Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-West Palm Beach) has prepared a closed-door meeting of only elected officials to discuss the “problem” of sober homes in South Florida. In attendance at this meeting will be HUD Assistant Secretary Gustavo Velasquez, who has been invited by the Congresswoman so that elected officials will have the “opportunity to share [their] sober home [horror] stories and highlight the need for guidance on sober home regulation.”
In that regard, the Congresswoman has encouraged “city participants to ask question based upon ordinances that [they] would like to enact.”
Today, they are taking a “bus tour” of sober homes in the Delray Beach area.
Of note is that NO “city participant” will be anyone from the Recovery Community. Not a single one.
To the contrary. last week, our office held a widely attended free seminar on WHY sober home regulation was important, and how the focus MUST be (as a matter of law, ethics, morals, and science) on providing a safe, sober environment for ALL people – those in recovery and those of the neighboring properties – and not on ways to exclude such homes from American neighborhoods.
Some local elected officials (and local citizens) came as well as many, many housing and treatment providers.
More than one “light bulb” went off when we demonstrated how sober home regulation benefits those in recovery, and the neighborhood at large.
But that’s not what this “Tour de Addict” is all about.
Though we have repeatedly been asked to be a part of that discussion, we are repeatedly excluded.
What do they think they going to see?
How can a person measure the quality of a recovery residence from the outside, without understanding what is occurring on the inside?
Are white males from New Jersey with tattoos sitting outside a residence chain smoking cigarettes a sign of the coming of the apocalypse?
Granted, I don’t love it either.
Because I tend to think most people in South Florida stay indoors where the A/C is running. We tend to not even know our neighbors down here.
But this meeting isn’t about finding a community solution. It’s smells of a plan for deportation.
Just my 2 cents.