Sunday, May 8, 2016

Editorial in The Lake Worth Herald: Sober homes, the ADA, and the cities are working hard to get back control

To read the entire editorial on sober homes, see ads for local business, notice of City meetings, utility news, looks back at City history, events, upcoming hurricane seminar, and so much more, the Herald has it covered. If you don't get the Herald you can subscribe using this link or go to the City's downtown news stand across the street from Paws on the Avenue to pick up the print edition. Walk in and a nice man named Andy will assist you. Below are two excerpts from this week's editorial:

     "In the past couple of years, sober homes have sprung up throughout the sunbelt states and Palm Beach County an abundance of them.
     Insurance companies pay big money to sober homes or half-way houses and there isn't a very good system in place to regulate them. Many addicts are sent here to rehab and find it too easy to access their drug of choice.
     They get booted from the program and are left to fend for themselves on the streets with no money and no place to stay. They return to their old ways to get their next fix and the local municipalities are plagued with prostitution, robberies, burglaries and aggressive panhandling.
     Homeless addicts move into our parks and public spaces, leaving their syringes on the ground for our children to step on as they enjoy the park. They use restrooms in local businesses to make their deals and expose everyone else to the dangers of dirty needles. [emphasis added]
     To some, any effort to make public spaces uncomfortable for addicts is an attack on all homeless. This is not the case. Many organizations work hard to help the truly homeless and provide for them. It is the homeless addicts who cause the problem.
     The majority of the homeless addicts are here because they were sent to rehab in sunny South Florida by family members up north who are trying to help them rehabilitate but don't want them anywhere near their home until they are rehabilitated."

[and. . .]

     "Local government attempts to stem the problem of sober homes has run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and their attempts have been futile.
     Fortunately, municipalities aren't giving up and are looking for chinks in the ADA armor with the assistance of State and Federal government bodies.
     Keep the fingers crossed this abomination of a disability can be exposed for what it is and the ADA protections can be removed."