March 22, 2023 – Tempers flared at what began as a town hall meeting in the Clovis City Council quarters Wednesday evening.
Clovis residents filled the chambers to standing room only participation as details were discussed on a local issue involving a recovery residence inside Clovis boundaries.
Ceaselessly referred to as a “halfway house”, the recovery residence is located just off of Locan Avenue and within an eight minute walk of Freedom Elementary.
Specific residents inside the house became an issue that was first addressed at Monday’s City Council meeting, when a Clovis resident brought their concerns of a tenant from the recovery residence, knocking at their door and peering inside windows of their home at 1 AM of a specific night. It was later discovered that this specific tenant was a registered sex offender living inside the recovery residence.
After management, Praise Transitional Housing LLC, current leaseholder of the residence, discovered that the tenant was indeed a sex offender, the decision was made to release the tenant from their custody into the hands of Exodus Recovery Inc, a psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment service.
It was also revealed at the town hall meeting that Praise Transitional Housing does not screen their residents before accepting them into their homes, so as not to “judge people on their past offenses”.
Praise Transitional Housing does not receive federal or state grant money for their services, and stated at the town hall meeting that most of the money that pays for the six houses that they operate comes from out of their own pocket. “Recovery is a community [ideal], not on the individual.”
Praise Transitional Housing also made it known that they usually take in what they call “elderly” patients, of the age of forty and above.
Local residents from the neighborhood surrounding the recovery residence were upset at a number of issues.
Among those issues were the less than half mile walk from the house to the local Freedom Elementary school, unruly times of night that residents of the house were outside past curfew, in addition to the aggravated incident from the previously mentioned and excommunicated tenant of the residence.
However, as City staff declared, calls to the house have not yet reached specific “nuisance level” priority which would warrant police intervention.
According to city staff, only two of the fourteen calls to police in reference to the residence have come from outside the house, one being the incident that involved the released tenant.
The other twelve calls to the residence have come from inside the house, for instance mental health calls for residents of the assisted living quarters.
One crime has been reported in the area of the recovery residence and that crime was the theft of a catalytic converter, not directly linked to the house itself.
Despite this, Clovis residents still voiced their concerns over the residents and their past lives and crimes as well as the fact that an overwhelming majority “do not feel safe” in their own front or backyards, nor allowing children outside without direct supervision.
To this, Praise Transitional Housing claimed that they have been looking to move out of their residence in Clovis, within 30-60 days, stating that Clovis residents “aren’t used” to having recovery residences in their surroundings.
“I’ve noticed moving the homes to Clovis have been very difficult. We have no problems in Fresno, cause they’re used to the boarding care homes. But in Clovis, you guys are not used to this. We are gonna try to make you guys more comfortable by moving it out of the neighborhood.”
To this, one Clovis resident responded, “I appreciate the fact that you guys are gonna do something about it, and you’re gonna be moving out in 30-60 days, thank you.”