Recovery advocate George Colon is asking all Indian River County Residents to attend the Indian River County Board of County Commissioners Meeting on January 31st, 2023.
Colon is asking residents to speak during public input and ask the County Commissioners to vote to create an ordinance to allow the creation of a Sober Home Registry.
Colon told Indian River News Sober Homes are “sober living houses (also called halfway houses or recovery houses) refer to group residences for people recovering from addiction. Residents agree to remain sober while living in the house. They also agree to comply with any drug-testing requests.”
Colon said Indian River County has two Sober Homes that meet Florida Association of Recovery Residences (FARR) Accreditation. He suspects there are 10-15 Sober Homes “operating under the radar” in Indian River County.
FARR Accreditation is a certification that a Sober Home meets appropriate standards for those who seek to take residence while detoxing. To learn more about FARR, visit their website farronline.org
Colon said the benefit of having the Sober Home registry will help local law enforcement know how many Sober Homes are in Indian River County and their locations.
Colon said Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers supports his initiative to create a Sober Home Registry.
We reached out to Sheriff Flowers for comment on the effectiveness of Sober Homes and a Sober Homes registry, such as one George Colon is advocating for.
Sheriff Flowers said he will be at the County Commission meeting on January 27th, 2023. He said if he has the time, he is willing to speak during public input in favor of Colon’s initiatives to create a Sober Home Registry in Indian River County. He had spoken to the County Commission back in November 2022, with Sober Homes being one of his agenda items to review from that meeting.
Sheriff Flowers also said there are many benefits to having a Sober Home Registry. It would provide the knowledge of who is operating the Sober Homes in the County. The registry will also help prevent a Sober Home from being mistaken as a drug house by law enforcement.
Sheriff Flowers said faith based Sober Homes have been found to be effective. He did say that there are Sober Homes in areas such as South Florida that all they do is keep people addicted to drugs.
Sheriff Flowers said the majority of Sober Homes in Indian River County are faith based and haven’t had to be investigated. He said he does not want Indian River County to be like South Florida. Having the Sober Home Registry would give Indian River County a jump on Sober Homes to prevent them from becoming like the problematic ones in South Florida.
Sheriff Flowers said he doesn’t want to see people addicted to drugs criminalized. He said he instead wants to see addicts get the help they need.
Colon has worked with three life coaching companies as a Recovery Coach, Sober Companion and Sober Escort. He also worked as a House Manager, Night Manager & Sober Companion at three sober living facilities in the New York area.
Colon has various certifications that include training Recovery Coaches, Mental Health First Aid and Certified Addiction Recovery Coach (CARC).
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