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.

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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
Councilman
Town of Saugerties


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