Bill may cut funds to 'unchecked' sober homes in Suffolk County
Legislator Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) is introducing a bill that would withhold funds from two so-called sober home operators in Suffolk County due to complaints against them and a lack of regulation.
She says state officials have refused to oversee and regulate "this unchecked industry" at a time when the opioid epidemic is sweeping across Long Island.
Cion Solutions and Solutions House, Inc. would have funds withheld from them.
"These two operators are clearly in strict violations, there's been too many complaints, too many issues," says Browning.
Jennifer Grafing, a recovering drug addict, says she came to a so-called sober home in Blue Point where she saw overcrowding, drug use and not enough food for the tenants.
"It was just mayhem," she tells News 12. Since leaving the facility, she says she is "doing great" and has 90 days sober.
David Sardella, the landlord at Blue Point's Solutions House, Inc., insists his homes are run smoothly and claims there is no drug usage going on.
"[There is] drug testing every week. We have a manager and assistant manager and a resident assistant all in place," he says.
The bill may face an uphill climb. The money for the so-called sober homes comes from the state and is paid out by the county. It's not clear if Suffolk has the authority to withhold payments.