TLC Residential, Inc. (TLC Clean & Sober Living Homes) Issues Statement of Clarification

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TLC Clean & Sober Homes (http://www.tlcresidential.com) wants to make sure that those interested understand what “Private Sober Living” means. In an effort to do so we are issuing this press release, which will clarify “Private Sober Living” and specifically TLC Residential, Inc.’s (TLC Clean & Sober Living Homes) style of sober living/sober homes. There isn’t a good understanding of what sober living is and is not – there are, however, many misconceptions. The many descriptions and phrases associated with sober living also add to the confusion and misunderstanding of how TLC Clean & Sober Living Homes operate. Terms such as: “halfway house”, “treatment center”, “licensed sober home”, “unlicensed sober home”, etc… can be confusing. There are also many misconceptions and questions such as: “Who lives in private unlicensed sober homes?”, “Who lives in licensed sober homes?”, “What’s the difference between sober homes and halfway houses?”, “Who manages individual sober homes?”, “How do sober homes operate?”, “Are there standards and how are they enforced?”, and “How does this affect my neighborhood?”, and others. This press release speaks to what TLC Residential is and is not, as well as, how TLC operates our “private unlicensed sober homes”.

TLC Residential is a privately owned company that specializes in working with those coming out of primary-care, private-pay treatment centers. TLC Residential is not a “licensed sober home company”. The perception is that this is a negative. The reality is that this is positive for neighborhoods, because licensed sober homes are typically non-profit entities that work with city, state and federal agencies. They work with the courts housing those who are either coming out of jail, prison, other mandatory programs or who are on probation. Licensed sober homes rely on agencies to fill these homes. This is not the case with TLC Clean & Sober Living Homes – we decide who lives in our homes. Because TLC is a private unlicensed sober home company, we decide who lives in our homes, not a local, state or federal agency. This is very important for our neighbors to know because TLC has a policy of not accepting anyone with any type of violent or sexual criminal history – and we don’t have to.

TLC Residential works with private treatment centers that accept insurance and private-pay clients. The vast majority of our clients come from treatment centers in the Bay Area. In the case of our home located at 201 Marin Street, most of these clients are coming from local treatment centers in San Rafael and the surrounding area. Since most of our residents are coming from local treatment centers, most are already residents of Marin County. This is not to say there aren’t individuals who come from other treatment centers located in the greater Bay Area or the United States. TLC is one of the most respected and oldest privately run sober home companies in the United States. We receive inquiries from people in treatment from all over the country who are seeking a fresh start or because they have family or jobs waiting for them in the Bay Area. However, most of those individuals move to one of our homes in San Francisco because San Francisco is a major business and economic hub.

Of course TLC does not give out private information about our residents. However many would be very surprised to learn the demographic makeup of our residents. For instance, in our Marin Home, we have a total of nine residents and two managers. The residents are mostly college educated (or in school), professionals, artists or craftspeople. This is very typical of our client base. What this means is the people who live in our homes are people just like you and me. The only difference is that they are battling the disease of drug and alcohol addiction.

We often hear terms like “halfway house” when people are referring to sober living. A halfway house or “three quarter house” is not a sober home. A halfway house is typically a home where parolees are sent after they leave jail or prison. This is a part of their sentence, or part of the condition of their parole or probation. Whether or not they have a drug or alcohol problem is usually irrelevant. TLC does not make any judgment of this type of home or licensed sober homes; we are just attempting to point out the differences. The terminology of “halfway house” is a term used more frequently on the East Coast of the United States and is sometimes used incorrectly to describe “sober living homes”

The terms “program” and “treatment center’ are also sometimes used when describing sober living. Again, speaking only for TLC Residential, Inc. - TLC is not a treatment center or a program. We work closely with both; however, we do not do any type of therapy or counseling in our homes. Many of our residents attend day treatment, intensive outpatient (IOP), outpatient, and aftercare. Outpatient type treatment is typically for those who have recently discharged from inpatient treatment and are continuing on with their care, coupling sober living and more treatment in an effort to give them the best opportunity to be successful in their quest for long-term sobriety. Many of our residents have demanding work schedules (in many cases this is what has lead them to having a problem with substance abuse) and we highly encourage our residents to attend these types of programs, especially those who are struggling. In some cases this can be mandatory for those who wish to continue to live in our homes.

TLC Clean & Sober Living Homes utilizes a set of standards that all residents must adhere to. The standards include: Not using any mind altering substances, working with some kind of advisor in an effort to move forward in recovery from substance abuse, attending support group-style meetings, accepting direction from house parents, adhering to curfew and quiet times, only allowing guests in the home who are not on any type of mind altering substances (legal or not), and others.    

