Sober living homes targeted

Sober living homes targeted

There are 142 comments on the Daily Breeze story from Aug 17, 2008, titled Sober living homes targeted. In it, Daily Breeze reports that:

Al Russell says the men in his sober-living home hear two of the most profane words in their vocabulary when they arrive: discipline and responsibility.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Daily Breeze.

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Don Diller

Pasadena, CA

#1 Aug 17, 2008
If they all were as well run as Beacon House no one would be complaining. The Beacon House Boys are a community asset and don't get enough credit for the quiet good they do. Everything from parking cars at festivals to helping the elderly move furniture.
fred

Long Beach, CA

#2 Aug 17, 2008
Why attack the people that are living sober though. They should be going after the drunks and druggies anyway.
bob

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

#3 Aug 17, 2008
Next will Haha try to regulate when I go the the bathroom?
Pedro Mom

Glendale, CA

#4 Aug 17, 2008
My grandparents lived below Pacific for many years. When they first moved in that neighborhood it was mostly families that had been there for years. In the mid 90's two sober living homes moved in and also a recovery home. The ONLY problem we EVER experienced was when there were meetings and there would be no parking. However parking was a growing issue since some of the apartments on that particular block has 2 or three families living there! As far as the tenents in these homes...they were always so friendly. Numerous times my grandfather was offered help in his yard or taking out the trash. When a group of men would walk by for a meeting they would always great him and had nothing but respect. One apartment that was transformed into a sober living was actually next door and was a drug infested mess before the sober living.
Just my 2 cents......
MATT HEWITT

Tahoe City, CA

#5 Aug 17, 2008
What a great article! It brings to light both sides of the coin.
Addiction

United States

#6 Aug 17, 2008
Sober living homes are about giving back to the community. When are people going to stop destroying what works for humanity to heal?
If anyone would take the time to look most sober living are very clean grass cut, nice paint, and no hanging out in front yard.
Go clean up all the drug/alcohol infested city parks.
lmao

Dublin, CA

#7 Aug 17, 2008
San Pedro has the most "sober living" facilities per square mile than any other community in CA...very interesting commentary on how that city has grown over the years.

Not saying that it is good or bad, better for these guys and gals to have somewhere to get better...but it sure adds a notch to the belt of what SP has become...
really

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

#8 Aug 17, 2008
lmao wrote:
San Pedro has the most "sober living" facilities per square mile than any other community in CA...very interesting commentary on how that city has grown over the years.
Not saying that it is good or bad, better for these guys and gals to have somewhere to get better...but it sure adds a notch to the belt of what SP has become...
I have no objection to a well run sober living homes like Beacon House, but the fact is we have more than our share of them in town. It's not fair for one community to bear the whole burden.
Paul

AOL

#9 Aug 18, 2008
"but the fact is we have more than our share of them in town. It's not fair for one community to bear the whole burden." said Really.

The same goes for Long Beach. The plan on the table now, is to bus in Ninety mentally ill homeless a day from county wid locations. Just more poorly thought out plans tha destroy good areas.
In the Know

Redlands, CA

#10 Aug 18, 2008
Most of these places are for-profit. I know I used to live in one. Although I did get sober it was by my own determination and through a twelve step program --a program the "house" really did not abide by.

As an adminstrator at one if these locations I saw an interesting pattern --the residents "got stuck." What do I mean? There was no exit strategy for the resident sto move on in life. I asked the owners several times why there was no exit strategy --they simply responed that some need more recovery thatn others. It does not makes sense to me --there were residents that had lived there for over 8 years! HELLO!! Any investor know when you gotta a good tenant you try to kepp them. Likewise many of the residents "got stuck." They earned just enough mone(often) to keep paying the monthly rents of $450-$800. They wer never able to save enough to leave --period. This is in my opion the most disgusting thin about these places. NO EXIT STRATEGY!! Just faithful tenants earning the owners a lot of equity.

