPH) to establish a process for the voluntary certification of alcohol and drug free (ADF) housing. This legislation limits state agencies and their vendors to referring to certified ADF housing.
RH Legislation: S.1280 (2022) An act relative to best practices for sober homes
S.1264 (2022) An act relative to certification of sober homes
H.5228 (2022) Order relative to authorizing the committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery to make an investigation and study of certain Senate documents concerning mental health, recovery homes and lifesaving treatment.
H.3791 (2022) Relative to the use of roommate houses as sober homes or halfway houses. Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery.
SABG Program: The “Planned Priority Areas” documents for your state’s Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) program and Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) program do not specifically mention recovery housing as a priority, nor do they list recovery support services as an allowable activity. To learn more about specific recovery housing activities that are eligible for funding through these grant programs, please reach out to your state’s Single State Agency (SSA) that’s responsible for administering these funds by visiting https://www.mass.gov/orgs/bureau-of-substance-addiction-services
SOR Program: Your state’s Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) has previously funded recovery activities using State Opioid Response (SOR) funds. To learn more about specific recovery housing activities that are eligible for funding through this grant program, please reach out to your state’s Single State Agency (SSA) that’s responsible for administering these funds by visiting https://www.mass.gov/orgs/bureau-of-substance-addiction-services
Medicaid Funding: Nothing in the state Medicaid plan suggests direct support for RH, however, certain covered activities could evolve to be provided in RH settings include case management and counseling.
Housing Assistance Funding: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/housing-and-community-development
Certified Sober Housing
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation
The mission of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation is to help make health care accessible to all populations in the state of Massachusetts. The Foundation is based in Boston, was founded in 2001, and became a private foundation in 2006. The Foundation is supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
Regions: The Foundation focuses funding on areas where Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts operates. Though most funding is directed towards Boston, the Foundation also supports projects in rural and partially rural counties like Franklin and Berkshire.
Issues Supported: The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts addresses issues related to health care, including coverage, behavioral health, racial inequities, and health reform.
Grant Process and Application: Deadlines vary depending on the funding initiative. Find out about open grant programs and applications by visiting the Foundation website.
Grant-Making Per Year: In 2019, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation provided grants in the amount of $3.8 million.
Recovery and Supportive Housing Grantee Example: The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is based in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in partially rural Berkshire County. The Brien Center offers several sober living facilities to support individuals struggling with a substance use disorder and to offer services to facilitate reintegration into society.
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation is based in Sheffield, Massachusetts and was founded in 1987. The Foundation strives to improve quality of life and economic standing for the communities it serves.
Regions: The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation serves four largely rural counties at the intersection of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. These counties are Litchfield County, Connecticut; Berkshire County, Massachusetts; Columbia County and Dutchess County, New York.
Issues Supported: Health, education, and human services are the top funding priorities for the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. The Foundation has launched initiatives designed to support community engagement, educational attainment, and economic opportunities.
Grant Process and Application: There are numerous grant programs with varying deadlines. Find out more about grant opportunities by visiting the Foundation’s website.
Grant-Making Per Year: The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation provides grants and scholarships in the amount of $7 million each year.
Recovery and Supportive Housing Grantee Example: The McCall Center for Behavioral Health in rural Litchfield County is an example of a grantee that offers recovery housing services. The McCall Center offers three recovery housing options that provide transitional living services, including relapse prevention, education support, and employment guidance.
Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts was established in 1991 and is based in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Foundation’s mission is to support communities in its area of service.
Regions: The Foundation primarily focuses on funding projects in three Massachusetts counties: Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin (rural).
Issues Supported: The top three funding priorities for the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts are education, human services, and health. Focus areas include addiction services, arts and culture, education, environment, family services, and housing development.
Grant Process and Application: Grant-making programs have been recently adjusted to focus on COVID-19 response programs and community support. Find out more about the grant-making process on the Foundation’s website.
Grant-Making Per Year: In FY 2019, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts provided grants in the amount of $7.8 million.
Recovery and Supportive Housing Grantee Example: High Watch Recovery Center in rural Litchfield County, Connecticut, provides a variety of health services to serve individuals struggling with substance use disorder. Long-term, transitional sober living services are also available for clients, to support recovery and reintegration into society.
The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts
The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts is based in Worcester, Massachusetts, and was established in 1999. This funder is a health conversion foundation that was founded when Healthsource Inc. of New Hampshire purchased Central Massachusetts Health Care Inc. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Central Massachusetts residents, especially vulnerable and underserved populations.
Regions: The Foundation’s area of service is central Massachusetts, which has many rural communities. The Foundation primarily serves partially rural Worcester County.
Issues Supported: Improving health is the primary focus of the Foundation. The Foundation has two grant-making initiatives: the Activation Fund and the Synergy Initiative.
Grant Process and Application: Having a phone call with a staff member is required before submitting a proposal. The deadlines for the Activation Fund fall in April for letters of intent and in August for final applications. The deadlines for the Synergy Initiative usually fall in August for letters of intent and November for final applications. Visit the Activation Fund webpage and the Synergy Initiative webpage for more information about the grant-making process.
Grant-Making Per Year: In 2016, the Foundation provided grants in the amount of $2.4 million.
Recovery and Supportive Housing Grantee Example: Jeremiah’s Inn is a grantee located in Worcester, Massachusetts, in partially rural Worcester County. Jeremiah’s Inn offers residential treatment for substance use disorder, nutrition counseling, and recovery housing services.
Rockinghorse Trail Foundation
The Rockinghorse Trail Foundation was established in 1999 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts.
Regions: The Rockinghorse Trail Foundation serves various regions of Massachusetts, including rural Dukes County.
Issues Supported: Issue areas funded include community improvement, educational attainment, mental health care, public health, and medical support services.
Grant Process and Application: For questions about the grantmaking process, contact the Foundation by phone at 617-447-2700.
Grant-Making Per Year: In 2019, the Rockinghorse Trail Foundation provided grants in the amount of $146,650.
Recovery and Supportive Housing Grantee Example: The Vineyard House is a grantee located in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, in rural Dukes County. The Vineyard House provides sober living accommodations for 6 women and 18 men.
Massachusetts Opioid Settlement Funds
Total Settlement Funds in Massachusetts
- $526 million
- 60% to the Opioid recovery and Remediation Fund
- 40% to local governments
- Funds from three distributors will be paid over 18 years
- Funds from Johnson & Johnson will be paid over 9 years
- Payments will be made each year on July 15
- Not established
Spending So Far
How About Your County?
To get a quick overview of the resources available in your county, including gaps that may need to be addressed, visit the Recovery Ecosystem Index Map developed through a partnership between the Fletcher Group Rural Center of Excellence, the NORC Walsh Center at the University of Chicago, and East Tennessee State University.
Need More Info?
A year in the making by a staff of ten, the Fletcher Group’s 82-page Recovery Housing Landscape Report provides an in-depth overview of the most recent laws, policies, and funding affecting recovery housing. You’ll find sections devoted to state laws, SAMHSA funding, Medicaid, corrections, and housing assistance plus numerous links to valuable resources and official documents. To see the complete downloadable report, click the image to the left.
This web page is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $13.7 million with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.