Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Putting the Squeeze on Group Homes

The Richardson Coalition political action committee included this paragraph in its latest "Richardson News in Three Minutes" newsletter:
The City staff is actively working with an independent legal counsel to evaluate the City's current policies and procedures for processing group home applications.
Source: Richardson Coaltion PAC.
The words that jumped out at me were "legal counsel." That can only mean the city is looking for (legal) ways to put the squeeze on group homes that provide support for people recovering from drug and alcohol dependency. That is, keep more from opening, and who knows, maybe even hassle existing ones out of business.

Personally, I'd feel much better if the city were actively working with, not lawyers, but medical experts and service agencies with experience working with people recovering from drug and alcohol dependency. Seeking creative public/private partnerships to provide more and better services of the kind in Richardson. Helping the group homes instead of hassling them. You know, acting with brotherly love instead of acting like Big Brother. The alternative is more prisons, more hospitals, more institutions, and more homeless people. And that's not in anyone's interest, including the City of Richardson as a whole.

And that's who's not listening to me now.


dc-tm said...

I agree with you on this!

Anonymous said...

Mark, "legal counsel" implies to me something different. To me it implies that the city is informing themselves of legalities surrounding this issue so that whatever course is taken is in line with the law.

Steve Benson

Mark Steger said...

The earlier DMN story on this subject led me to believe that the city's approval of group homes was not by choice, but by pressure of federal law:

"'We were legally obligated to approve this,' Don Magner, assistant city manager of community services, said of the certificate of occupancy issued for the Chapter House Sober Living facility."

I infer that the city is now seeking legal counsel to find out what they can do in future to turn down applications without running afoul of federal law.