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Proposed "wet house" has Troy residents concerned

TROY -- Alcoholics off the streets and in a shelter where booze are available to them, that is a proposal in the City of Troy.

The Executive Director of Joseph's House, in Troy, says she is looking to open a shelter for alcoholics that would allow them to consume alcohol. The shelters are known around the country as "Wet Houses".

Tracy Neitzel says there are already three shelters for the homeless in the greater Troy area. The only difference between those shelters, and this one, is alcohol would be served to those who have an addiction to it.

"They don't have to lie about their use (and) if they don't have to lie about it then we can talk about the problems the use creates," said Neitzel. "We can talk about their disease and we can talk about their solutions."

However, many people living near the Hill Street location, where the sight is proposed, are hoping the discussions of struggling alcoholics will take place away from them.

In front of her Ida Street neighbors house Lillian Whitaker signed a petition Friday to prevent the facility from coming in her backyard.

"It's a good neighborhood (and) there are a lot of children in this area," Whitaker said. "Troy is bad enough, we don't need it down here."

The facility would be funded mainly by state and federal tax money. Much of the funding comes from grants, Neitzel said.

Residents who live in the shelter pay 30% of the rent, added Neitzel.