Thursday, June 4, 2015

New York Times investigates "sober living" homes.

The New York Times questioned whether the little-regulated but government-funded sober living homes are run properly.  The investigation delved into the world of recovery homes in New York City and found all too often that recovering addicts were encouraged to relapse so they could qualify for more government aid.  The newspaper reported:


Mr. Bush signed up for a drug-treatment program and emerged nine months later determined to stay sober. But the man who ran the house, Yury Baumblit, a longtime hustler and two-time felon, had other ideas.

Mr. Baumblit got kickbacks on the Medicaid fees paid to the outpatient treatment programs that he forced all his tenants to attend, residents and former employees said. So he gave Mr. Bush a choice: If he wanted to stay, he would have to relapse and enroll in another program. Otherwise, his bed would be given away.

“‘Do what you do’ — that’s what he told me,” Mr. Bush recalled.

Mr. Bush, rail-thin with sad eyes, wanted to avoid the streets and homeless shelters at all costs. He turned to his self-medication of choice: beer, with a chaser of heroin and crack cocaine. Then he enrolled in a new program chosen by Mr. Baumblit.

In the past two and a half years, Mr. Bush has gone through four programs, just to hold onto his upper bunk bed.

Mr. Bush had fallen into a housing netherworld in New York City, joining thousands of other single men and women recovering from addiction or with nowhere to go. The homes are known as “three-quarter” houses, because they are seen as somewhere between regulated halfway houses and actual homes.

Virtually unnoticed and effectively unregulated, the homes have multiplied over the past decade, driven by a push to reduce shelter rolls, a lack of affordable housing and unscrupulous operators.....

Opportunistic businessmen like Mr. Baumblit have rushed to open new homes, turning them into vehicles for fleecing the government, an investigation by The New York Times found. The target is easy: vulnerable residents whose rents and treatments are paid for with taxpayer money....

But for years none have paid attention to what happens inside. There are no regular inspections. No requirements. No registry. The city’s Department of Buildings, overwhelmed and ineffectual, often fines the landlords, but the city does little to collect....  Rest of article.


26 comments:

Anonymous said...

No surprises in this article.
We've turned into a country that has forgotten that capitalism is an economic system, and not a form of government.
And, we've forgotten that profit is not a religion with money as the path the to Heaven!

The Children said...

But what about the children?

Anonymous said...

NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT -- keep moving keep moving. Since we have no oversight of OH homes in Jackson, we have NONE of this to worry about. It's the keepers who are the issue, not the inmates. They need no supervision, therefore all is well. C'mon people don't you get it????

Jackassery aside -- it's the entire system that is broken and needs to be totally flushed!

Anonymous said...

Nice try, KF, but you should hope your readers are astute enough to realize these flop houses in New York and the predators who run them aren't any more like Oxford House than Gopher and Captain Steuben are. Let it go, man. You're starting to look a little silly. Even your golden boy is backing down...

Anonymous said...

4:24 Just what we need, an obvious BB groupie political attack on our Senator while he, and we here in Jackson, are struggling with this very real issue 24/7. This issue is not theoretical to us in NEJ (at it apparently is to you), and goes beyond politics. Just say nothing BB mini-me if you are not going to help us, and certainly nothing snarky.

Anonymous said...

What is Bill's position 4:24 PM on the whole Oxford House matter?

Anonymous said...

4:38 No official comment whatsoever, but his followers like to come on these threads and snipe at Will who is trying his best to help us.

Anonymous said...

Seems like billingsly would have been better off to have publicly supported longwitz on this issue. Go back to your cave bill. No one is voting for you. Most of your supporters I know don't even live in your jurisdiction.

Anonymous said...

BB -- Will has produced, what have you done? OH YES -- count votes. We ALMOST forgot.

Anonymous said...

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

and 10:15 - haven't you heard of the Right Reverend Osteen and the "Prosperity Gospel"?

"God wants you to be wealthy!"

Anonymous said...

What exactly has Will stated he intends to do besides raise money from you idiots that believe he can do something. They have not and will not loose in court as long as they are a protected class.

Tell me what Will has said he is GOING TO DO?

Now tell me what you think will actually happen. There are two different realities here. Jackassery aside, going around and giving the false hope that legislation will cure this is simply disingenuous. Making a phone call to someone in Gov's office is something that any of the citizenry is capable of doing, especially if you are this "concerned" about it. Hell the tea party is taking credit for CALLING the Gov and killing the Common Core Bill. Several of the Rich folk in Easter and NE Jax know someone that can get the Gov's ear.This is an Ashby issue at best, but to disguise this as a legislative issue that can be cured with some bill is lunacy.

I know this is a stretch, I would implore someone that is supporting this show Longwitz is putting on and reply with a level-headed response to the question that I have asked. What can Will do from a legislative perspective that could solve OH in NE Jax and other areas in the state?

Or is this a situation that "they are fine as long as they are not in my neighborhood" to which I say get over yourselves. Since this has come up I found out I have one around the corner and would have never known it otherwise. You people in glass houses should not throw stones, and for God sakes lets do not point out all the drunks and coke-heads in Eastover and surrounding neighborhoods. Whoever is perfect cast the first stone.

I do not expect a serious response but it would be nice for at least one to respond with a geniune thoughtful answer. It may change my mind of all this nonsense, but I am not holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

I do not expect a serious response ...

You won't receive a serious response nor thoughful answer because you haven't offered anything serious or thoughtful to respond to.

Anonymous said...

What is Bill Billingsley's position on the whole Oxford House matter?

Anonymous said...

