By Cary Shuman
The Powers family has done much to make Chelsea a better city. Steve Powers and his younger brother, Matty Powers, are now spreading their kindness to other communities, notably the city of Lynn.
The Mass. Department of Health (DPH) presented an award to the Powers brothers July 8, certifying the sober house facility that the Powers family had built in Lynn. DPH Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel presented the certificate, making it one of the first certified sober houses in the history of Massachusetts.
Sober houses allow residents to transition from a residential recovery setting to living independently in a supportive group setting.
“It’s nice to receive the certification,” said Matty Powers, himself a recovering addict who is now drug free. “For a long time you felt like you were going unnoticed doing the right thing and now the state has recognized our efforts.”
Bharel praised the brothers’ work, saying their facility meets the state’s highest standards for sober houses and is an example for others to follow.
Steve Powers opened the first Chelsea’s House recovery program (sober house) in Lynn in 2010. He said Chelsea’s House is named after former Chelsea High football player, the late Robert Hinckley Jr.
“We named it Chelsea’s House in honor of Chelsea’s Bob Hinckley, because he helped my brother get clean,” said Steve Powers.
“Bob was a part of a lot of younger guys in Chelsea getting clean,” said Matty.
Matty, president of the Chelsea’s House facilities, said they currently have 65 men living in their five sober houses in Lynn and Chelsea.
The two brothers started their venture with assistance from their well-known father, former Alderman Steve Powers and their brother, Dennis Powers, who help with the construction and renovation of the facilities.
“We’re totally self-sufficient with Chelsea’s House,” said Steve. “We started this with our own money and the money [clients pay $170 per week for rent] that is raised in those houses pay to keep them going.”
Steve Powers said after visiting some of the sober houses [in which his brother stayed] and seeing that they were in poor condition, he decided to open his own sober house. The Powers are meeting the demands of their clients.
“We give them a healthy, clean, sober, drug-free environment to recover,” said Steve. “A professional drug testing company comes in twice a week. We go the extra mile to make these houses like the houses our clients grew up in when they were kids living with their parents.”
Matty Powers travels daily to the sober houses to meet with the house managers and to oversee the recovery processes. Matty also arranges group meetings for clients so they can work together in their recovery.
“I visit the houses every day,” said Matty. “Our goal is to help our clients stay clean.”
Steve said there is a tremendous need for sober houses as the state battles an opioid crisis. Steve said he feels “blessed” that his brother overcame adversity to become clean and he’s proud that his brother is now helping others in their recoveries.