Dudley House Operator Sought
The residential program for men recovering from substance abuse shut down in May 2008, after failing to meet new state licensing rules. The 15-bed Putnam Avenue house has since been refurbished and made handicapped-accessible, but has not yet received licensure.
City Administrator Marc Dashield said Monday the administration is weighing proposals from three entities, one for a "sober house," one from Sunrise House and a third from a non-profit agency in East Orange. The news came in an update to the City Council, which has requested a turnover from city operation of the program.
Councilwoman Annie McWilliams questioned the change, asking about a contract the council had approved with the Plainfield-based Organization for Recovery. Dashield said the contract had not been executed. The council had expected a resolution by Jan. 1, but Dashield said it might take longer under the new circumstances.
Dashield called Sunrise House a "strong competitor" to take over, as it is licensed and the city has not yet obtained licensure from the state for Dudley House. In answer to Councilman Cory Storch, Dashield said Union County officials are helping the city decide which course to take.
As with several other recent issues, Dashield drew criticism for not letting the council know earlier what was going on. The council had asked for an update by October.
"It's very disrespectful that we have to ask this again," McWilliams said.
The governing body will hold an executive session before its regular meeting on Nov. 16 to discuss the matter. The meeting is 8 p.m. Nov. 16 in Municipal Court.