11:15. We are continuing to learn quite a bit, but not for discussion now. Stay tuned to this station.

Anonymous said...

Will Longwitz is just politically grandstanding about a perceived problem. He is offering no solution. Compare it to Obama's campaign where he continuously offered change but no solution.

Anonymous said...

11;15 -- I concur with 0825 a.m. -- this sham of a group (OHI) goes well beyond the local issues. Will has made a stand as a politician -- rare in recent history and political climate. Phil also did the same, as did Delbert. Will is willing to lose his position, while standing up and being the spokesman for our concerns. THAT in and of itself is commendable, since most politicians are fearful of any position on anything (ala BB on the OH issue - crickets in the BB camp in NEJ).

Legislation to curtail MDMH independent operations and provide oversight of the agency is critical, and that comes through the legislature. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, MDMH is governed by a board, and no legislative oversight, nor really gubernatorial oversight either. This debacle was supported by that group financially through block grants, and if you really want a tutorial on this mess, it would take a week to show you all the interconnected relationships, financial corruption, etc. As 0825 stated -- just stayed tuned, and whether you want to acknowledge it or not -- Will has taken a firm stand, researched, and been a great spokesman. Haven't heard anything from BB.

Anonymous said...

What is Bill Billingsley's position on the whole Oxford House matter?

Oxford House? Heck @8:01 AM, what are Billingsley's positions on anything?

Anonymous said...

8:59. Well let's take a look at just who the senetor is standing up for. It seems to me it's the ones who can financially support his campaign.

Anonymous said...

4:24 pm The common denominator is setting up profit opportunities under the guise of " helping others".

Once upon a time, charities and churches were NOT businesses. They didn't make profits for those operating the churches or charities but rather paid them a fair wage for the work done!

Now we have millionaire preachers and charities that have more money going to themselves and their " employees" than to those needing help!

Do you get it now?



Anonymous said...

@ 9:42 - I could not agree more regarding churches. I consider it the Capitalism of religion. It's all about who can build the biggest church and with the most elaborate A/V system. I don't think that's what tithes are intended for.

Anonymous said...

@9:25 PM, how much has Billingsley dumped into his own campaign? $20,000? Phil Griffin is SOAKING him. For what? A Facebook page?

Anonymous said...

At least Bill isn't twisting truths and making false statements to gain money and votes.

Anonymous said...

1:55 -- He isn't talking about anything. Just walking the neighborhood and telling us he needs our vote. I recognized him across the street, and didn't answer the doorbell. Better to not answer than get into a "theoretical" conversation about why he's a better conservative than I am.

Sorry -- he sunk his boat when he tied it to McDaniel's sinking craft. He seems to be a "dreamer" who speaks in abstract terms, but has nothing concrete, other than nursing homes and home health care I believe, which were dependent on government oversight and funding, and a horse farm, to prove his worth. For a man who hates the government and their intrusion, I'm thinking nursing homes and home health care, require a lot of Medicare, Medicaid, etc., financially in Mississippi. He didn't have a problem taking that money, but now is "Shocked, shocked, that "government funding is happening" in Mississsipi". Oh well -- I'm sure there are those who will jump in regarding he is a business man -- he is, but I beg to differ in that he required lots of government support to build that business. He wasn't selling tires down the street.

Anonymous said...

So, I really didn't care about this election til recently. Never heard of Bill Billingsly are whatever his name is but he is totally not representing the people who might vote for him that it is laughable. The face that he, or his family, is dogging this site to troll is ridiculous. I'm not real political and am not near an OH but I do have lots of Jackson and Madison and Ridgeland connections and know that this is a make or break issue for all of them. No one wants this mess in their neighborhood and no one wants their tax dollars paying for such a sham of an organization. The fact that "Bill's supporters" aka family members are trying to diss this issue is just pathetic. He's got no chance but this stance has sealed the deal even more. Bill, before you post again, realize that you have ZERO support on your stance to not buck Oxford House. Who are you, anyway? Never mind, the comments from "your supporters/you" is enough to disclose your complete inadequacy to represent this area. Glad I now know your name as I will campaign against you and your liberal values.

Anonymous said...

As a resident of Trawick Dr, right near the oh so infamous OH house, I've remained silent until now. I feel I must put in my two cents worth. First, not one single solitary complaint has been made against the men living there. We took the time to meet them and see the house. They readily invited us in (something most neighbors don't do here or even when we lived in Easthaven in Brandon.) They were super friendly and articulate and also very insecure). I hate that we have played the role of making villains out of these men. Three of them honorably served our nation. I also met the outreach coordinator whom is an employee of the house. So, when we say there is no house oversight, we are completely erroneous, ignorant of the facts or out and out lying. My wife and I agree that they were kinder and friendlier than the majority of our neighbors.
If all the fuss is actually about zoning issues, then let's make it just that. I will charge the spear of that is the case. However, character assassination should be immediately halted. None of the men at E Northside are felons, none are wanted, none were recruited from jails. Two were reccomended by the Sonny Montgomery VA in Jackson and are subject to random drug an alcohol screenings there and at the OH. Am I missing some incident? Have any of you been assaulted, verbally or physically? Have you had property stolen or damaged? How have the individuals living on E Northside wronged you? Again, I don't like the way OH blind sided us and moved in under the guise of night. But, the residents are very nice and welcoming people. We felt we should be the same. I encourage all of you to go by. They will let you in and answer all of your questions. Well, unless you come over inebriated or making threats.

Anonymous said...

I just love how these Oxford House threads cause more panic than the threads on violent crime in our surrounding area. I'll take a couple of drunks any day over what is slowly encroaching from the west of us

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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