Halfway House Free-For-All in Florida
Asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton replied, “That’s where the money is.” There’s probably a corollary that applies to drug addicts running halfway houses in Florida.
Almost anyone can house recovering addicts at public expense in the state of Flordia, and according to the Tampa Bay Times, the darndest people get in on the action.
Convicted felon Troy Anthony Charles opened a halfway house to support his own drug habit. He’s currently charged with murder for shooting a resident in the head. And that’s not all:
• Several houses are run by felons with serious criminal records, including robbery, sexual assault and drug trafficking.One operator was permanently barred from a federal housing program because of improper billing, yet started a new halfway house that is getting thousands of dollars from the same program.
• Residents of some halfway houses say drug abuse is rampant, and records show at least three people have overdosed and died at unregulated homes. Though such deaths are not unusual among recovering addicts, they underscore the need for oversight, experts say.
• One halfway house that touted “sober living” bused recovering alcoholics to sell beer at Raymond James Stadium. Another required residents to get their prescriptions filled at a pharmacy in a store plastered with neon beer signs. [Tampa Bay Times]
Halfway houses can cash residents’ paychecks to cover their rent and kick them out at a moment’s notice. One resident found herself out on the street with her kids after she refused go to her house leader’s church.
[Photo credit: Chris Yarzab, Creative Commons.]