As Arizona and the nation battle a growing opioid epidemic, it's no surprise that more rehabilitation facilities have opened across the Valley.What has surprised some Phoenix residents is that many of these dwellings are popping up unregulated in the middle of their neighborhoods. Now the city is trying to do something about it. There are hundreds of group homes across Phoenix, set up in single-family dwellings, that house anywhere from two to 10 people recovering from drug abuse. There are no licensing requirements to operate these facilities and virtually no government oversight.Sober-living homes — where some people live after attending a drug treatment program but before returning to independent living — are critical for long-term recovery, according to Jeff Taylor of the Arizona Recovery Housing Association. And for the most part, he said, they're professionally managed. MORE: Phoenix to sue … [Read more...] about Phoenix wants to regulate sober-living homes, but can it?
Independent group home living
GIRONA, Spain (AP) — To sense the conflicting currents of identity that have led Spain to the edge of a constitutional cliff, look no farther than Girona, some 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Barcelona. Maps and world governments say it's in Spain — but many residents consider it part of an independent republic of Catalonia. Amid the party atmosphere of a festival weekend, many in this secessionist stronghold cheered the Catalan parliament's declaration of independence from Spain, a country they don't regard as their own. "I've never felt Spanish in my life," said graphic designer Anna Faure as Girona celebrated the annual festival of its patron saint with food, music, a carnival and displays of the gravity-defying sport of human towers, known as castells. Faure says castells is a true Catalan tradition, a view she doesn't hold about Spanish icons such as bullfighting, which Catalan authorities have tried to ban, or Flamenco, an import from Andalucia in … [Read more...] about Pro-independence Catalans: ‘I’ve never felt Spanish’
They ran their mouths until the cops caught up. A tip from a staffer at a Queens group home steered police to four residents suspected of robbing and sexually assaulting a born-again Christian as she departed a church service. The employee heard the young men talking about the vile attack, leading her to believe they were either involved or had information about the Tuesday night attack, according to a source. Three of the four suspects were busted after police were told about the chatty criminals, while a fourth man remained a fugitive Friday in the attack on a woman headed home from the Celestial Church of Christ. “The crimes that the defendants are accused of committing that night are despicable,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “Not content to simply rob her at gunpoint, two of them are alleged to have subjected her to heinous acts of sexual abuse.” Suspects Brandon Walker, 20, Julisses Ginel, … [Read more...] about Queens group home staffer led cops to four suspects in born-again Christian’s sex assault
They won’t be home for Christmas — and that makes residents of a Red Hook group home for the developmentally disabled sad. Flood damage from Superstorm Sandy forced them out of Visitation Residence on Richards St. Repairs to the house where some have lived since the 1970s likely won’t be finished until February. “These are fragile lives turned upside down,” said Sister Kay Crumlish, executive director of Mercy Home, which operates Visitation. Crumlish has set up temporary quarters for them in the nonprofit’s Fort Greene headquarters — which as a former convent luckily has lots of rooms. The Red Hook residents’ caretakers came with them to their temporary housing; even their cook is with them. But they long to be back on Richards St. where they had their own bedrooms and neighbors knew their names. “I love the house,” said one resident, Diana, and blew a kiss for emphasis. Joe Marino for New York Daily … [Read more...] about Developmentally disabled Red Hook residents find post-Sandy refuge in former convent – but they want to go home for Christmas
They’re finally home. Developmentally disabled residents driven out of their Red Hook group home by Superstorm Sandy have made their longed-for return. Their recent homecoming follows extensive repairs to the flood-damaged Visitation Residence after anxious months spent in temporary quarters in Fort Greene. “There’s a real joy to be back again,” said Ferrica Gresham, a caretaker at the Richards St. home where five of the 10 residents had lived since its 1978 opening. “You can see the change in everybody now that we’re here, in their attitudes. Everybody sleeps better.” During their exile from Red Hook they bunked down three to a room in refurnished administrative offices at the headquarters of Visitation’s nonprofit operator, Mercy Home, as the Daily News recounted in a previous story. At the spacious Richards St. building — once a convent for nuns who taught at nearby Visitation … [Read more...] about Home sweet home: Developmentally disabled residents displaced by Superstorm Sandy return to Red Hook