There should be time limit that people can stay in these houses and if the city get involved they should make it clear that each sober-living provide an exit strategy for their residents. Oh, and by the way many of these places are favorites for Parole Agents and Probation Agents to drop off their parolles. Many of the regular residents are unaware that in such cases the police have a right to searcg the residence at any given time.--I have seen this as well. Houses getting searched and the regular residents were never informed that they were loosing certain rights.

Another problem is that many residents sign a waiver giving up their rights as a typical renter. If you are paying rent you have certain rights --these sober-living places have you sign a waiver so you give up these rights. The reason is if someone relapses that cna just kick them out with out refunding their money or going thru the regular eviction --the same owners that hide behind the laws to run-for-profit business also abuse the laws to take advantage of the those that are down on the luck.

In the know --been there done that!
kma

Chino Hills, CA

#11 Aug 18, 2008
Hahn is such a b^^ch. I am so tired of "It's not fair". The only thing that's fair is her trying to impose the positions of her wealthy friends in San Pedro on the rest of us. I have never so so much legal favoritism in my life. The parking fules surrounding Miraleste Canyon Estates is dumbfounding. How can "No parking between 2AM and 4AM" for only half a street be anything other that favoritism?
Worry about crack houses, gang hangouts, etc. Don't worry about people who are trying to make a life for themselves.
Luis Lozano

AOL

#12 Aug 18, 2008
Some people are afraid of their property values falling because of having a sober living facility in their neighborhood. Yet the biggest fall in property values has come as a result of the housing meltdown and credit crisis we are experiencing recently. No evidence has ever been produced that sober living homes reduce property values. The fact that these places exist is because there is a need for them as a direct result of bad policy that mandates time in a treatment program or sober living home and our failed war on drugs.
really

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

#13 Aug 18, 2008
Luis Lozano wrote:
Some people are afraid of their property values falling because of having a sober living facility in their neighborhood. Yet the biggest fall in property values has come as a result of the housing meltdown and credit crisis we are experiencing recently. No evidence has ever been produced that sober living homes reduce property values. The fact that these places exist is because there is a need for them as a direct result of bad policy that mandates time in a treatment program or sober living home and our failed war on drugs.
I agree with you in principle, but you must acknowledge that sober living homes create a transient population as people move in and out. This is a destabilizing force. It's also true that Beacon House is an unusually well run and successful program. Many of these sober living homes are that in name only and they attract drug dealers to what they know is a vulnerable population. Property values in Pedro were unusually low long before the current housing crisis, that's one of the reasons there are so many facilities here- cheap property.This isn't a question of having ONE sober living home in your neighborhood, it's about having EIGHTY sober living homes in a small area. While there may be no evidence that the facilities decrease property values, there is even less to indicate that they increase or even support the property values of a neighborhood.
Joe

Chino Hills, CA

#14 Aug 25, 2008
First of all I don't believe in that self policing none sense if some is going to regulate sober livings it has to be the city or the state, the so called sober living coalition its a joke that only serves the interest of the owners of such business and there will always be unscrupulous people who know a thing or two about recovery and made exploiting others a way of life. The argument of discrimination against disabled people is just part of the fight for their livelihoods, is time to pull their covers, get the city involved.
John

United States

#15 Sep 3, 2008
Take it from someone with experience: there are places designated as "sober living" homes which are anything but. I recently moved out of one in Long Beach out of sheer disgust. During my four months' stay at this place, I witnessed open drug use and less than discreet drinking, both by and in full view of the, er, manager. And, by the way, it's the one on Olive Ave., just north of Pacific Coast Highway. No accountability, no nuthun'.
really

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

#17 Sep 4, 2008
Delenda est Aztlan wrote:
Could someone kindly answer this question? The Beacon House isn't that big building by the post office? The one where the people hang out on the steps and in the park all day? I agree with "really" SP could support one or two, but dozens of sober-living places?!
The big building by the post office is the former Soldiers' and Sailors' YMCA. It is now Harbor View House, a mental health facility which is very poorly managed. Beacon House is next door. They occupy most of the houses that the next block.
really

