Forum Will Provide Detailed Information on Assembly Bill 572, Addressing Sober Living Facilities and Homes
ORANGE, CA (OCT. 30, 2017) – The Association of California Cities– Orange County (ACC- OC)— the region’s leading public policy, strategy, education and advocacy group—is pleased to join 65th District Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva for a community conversation on sober living residence reform from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2017 in Grand Hall at the Costa Mesa Senior Center. The event will focus on Assembly Bill 572 (AB 572), legislation authored by Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva and sponsored by the ACC-OC. The community conversation will review the bill, the issues surrounding sober living facilities and homes, and the effects on patients and the neighborhoods in which they are located.
“We are grateful for the support of Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva and ACC-OC to help our cities find ways to educate Sacramento about problems with the system, lack of oversight, and inability of cities to regulate care and impacts within our own jurisdiction. Something has to change” said, Mayor Katrina Foley from the City of Costa Mesa, a key supporter of the legislation.
AB 572 is designed to create a voluntary pilot program for municipalities in Orange County to fund and house a Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Compliance Analyst within their city. If passed during the 2018 legislative session, AB 572 would offer an added resource for cities, assisting them with enforcement of state and local regulations, and providing patients with higher quality care and superior rehabilitation outcomes.
“This bill is a pragmatic first step in developing long-term solutions to confront the growing and problematic issue of sober living residences,” said Heather Stratman, ACC-OC Chief Executive Officer. “This is a complex issue, which warrants a local governance approach to monitoring and control of these health facilities. The Association Members are in strong support of Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva’s bill, and we look forward to a robust policy discussion at our Community Conversation event.”
Sober living homes and facilities are meant to provide a sober and safe environment for those recovering from Alcohol or Other Drug (AOD) dependency in residential settings. However, there are very few regulatory mechanisms available for cities to ensure that the homes within their jurisdictions are functioning properly. This has spurred a proliferation of non-compliant sober living residences with challenges ranging from public safety issues, unregulated patient care, and in some cases, facility misconduct.
California has nearly 2,000 licensed facilities and countless unlicensed homes – an alarming 15 percent of those homes are saturated in Orange County. Under existing law, only the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has jurisdiction to oversee these sober living facilities, and currently relies on 16 Sacramento-based Investigative Complaint Analysts to cover the entire state. As such, there is a significant backlog in complaint processes, investigation response, and general monitoring.
Orange County residents are encouraged to attend the forum in-person, or by live streaming the event at: (https://a65.asmdc.org/reform-sober-living-residences-orange-county). Opening remarks will be made by 74th District Assemblymember Matt Harper.
“The challenges, deriving from noncompliant facilities, are a strain on law enforcement resources, the community, and negatively affect the patients seeking treatment.” said Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “I will continue to fight for more DHCS oversite in my district and I look forward to working with the County and all stakeholders as this bill moves forward.”
Nov. 6, 2017 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Grand Hall at the Costa Mesa Senior Center 695 W. 19th Street, Costa Mesa.
ABOUT THE ACC-OC:
The Association of California Cities – Orange County (ACC-OC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization representing the interests of the 34 cities in Orange County. ACC-OC is committed to protecting and preserving local governance, while offering a vast array of benefits and resources for city staff and elected representatives. ACC-OC’s ongoing mission is to be the authoritative regional voice for public policy issues, with focus on: education that empowers, policy that is collaborative and advocacy that is service-oriented. Learn more at www.accoc.org.
ABOUT ASSEMBLYMEMBER SHARON QUIRK-SILVA
Sharon Quirk-Silva was elected to the state Assembly in November 2016 to represent the 65th Assembly District which includes the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Palma, and Stanton. Prior to her election to the Assembly, Quirk-Silva served as a two-term mayor of the City of Fullerton, first selected by her peers on the Fullerton City Council in 2007. She was elected to her first term on the Fullerton City Council in November 2004. Quirk-Silva has four children and is married to Jesus Silva, also a teacher. She resides in the City of Fullerton.