Iron Tribe house is for adults and children recovering from poverty and addiction

by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: ROBIN JOHNSON - A Scappoose house on NW Maria Lane near Veterans Park is slated to become a transition house, which is intended to help people struggling with addiction and poverty to achieve stability. Scappoose residents concerned about a transition house slated to open on NW Maria Lane, near Veterans Park, are planning to air those concerns at a Scappoose City Council meeting tonight, Monday, April 21, at 7 p.m.

A representative from Iron Tribe, the organization proposing the transition home, said he will also attend the meeting.

Iron Tribe is a nonprofit recovery and wellness organization aimed at rehabilitating men, women and children who are recovering from drug addiction and poverty. The organization's initial mission was to help transition people out of correctional facilities to become productive members of society, said Executive Director Harold Cubbedge. But that mission has changed, Cubbedge said.

“Today we find our work in unifying families, many of which have never been in trouble. Some folks are just struggling with poverty,” he said. “It's not a halfway house. It's a family wellness home.”

The proposed Scappoose home is not going to house people who have recently been released from a correctional facility, Cubbedge said.

Bruce Carvalho, a resident in the neighborhood just west of Veterans Park, said at least 30 individuals from his neighborhood will attend the meeting. Carvalho said community members at numerous neighborhood meetings have raised concerns over the home's close proximity to the park and potential recidivism among the home's occupants, who may be recovering from addiction.

Among other concerns, Carvalho said he wondered about the zoning of the home as it will likely accommodate multiple families.

“It falls under one of two categories,” he said. “It's either a residential home or a residential facility, based on zoning laws.”

Cubbedge said Iron Tribe has a good track record with other homes it has opened in the Portland metropolitan area. While some neighbors have concerns at the outset, he said a transparent relationship has been advantageous.

Cubbedge said Iron Tribe's family wellness home in Scappoose will likely be occupied by those who are working to gain custody of their children through overcoming addiction and achieving stable housing. Iron Tribe takes no sex offenders into its homes and performs multiple interviews to screen applicants, he said. Housing applicants must go through two interviews with the state Department of Human Services, a background check and an interview with Iron Tribe.

Those recovering from addiction are required to be clean for an extended period of time, he added.

“It's the ones that are really proving themselves that need extra support to get traction,” Cubbedge said of the home's planned residents, who typically transition out after 6 months.

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