Woman opens Gilly’s House in Wrentham for men recovering from addiction after her son’s death

WRENTHAM — Gilly’s House in Wrentham is a place of refuge for men looking to get and stay sober. It was started by a woman who decided to turn her own personal tragedy into something positive.

“My son passed away from an overdose almost six years ago and he lived in a sober house,” said Barbara Gillmeister.

She felt she needed to do something and decided to start Gilly’s House. The non-profit sober house is currently home to 21 male residents. They have support from the Wrentham community and they also have a staff that is going through recovery as well.

“They can relate to what’s going on with each of the guys. They understand what’s going on and they know what they need to do,” Gilmeister explained.

Recovery is never ending.

“My life was just a basic game of setting up for the next day and the next move. Always had to make sure that there was a drug available,” said Andy Hansen, a resident of Gilly’s House.

Andy has been clean for two years now. “This is where I wanted to be. No drugs, no drinking,” he said.

“I was living a life of turmoil and disgust with myself. I had no care for the people around me or myself,” said Bobby Paquette. He’s a former resident who is approaching four years earlier this month.

Gilly’s House has been the answer for them both and many more.

“This place has a feel to it, I mean it takes a lot. You have to cry. As a man, I don’t care how tough you are or what you’ve been through, If you don’t shed some tears over what you’ve done and what you could have continued to do, you’re not going to get straight,” Paquette said.

Hansen said, “This house creates a great opportunity if you want to take it. Not everybody takes it but it’s here. It’s offered. It’s in the house, it’s in the walls.”

On August 21, Gilly’s House is hosting a family sober event Summerfest at Legion Field for the whole community. Besides getting out there and having fun, it’s also for anyone who has questions because they may know someone going through a tough time.

Levan Reid

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