One of the most important aspects of TLC standards is adhering to our “Good Neighbor Policy”, which includes not loitering/congregating/smoking in front of our homes. This policy is very important to TLC and why we have enjoyed such positive relationships with our neighbors. We understand that in many cases we are larger numbers of people in the home than most typical residences. Our typical homes have anywhere from seven to twelve residents and we understand that neighbors have legitimate questions about parking and other topics that relate to their neighborhood. Our Good Neighbor Policy addresses these concerns and we go out of our way to respect our neighbors. As part of our standards, all residents have assigned chores around the home. We make sure our homes are neat and clean both inside and out. When it comes to trash & recyclables, TLC supports all efforts to preserve our environment - the TLC residents make sure that trash, recyclables and organic matter are being separated and disposed of correctly. We have a team of maintenance people who work for TLC and are always on call to help with any minor or major issues with our homes. In terms of parking, only about one-third of our residents have their own vehicles, and all are encouraged to be very mindful of neighborhood parking. In addition, “hanging out” in cars in front and around our homes is not allowed.

House parents, residents and senior management always address concerns that our neighbors may have as soon as possible. When an issue does come up (as rarely as that is), we always work with our neighbors towards a mutually beneficial solution. Something to keep in mind is that while TLC has a policy on how we address our neighbors and neighborhoods, not everyone does. For example, when any group of individuals moves into a home or apartment (family, roommates, etc.) they, for the most part, do not have any type of "good neighbor policy". The reality is that one never knows whom their neighbors are when they move in and have no idea what type of neighbor they will be or if they will be considerate. TLC is always a considerate neighbor and our residents abide by our “Good Neighbor Policy”. We consistently hear from our neighbors that we are considered to be some of the best neighbors on the block and very much a part of the communities where our homes are located.

Neighbors and neighborhoods are very important to TLC. We spend a lot of time and resources finding the right homes in the right neighborhoods. Because TLC has been in business for so long (24 years), and because TLC has such a good reputation, we receive many opportunities from interested parties who wish to lease properties to us. The reality is that for every twenty properties TLC evaluates as a potential sober home, we typically wind up leasing one. There are many considerations that go into what TLC would view as a desirable property. TLC only leases properties that make sense for our residents. TLC residents are very diverse and TLC looks for diverse neighborhoods. We want the neighborhoods we live in to have good proximity to transportation, shopping, schools and other services. Pretty much what most anyone would seek when looking for a home to lease or buy. Our Marin home in the Gerstle Park neighborhood of San Rafael is great example of what we look for in a home.. There are private homes, apartment buildings, multi-unit flats and even a small office park. Our home is sits between a private home and a fairly large apartment building. We feel very fortunate to have such a beautiful home in this beautiful neighborhood and our residents and management team appreciate the fact that this home is in the San Rafael historical ledger.

All TLC homes are Arcuria Certified. Arcuria California Recovery Resources helps those seeking quality sober living do so. Arcuria actually inspects all homes it refers on their website and in their print guide. Some of what Arcuria looks for when inspecting a home are things like: fire extinguishers located in all areas of the home, smoke alarms in all bedrooms and common areas, qualified on-site house managers, etc. A full checklist of what is required to be ‘Arcuria Certified’ can be found on the Arcuria site at http://www.arcuria.net/certification.php.

Every TLC home has two staff members: a House Parent and an Assistant House Parent. These individuals are responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the homes as well as enforcing the standards, including the TLC Good Neighbor Policy. Most TLC house parents come from the TLC home that they have lived in or have moved to a new TLC home to become a House Parent or Assistant House Parent. All TLC House Parents meet specific requirements in order to qualify to be a House Parent. A big part of a House Parents responsibility is making sure that TLC residents and TLC, Residential are being as good neighbors as possible. If there is an issue in the home they handle it or they reach out to their District Manager. TLC Residential has multiple District Managers who oversee groups of homes in specific regions. District Managers visit the homes on a regular basis to make sure the homes are running smoothly, as well as being on call in the event that there is an issue. The District Managers stay in touch with TLC’s central office as well as reporting to the Director of Operations who oversees all operations of TLC Residential Homes.

We hope this information will help our neighbors and any concerned parties have a better understanding of what TLC Residential is and what TLC Residential is not. TLC believes we are playing a significant role in helping individuals who suffer from alcohol and drug addictions recover and move forward with their lives. Statistics show those who live in good quality sober homes have a much better chance of staying sober long-term than those who go back to their homes and existing situations. We are committed to helping those who want to help themselves. We are also committed to being the best neighbors we can be.

About TLC Residential, Inc:
TLC Residential, Inc. (http://www.tlcresidential.com) has been in business for over 23 years and offers affordable upscale sober living at its TLC Clean and Sober Living Homes. TLC currently owns and operates 24 Sober Homes in San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties in Northern California. The houses are diverse and offer a supportive family environment for those seeking recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. All homes are Arcuria certified, meet strict guidelines, and have a live-in management team that helps maintain a supportive, warm, nurturing environment. Residents are encouraged to continue working on their recovery as they make their way back into the stream of life, and many are employed by local businesses, attend school, or volunteer within the community. TLC residents are graduates of well respected treatment programs and are typically self-supporting or receive support from family members.

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