Mon May 5, 2014
Fighting to keep halfway houses open in Price Hill
The operator of transitional housing units for recovering drug and alcohol addicts will likely head to federal court to keep the city from shutting down its facilities in Price Hill.
A spokesman for New Foundations Transitional Living said the group expects to file a lawsuit this week.
The city said the seven houses violate the city's zoning code and a city press release said officials took action after complaints from neighbors.
New Foundations Director Jason Lee Overbey addressed supporters Monday during a large rally outside city hall. He responded to the zoning issue.
“The Federal Fair Housing Act that was amended in 1988 specifically protects the civil rights of alcoholics and addicts in recovery, to congregate wherever they choose as a family and call home,” Overbey said.
Several other speakers, including current and former New Foundations residents, spoke in favor of the Price Hill houses.
“You know if a few short months that I stayed at New Foundations I ended up going to college, I ended up getting off felony probation, I ended up getting two jobs for non-profit organizations,” said resident Bill Cannon. “The miracle of that along isn’t as impressive as seeing the guys come in with two to three weeks sober and seeing their lives turn around.”
The spokesman says about 100 recovering drug and alcohol addicts would be affected if the facilities are shut down.
“The best practice is to let us continue our already legal and successful work without any of your public funds,” Overbey said. “To change this city one life and one family at a time. Those are best practices, let our people stay home.”
Mayor John Cranley announced a plan last week to help the residents in the houses find support. The proposal also would give New Foundations 90 days to present and implement a plan to bring its facilities into compliance with the zoning code.