Letter: Support RYAN House

I would like to address a current project in the Village of Saugerties that will be nothing but a benefit to all in need and the community as a whole. As some of you may know, the previously known location of the Knights of Columbus has recently changed hands. The new owners are renaming and creating a place that the community will soon know as the RYAN House. “RYAN” stands for Raising Awareness About Narcotics. This will be a place that people in our community with addiction problems can be guided and supported in hopes of curing their battles with addiction.

Addiction is a disease that is devastating families across our great country – a disease that does not discriminate on any level. I’ve personally experienced the effects that addiction has on a family. I have also witnessed many addiction-related tragedies in my firefighting career as a volunteer with Centerville Cedar Grove Fire Department. I have had family go away for months at a time in programs that just do not work. I have been to houses more than once in the same day for overdoses. Unfortunately, my fellow first responders and I have had to leave a scene knowing the system is broken and this could be the last life save we make for a struggling addict. We often leave knowing that the next time we get the call for help, it may be too late.

Saugerties has been struck with a high rate of drug addiction cases. We all know someone who’s battling addiction or has been lost to addiction. Saugerties can only benefit from a place in our backyard where those who are battling their addictions can go to get help. I am, and will continue to be, a wholehearted supporter and advocate for the RYAN House. I urge anyone with skepticism to reach out and ask the principal who are behind this great project any questions you may have.


Saugerties has always banded together in times of need, and this is a time of need. Losing mental health and drug addiction services in Kingston and moving them to Poughkeepsie only hurt Saugerties and Ulster County. We can do better as a community, and this is our opportunity to do so. Please join me in supporting the RYAN House for a better future for those facing some of their darkest times.

Michael Ivino
Town of Saugerties

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