Group home owner defends sober living facility

Posted at 6:03 PM, Apr 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-15 21:34:20-04

Thursday ABC15 told you about a sober living home in Scottsdale and the neighbors who are upset they’re living next door.

A Mesa man who runs several of these types of homes says having sober living homes in neighborhoods is important for the participant's recovery.

Steven Collins is the owner of Kokopelli Group Home in Mesa, and a board member of the Arizona Recovery Housing Association. 

He says the goal is for recovering addicts to be sober members of society, and isolating them isn’t the answer.

“Where do you want them? Should I put them next to your neighborhood, next to your house in your neighborhood? They’ve got to be back in the community. They’re trying to get back to the community," Collins said.

As for the sober living home in Scottsdale, located near 104th Street and Desert Cove, the neighbors say there haven’t been any problems but they’re concerned there could be if the home isn’t regulated.

While several Valley cities already regulate these kinds of homes in a way that doesn’t conflict with the law, Scottsdale doesn’t regulate them at all.

Sober living homes are protected under the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act. 

State lawmakers are currently working on House Bill 2107 that would allow cities to regulate sober living homes.

Collins runs six sober living homes in Mesa. He says he has a lot of standards in place, where the participants are supervised and have to follow the rules or they’ll be kicked out.