Sober Home To Move Forward In Dorchester, Despite Residents’ Concerns

If you are serious about your recovery, please call us for availability. MASH has been working for several years in Massachusetts to ensure that sober homes are a safe and positive environment for residents. In 2012, Boston city officials called one of the Dorchester apartment complex’s where McCarthy ran a sober house, a drug-plagued “problem property,” according to the Boston Herald. “ been there a very, very long time, and it’s been multiple things,” she said. In terms of should programs be de-populated in historically overburdened communities like Dorchester and Roxbury that already support a number of these services – that’s a given. “The issue with it is it’s just so difficult to oversee,” Baker said, adding that the clustering of sober houses is “absolutely” a problem in certain areas. Boston officials note the phrase “sober house” doesn’t appear in the zoning code, which is to say there are no specific rules about how they can operate.

In addition to sober house certification information, Sober House Directory provides state-by-state information for recovery resources. For recovery resources in Dorchester, Massachusetts, please visit the Massachusetts Sober House Recovery Resources page for more information. But advocates for sober houses argue that they’re exempt from certain zoning requirements. Where cities can regulate the number of unrelated people living in a single-family, sober house advocates say this doesn’t apply to them because Alcohol detoxification the residents are disabled. The problem of sober home regulation goes beyond Cleggett and has plagued the state for years. For more than a decade, prosecutors have been fighting abuse of Medicaid, the government’s health insurance program for the poor, by sober homes and drug-testing labs making a fortune off urine tests. In 2012, several years before Cleggett opened his first home, the state was grappling with a rising chorus of complaints about dangerous sober homes beset by relapses of residents.

Seeking clues, Wakefield police scoured the property, which had been a sober home operated by Daniel Cleggett Jr. About a year later, a female resident asked McCarthy for an overnight pass to spend the night at her mother’s house and visit her daughter. In 2016, McCarthy said a female resident “would not have to provide a security deposit if she instead engaged in sexual acts with him,” the lawsuit states. Peter McCarthy of Dorchester, who is also listed as a Lynn resident by federal prosecutors, requested sexually explicit photographs, saying he would reduce or waive rent in exchange for the images, the U.S.

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Neighbors say first responders frequent this Uphams Corner side street on a weekly basis, responding to emergencies and disturbances, often related to incidents at one or another group home on the block. Lisa Kashinsky is a multimedia journalist covering politics and more for The Boston Herald. A graduate of Boston University, she previously covered the Merrimack Valley for The Eagle-Tribune and the South Shore for Wicked Local, sober living boston winning awards for her work at both newspapers. Christopher asked Pizziferri Jr. to hold off opening 29 Percival St. for two months, which he refused, saying it would be a financial burden and harm those seeking housing. Even Boston Inspectional Services Commissioner William “Buddy” Christopher Jr., who worked with the Pizziferris to remedy violations at the Potosi Street location, said he was unaware of their plans.

In the midst of an opioid epidemic, residents told the Pizziferris they fully understand the need for sober homes and praised their mission. But the idea of two out of the tight-knit street’s 11 homes becoming sober homes and housing 15 or more residents each, without the owner reaching out to any neighbors to inform them, felt unsettling, the neighbors said. Six clients, who spoke to the Globe separately, said that at times there were up to around 30 people living in the house. Another said she and other clients used to make a game of adding up Lakeshore’s revenue for the month — which they regularly calculated at over $90,000. Espinosa, the sober home assistant director, disputed that Lakeshore was overcrowded, saying that at most he thought there were 24 people lodged there. These programs emphasize recovery and treatment within a structured setting. Residents are encouraged to integrate with the community and to access community resources.

  • The group’s database shows 17 of these certified homes are in Dorchester, in addition to a few in Roxbury and East Boston.
  • Lisa Kashinsky is a multimedia journalist covering politics and more for The Boston Herald.
  • Like many neighbors, Porter agrees that neighborhoods like Uphams Corner are overburdened with service providers.
  • On July 9, 2016, a 19-year-old man overdosed on fentanyl in the bathroom of the home.

It sat at the top of a cul-de-sac off Lake Quannapowitt, and it was billed not as a sober home, but as a “12 step, solution based, residential estate” where people struggling with addiction could find sobriety through spiritual awakening. Clients had their wallets, cellphones, and medications confiscated upon admission, and they were not allowed to leave without an escort.

