CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Huntington officials met at the Charleston capitol building Tuesday morning to speak to state officials about Huntington’s sober living homes.
Officials were asking for the state’s assistance in creating a clear plan to ensure all of the sober living homes were up to code.
According to Huntington’s Mayor, Steve Williams, there are more than 60 sober living homes in Huntington that officials are aware of.
During the session, Williams spoke about the current lack of protocol it takes to open a sober living home and, because of this, the dangers city officials have seen, like preventable house fires.
Still, he says catching and shutting down the homes hasn’t been an easy task.
“The problem is so many are flying under the radar, we don’t know that they’re opening until we start hearing stuff from the neighbors,” explained Williams.
Huntington residents spoke as well, and one said this entire situation has been frustrating.
“People stand out front smoking, people with the windows open hanging outside sometimes with no shirt on throwing cigarette buds out onto the grass. There were some people living in a trailer next door and there were some young women there and the men were opening the windows and hollering at the women causing all kinds of issues,” said, Huntington resident, Earl Strohmeyer.
He says he’s hoping the state can step in and provide at least a limit on how these facilities can operate.
Mayor Williams says the next step is for residents to be patient as they’re working to come up with the best solution for this problem.
“There are some that are not necessarily in it for the programmatic health, to help someone find the road to sobriety. They’re in it to make money. They just throw mattresses down and at that point, they’re placing lives in danger, they’re not helping someone. I want to run those out of town.”