ST. GEORGE — The owner of Steps Recovery Center, the residential alcohol and drug recovery center that opened in the Bloomington neighborhood of St. George in January, is now opening a residential support home at 444 South 400 East in St. George in May. Sometimes referred to as a “sober house,” the residential support home offers a next phase for the Bloomington recovery center residents and others who are similarly situated.
“I purchased the existing company that owned and operated the home as a sober house,” Mike Jorgensen said. Jorgensen is the primary principal of the ownership entities for both facilities. He did so, he said, “with plans to renovate it and continue to use it for the same purpose.”
A sober house is much like an outpatient facility for those who have already gone through treatment at a residential facility like the one in Bloomington. It is another phase in the recovery process allowing addicts to continue to get treatment and receive support from other residents who are also recovering from addiction.
The home at South 400 East is capable of housing 16 beds and Jorgensen anticipates filling all of them, charging residents $450-500 per month to stay at the home. The 4,700-square-foot house has nine bedrooms and eight bathrooms, Jorgensen said.
While Jorgensen is no stranger to neighborhood controversy surrounding these types of facilities, thus far his encounter in the neighborhood of South 400 East has been a minor one that was quickly resolved with the owner of the next-door property, Richard Wayman.
Wayman, returned home on Wednesday evening to find a three-foot block wall, or fence as he described it, that divided the two properties torn down. He then discovered that the new owner of the home was a company owned by Jorgensen and the fence had been torn down as part of the renovation process.
Jorgensen wanted to replace the short block wall that was in disrepair, he said, with a 6-foot block wall which would provide more privacy for both his residents and the neighbor. Although Wayman was at first unhappy the fence, which he said sits on his property, had been taken down by Jorgensen without any warning, he later said that he and Jorgensen quickly resolved concerns regarding the property line and height of the fence Thursday afternoon.
The home has been used as a sober house for the past few years, Jorgensen said, and there are still about 11 residents staying there. Those residents will be moving out to make way for new people that Jorgensen’s business will bring in.
Wayman, who has lived in the next-door home since 2006, said he was surprised to learn that the home had been a sober house for the past few years. He was unaware that its residents were recovering addicts, he said, and the people living at the house were very nice and there were no problems other than smoke blowing over into his yard when some of them smoked out on the driveway.
His fears concerning the impact of having the sober house next door were alleviated after talking to Jorgensen, Wayman said. There will be no smoking allowed under the new ownership and now Wayman sees the new fence as an improvement, he said, giving them more privacy.
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