PORT JEFFERSON, N.Y. — With the beaming smiles of newlyweds, Paul Forziano and Hava Samuels hold hands, exchange adoring glances and complete each other’s sentences. Their first wedding dance, he recalls, was to the song “Unchained ...” “Melody,” she chimes in. They spend their days together in the performing arts education center where they met. But every night, they must part ways. Forziano goes to his group home. His wife goes to hers. The mentally disabled couple is not allowed to share a bedroom by the state-sanctioned nonprofits that run the group homes — a practice the newlyweds and their parents are now challenging in a federal civil rights lawsuit. “We’re very sad when we leave each other,” Forziano says. “I want to live with my wife, because I love her.” The couple had been considering marriage for three years before tying the knot last month, and they contend in their lawsuit that they were … [Read more...] about Lawsuit challenges rule that bars mentally disabled married couples from sharing group home bedroom
A civil rights battle has been simmering not far below the surface of local and national discussions on how and where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – people with Down syndrome or autism, for example – might live and work in the future.One key part of the debate centers on whether government funds should be spent on congregate housing arrangements – group homes, villages, neighborhoods, where people with such disabilities are the primary residents.Some see that as a sequestered environment, exactly the kind of thing the nation is trying to leave behind as it promotes community-based life for all. Others see such options as a welcome, sustainable alternative for those who may need support but still want a place of their own.The debate emerged here Friday during a daylong conference organized by the Homes For Life Foundation, which has donated 27 homes to Delaware residents with such disabilities. The conference was meant to showcase innovative … [Read more...] about Those with disabilities: Where should they live?
A Brooklyn judge has ordered the state to move thousands of mentally ill adults into apartments and group homes without having the foggiest idea whether these troubled souls are up to living on their own. Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis has come as close as anyone can get to condemning a potentially large number of people to camping out in doorways and on subway grates and trains - just as so many used to do. His ruling must be overturned. New York houses 4,300 people with psychiatric difficulties in so-called adult homes in the city. These are hotel-like facilities that are neither the most hospitable of places nor dumping grounds. A group called Disability Advocates challenged the living arrangement on the ground that federal law requires the state to place the disabled in the least restrictive settings possible. Generally, that means providing apartments and support services. State officials proposed proceeding with caution. They called for relocating 200 residents a … [Read more...] about Judged crazy: Overturn court order to move mentally ill from adult homes
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is using her public profile to draw attention to the needs of those with autism and other developmental disabilities in the New York metropolitan area.The former Republican vice presidential candidate is scheduled to join a fundraising walk for the group Autism Speaks in Westchester County on Sunday.Then she is to be honored on Long Island later in the day at an anniversary celebration for Independent Group Home Living Inc.Palin's youngest son, Trig, has Down syndrome.More than 20,000 people turned out to see Palin on Saturday in upstate Auburn, where she helped officials celebrate Founder's Day and raise money for a museum honoring William Seward. He was the secretary of state who acquired Alaska for the United States. Join the Conversation: … [Read more...] about Gov. Sarah Palin comes to Westchester, Long Island to support the needs of those with autism
They hopes to win the keys to the White House. Instead, they got tickets to Yankee Stadium. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose presidential aspirations collapsed in humiliating defeat in Florida last year, and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the failed GOP veep pick, enjoyed a game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. The GOP political duo and their spouses exchanged laughs, smiles and small talk as they watched the Yanks take on Tampa Bay. At one point, Giuliani snapped a photo of his wife, Judith, with Alaska's First Couple. Giuliani invited the Palins to the game when he learned they would be in town this weekend. On Saturday, Palin was in upstate Auburn, marching in a parade to raise money for a museum honoring William Seward, the former secretary of state who bought Alaska from Russia. Sunday night on Long Island, the self-described pit bull with lipstick received an award from Independent Group Home Living Foundation, a nonprofit that supports people with disabilities. Palin's … [Read more...] about Sarah Palin hits New York City, joins Rudy Giuliani for Yankees game