Sober Living Home Faces Scrutiny After Alleged Attempted Murder and Child Abuse Incident

Sober Living Home Faces Scrutiny After Alleged Attempted Murder and Child Abuse Incident

A sober living home in Orange County, California, is under scrutiny following an alleged incident of attempted murder and child abuse. Christopher Lee Kearns, a resident of the home, has been charged with these crimes and has pleaded not guilty.

The sober living home, which bills itself as a calm and quiet place for working individuals, requires residents to have a job or be actively seeking employment. Mandatory house meetings and encouragement to attend 12-step meetings are also part of the program. A recent Craigslist ad for the home described it as a place with “a very good group of guys that are all straight and sober,” even including the use of marijuana.

The owner of the home, in a text message, stated that the incident involving Kearns was not typical of what they expect to see in a sober living home. The owner also highlighted that if the house had been rented to a family, the outcome could have been much worse. Fortunately, the house manager heard an odd whimpering and intervened, potentially saving the child’s life. The manager believes that he was used by God to intervene in the attack.

This incident comes at a time when the issues surrounding the use of neighborhood housing as sober homes and state-licensed addiction treatment centers are receiving increased attention. Emergency call data reveals that these facilities can introduce chaos into once-quiet communities. In response, a bill is being considered in Sacramento to raise the professionalism of private operators in this lucrative space and empower local governments to ensure the safety of residents in these homes.

Residents living near sober homes have raised concerns about high turnover, noise, and smoke from cigarette use. They argue that data should be collected to track the number of incidents and deaths occurring in these facilities and to ensure that certified and qualified individuals are running them.

Orange County, in particular, has become a magnet for these facilities, attracting individuals seeking addiction treatment. Data from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department shows that state-licensed addiction treatment homes and sober living homes have generated numerous emergency service calls, including disturbances, overdoses, mental health crises, and other incidents.

The Sober Living Task Force, a coalition of local and state officials, law enforcement, and residents, is working to raise the standards of the industry. They emphasize the need for reform to address safety concerns and ensure proper care for individuals suffering from addiction or mental health issues.

Sober living homes, unlike state-licensed centers, do not require licensing as they do not provide treatment. They are considered groups of recovering addicts living together in supportive environments. This lack of regulation makes it challenging to track emergency calls to these homes.

The proposed bills aim to provide protections for vulnerable residents and prevent bad actors from controlling the industry. Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, who played a key role in developing Costa Mesa’s strict ordinances for sober living homes, emphasizes the importance of regulatory oversight to protect individuals during their recovery process.

Author: CrimeDoor

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