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

#18 Sep 4, 2008
Check that "...most of the houses in that next block."
really

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

#20 Sep 6, 2008
Delenda est Aztlan wrote:
Thank you "really". That park is actually a good park with the palm trees and the view of Ports o' Call and the channel. One can have a good picnic there with one's family but I just don't feel comfortable with those less than mentally able people there. Whenever I go to the post office, I (just speaking for myself) always see a police car parked at the facility or driving slowly by the front of Harbor View House. Thanks again.
It's a beautiful place. Plaza Park, which fronts Beacon, is the oldest park in San Pedro. It was the original promenade for the prominent citizens of San Pedro and was once home to the Carnegie Library. Its current state is shameful. Some of us have been working to get the city to address the problems there, but getting action from downtown LA is, well, shall we say, difficult? Most of the patients at Harbor View are harmless. It does not house anyone who is dangerous or criminal. Don't let that scare you.
IMHO

Hawthorne, CA

#22 Sep 14, 2008
I live at a Sober Living in Mar Vista / Marina del Rey. It is a member of the Sober Living Coalition, whose primary aims are to prevent any regulation of these facilities. It is disingenuous to say that because I am a member of a protected class (addicts being recognized as disabled), that no regulation of these facilities is the right way to go. The home that I live in is simply an investment by the current president of the Sober Living Coaliton's board. All he had to do to open the facility was buy a house, call it a Sober Living, and begin renting out beds at between $1350 and upwards of $4,000. No permit, no oversight. A group of addicts, many whom have to live at a sober living as a condition of court supervision, paying his mortgage and a substantial salary. He is unethical, applies rules randomly, and the only recourse is in court making use of housing laws. As it stands, the lodger's agreement reads that anyone can be evicted at any time, "for any reason", and lose both his security deposit and the rent he has paid for that month. To be sure, there are many good facilities, well run, and with true concern motivating there operators. But when, as here, boarders are sucked in by the SLC's "seal of approval", lay down substantial sums, and then find the owner skimping on costs by diluting the soap, not providing promised services, letting anything go for some folks while asking those in low paying beds to leave on a frequent and capricious business, the fact the SLC has found the place clean is a nonstarter. Of course there should be city oversight. The SLC project director suggests that facilities that are nuisances be forced to join his trade association is as close to the fox guarding the hen house as I can imagine.

What are well-run Sober Living's afraid of? Why not submit to city overight and inspection for a modest annual permit fee? This would allow social service workers the data to confidently refer those in need to places that walk the walk of evidence-based sobriety principles. It would allow law enforcement to know where facilities are and collect data on how these homes affect crime rates. Any treatment facility for addicts has to be licensed. That is not discriminatory. Allowing a group of Sober Living owners to monitor themselves is self-serving, provides incentives to skimp on the work of providing a transitional living space for those in need, and flies in the face of common sense.

By the logic that these Sober Living owners are trained in at coalition meetings, hospitals would be exempt from regulation because the serve the disabled. Let's get real.
Hey HUA

Los Angeles, CA

#23 Sep 15, 2008
fred wrote:
Why attack the people that are living sober though. They should be going after the drunks and druggies anyway.
Fred, everytime I hope you woke up with some kind of clarity, you prove me wrong and post one of your rediculous comments!
Sober living homes are a blight to any city. Although "some" of the residents may be on the right path and doing good in their recovery, the majority of these residentgs go on to re-offend and are ordered back into custody. By the time this happens, the residents in the surrounding areas of these sober living homes are usually the victims! I know, I work in a field where I deal with and arrest these people on a regular basis. Sober living homes are not and have never been a good answer to this problem. The residents living anywhere near these places definitely suffer from their existence!!

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