August 20 2012
For the audio version of this story, click the podcast player below.
Returning home after military service is something most of us will never experience. But for those who do, the transition can be extremely difficult.
Dryhootch recognizes the problem and provides services to veterans of all ages. At its two locations, it provides an alcohol-free environment for veterans to unwind. There they can connect with other service men and women, enjoy a cup of coffee, and participate in peer-to-peer discussion groups. The center also has regular meetings for vets to deal with substance abuse, unemployment, and other veteran-specific issues.
The discussion groups are some of the most popular programs Dryhootch offers. They're non-clinical, which means the office doesn't keep records on the participants. The groups are also mostly unstructured, allowing for open-ended, veteran-driven conversation.
Based on the success of the Brady street location, Dryhootch was able to open a second office in May 2012. Located across the street from the VA, the new location -- or "forward operating base" as it is called -- focuses more on discussion groups and veteran wellness.
As for the name -- it has a few meanings. In military terms, "hootch" is a kind of tent. The word also is slang for liquor. Both definitions tie into Dryhootch's mission to provide a safe and comfortable environment for veterans.
Dryhootch is a non-profit organization, and the Brady street location relies on donations and coffee sales to keep the doors open. If you'd like to connect with Dryhootch, follow this link.