Letter: Sober living regulations

Editor:

Prescott’s new sober living regulations a win-win for Prescott and the clients.

George Worley, senior planner with the city of Prescott spoke to the League of Women Voters on March 4 about the new sober living home regulations implemented Jan. 1. Mr. Worley reported at one time the city thought there were 170 sober living homes in Prescott. They were a source of growing complaints from neighbors and, the community in general was concerned about property values and safety. Clients were left unsupervised or supervised by staff with little training for responding to emergencies such as overdoses.

The new ordinance requires the homes to have a business license, a life safety inspection, trained awake staff on duty when clients are home, and emergency procedures. House supervisors are also required to have completed a four-day training program that covers job duties, client rights, safety and effective treatment practices. Molly McGinn and Celeste Holly from TreeHouse Learning went over the four-day professional development course for house managers of structured sober living homes coordinated with Yavapai College. Upon completion, house managers receive a certificate. Our mayor, Harry Oberg, has met with each class to emphasize the importance of maintaining community relations and the best practice standards for treatment programs. What a job well done for Prescott by the mayor, the sober living task force, and Noel Campbell, state representative for getting the legislature to allow cities to pass ordinances that govern sober living homes in their communities.

The city thinks we now have only about 60 homes; only 25 have applied for a business licenses as of a week or so ago, but they will need to do so if they are going to stay in Prescott. Some homes left because of an insurance crackdown on fraudulent admissions and some left because of Prescott’s new regulations. The city can be proud of what they have done to elevate the quality of treatment programs in Prescott.

Ellie Laumark

Prescott