Hamilton House

He lay less than 100 feet from where he stood that day, behind a yellow shed and a white fence, an incomplete collection of bones tangled in denim. Richardson was already convinced that Bates needed a higher level of care. He’d watched with growing alarm, he said, as Bates dragged himself through his stay, his obvious and intense distress met with entreaties from staff to pray. When the department sent a letter demanding a sprinkler system, an attorney cited Lakeshore’s protected status as a sober home and refused, offering to consider a new smoke detector system instead. Despite the high price tag, some people said the care they received at Lakeshore left them worse off than when they arrived.

sober houses in dorchester, ma

It is truly the members within the Steps to Solutions Community that separate us from the others and make this a wonderful place to live. Sober living homes at Rockland Recovery provide a solid off-ramp for those who are ready to start paving the way for their future. Our team of compassionate and non-judgmental professionals is ready to join you and your loved ones on the road to discovery and healing. Meanwhile, it has long been reported that more than 50 percent of the population using the city’s shelter system have a last known address outside of Boston.

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They want the city to stop more sober homes from opening in their neighborhood. Across the street from the sober house at 16 Potosi, Lisa Villaroel surveys the neighborhood from her sidewalk. The Affinity House is sober living for women, run by women, seeking to lift you up and empower you to be the best version of your self. They came together to block the opening of the second sober house on one street — warning there could be even more on the horizon. Abutter Nadine Poindexter said she learned of the plan when she bumped into a sober home representative who was inspecting the property. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you.

sober houses in dorchester, ma

Taking the time to find the right sober living home for you or your loved one is a crucial step. They are not officially licensed or catalogued, but the Massachusetts Alliance of Sober Housing does keep a registry of sober home landlords who register with them. Residents said they weren’t against sober homes or the services they provide, but were instead disheartened that the Pizziferris failed to let neighbors know of their intentions before opening the residences. City Councilor Frank Baker, whose district includes Meetinghouse Hill, said he’d like for the city to have a greater ability to regulate sober houses.

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They declined to comment on whether they think his body lay behind the shed for the entire time he was missing or if he had been placed there more recently. Someone tried to use Bates’s credit card at a Domino’s in Lynn in the days after his disappearance, but the attempt was denied, according to his family.

sober houses in dorchester, ma

Lakeshore’s rental lease in Wakefield was not renewed, and around November 2018, the Retreat operation moved to one of Cleggett’s other houses in Quincy, an elegant brick home on a quiet street. They drove around the neighborhood looking for him, and packed his belongings into his suitcase and some trash bags and put them in the basement. When Clifford Bates, the despondent father of two, didn’t show up for the 8 a.m.

Dorchester Massachusetts Women’s Sober Housing

But, she argues, the murder on Oct.11 shouldn’t completely overshadow the important work done there. Vinfen’s communications director did not return a phone call requesting comment. Pizziferri, the Faith House sober homes operator, also didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment for this story. Rochelle Nwosu, who said she lives in between the Pizziferris’ sober homes, said, “I want to cry … I honestly did not expect to come here tonight to hear you say you were going to move forward,” with 29 Percival St. She defended other residents of the house and emphasized they all have to stay clean while living there. One of those officials — Inspectional Services Department Commissioner William Christopher — was at Tuesday’s meeting and at first spoke kindly of the Pizziferris. They came into his office willingly and made changes to the house so that it better reflected the single-family zoning for which it was intended, Christopher said.

At Sober Surroundings, we embrace this concept and provide our guests with a safe, affordable environment where everyone is committed to living sober and clean. The association lists no sober homes in any of the city’s other 10 neighborhoods. To qualify, operators must satisfy certain criteria, including ensuring that homes are run with fiscal transparency and that residents are supported in their efforts to recover from their addictions. The proliferation of sober homes in Roxbury and Dorchester came as the use of opiates exploded in Massachusetts’ cities and towns.

We do not show halfway houses, treatment programs, or rehabilitation facilities. Recovery/Sober Homes provide a structured, alcohol & drug free environment for individuals recovering from addiction.

Chelsea’s House, established in 2011, is a community of people who are transitioning from treatment into living life clean in the real world. The woman who runs it has stolen from residents including myself and also many residents believe is using drugs herself.

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Richardson and four other clients, plus three client family members, all said Lakeshore staff — who were not supposed to provide medical care — were pressuring clients to come off psychiatric medication and telling them to pray instead. Three former clients said they wound up in psychiatric hospitals as a result. But the money that can be made in an industry full of vulnerable Sober companion people whose very survival depends on their ability to find a safe and substance-free place to live can poison the best of intentions. Operators who run one good house decide to open a second, then a third, and their standards can slip with each expansion. Please take a look around our site as you try to decide if Steps to Solutions is the right recovery home for you!

Posted by: Kristeen Cherney

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