Owner of Bloomington recovery center acquires sober house in St. George

Sober house at 444 South 400 East, St. George, Utah, March 27, 2014 | Photo by Scott Heinecke, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The owner of Steps Recovery Center, the residential alcohol and drug recovery center that opened in the Bloomington neighborhood of St. George in January, is now opening a residential support home at 444 South 400 East in St. George in May. Sometimes referred to as a “sober house,” the residential support home offers a next phase for the Bloomington recovery center residents and others who are similarly situated.

“I purchased the existing company that owned and operated the home as a sober house,” Mike Jorgensen said. Jorgensen is the primary principal of the ownership entities for both facilities. He did so, he said, “with plans to renovate it and continue to use it for the  same purpose.”

A sober house is much like an outpatient facility for those who have already gone through treatment at a residential facility like the one in Bloomington. It is another phase in the recovery process allowing addicts to continue to get treatment and receive support from other residents who are also recovering from addiction.

The home at South 400 East is capable of housing 16 beds and Jorgensen anticipates filling all of them, charging residents $450-500 per month to stay at the home. The 4,700-square-foot house has nine bedrooms and eight bathrooms, Jorgensen said.

While Jorgensen is no stranger to neighborhood controversy surrounding these types of facilities, thus far his encounter in the neighborhood of South 400 East has been a minor one that was quickly resolved with the owner of the next-door property, Richard Wayman.

Wayman, returned home on Wednesday evening to find a three-foot block wall, or fence as he described it, that divided the two properties torn down. He then discovered that the new owner of the home was a company owned by Jorgensen and the fence had been torn down as part of the renovation process.

Jorgensen wanted to replace the short block wall that was in disrepair, he said, with a 6-foot block wall which would provide more privacy for both his residents and the neighbor. Although Wayman was at first unhappy the fence, which he said sits on his property, had been taken down by Jorgensen without any warning, he later said that he and Jorgensen quickly resolved concerns regarding the property line and height of the fence Thursday afternoon.

The home has been used as a sober house for the past few years, Jorgensen said, and there are still about 11 residents staying there. Those residents will be moving out to make way for new people that Jorgensen’s business will bring in.

Wayman, who has lived in the next-door home since 2006, said he was surprised to learn that the home had been a sober house for the past few years. He was unaware that its residents were recovering addicts, he said, and the people living at the house were very nice and there were no problems other than smoke blowing over into his yard when some of them smoked out on the driveway.

His fears concerning the impact of having the sober house next door were alleviated after talking to Jorgensen, Wayman said. There will be no smoking allowed under the new ownership and now Wayman sees the new fence as an improvement, he said, giving them more privacy.   

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12 Comments

  • Maudie Fricker March 31, 2014 at 9:57 am

    WOW…’Hate to break it to you folks that are in recovery, but uh…you need to pack up and get out…I got paying customers coming in..’ NICE…real nice…

  • Bub March 31, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Yes, these will will high-class crackhead recovery centers. They will be for well off folks–celebrities and what not. The poor crackheads in recovery will just have to move to Detroit…

  • Shelbi March 31, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    You people and your attitudes need to maybe pack up and go Exchange them for a respectful one. You have no clue who these people are and where they have come from. You are all fast to pass judgement on others but maybe you should all step back and take a look at yourselfs and your issues not anyone else’s. St. George has a huge drug and alcohol problem and steps recovery center is a added bonus for st. George and came in at a much needed time. The program itself speaks highly and has great outcome. But before you go throwing around harsh words towards people and a company you have no clue about, maybe do some research into the accusations you are putting out there.

    • Bub March 31, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      The question is will just anyone with a drug addiction problem be able to afford these particular centers, or will they only be in reach of those with high incomes? I don’t know either way, but I’m curious…

      • Zeke March 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm

        If you’re still curious, read the article above. It says the rent is usually between $450-500 a month. Recovering addicts work and pay this amount to live there and try to get their lives back in order. They must attend AA or NA meetings regularly and can be drug tested at any time. Any violations of the living arrangements means eviction or jail.

        • Bub March 31, 2014 at 6:00 pm

          I wonder if the terms will be changed under new ownership though. Seems like I read somewhere that the new Bloomington place was going to charge very high fees…

          • DoubleTap April 1, 2014 at 8:43 am

            BUB….don’t worry about it. I am sure there are other facilities that can provide you the services at an affordable price….regardless of your income. Try your ObamaCare insurance.

          • Bub April 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm

            Just got off the phone with Obama. He told me that he’d rather see folks stay on the drugs…

    • christian March 31, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      Thank you, Shelbi. I have to agree. If more people would stop putting down others who are doing good in the world and get to work themselves, that would be great.

  • Zeke March 31, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    “Wayman, who has lived in the next-door home since 2006, said he was surprised to learn that the home had been a sober house for the past few years. He was unaware that its residents were recovering addicts, he said, and the people living at the house were very nice ”

    Very interesting statement coming from a neighbor. Bloomington residents next to “inpatient” treatment facility need to read this. Sober living homes have residents that come and go all the time. Inpatient facilities have residents that are not free to come and go as they please.

    If a guy didn’t know his sober living neighbors were addicts for 8 years, having a treatment facility next door would almost make the Bloomington problem non-existent.

  • annie March 31, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    All I can say is the man as found a great cash cow. Cha ching

  • Justin W Undering April 1, 2014 at 10:52 am

    I just wondering why do people with addictions need to find a place to live. I my family if some one has a problem we all work together provide food and shelter along with support. Then if our family member won’t respond properly ( bad attitude, steals, lazy or any other negative action) to the care and love provided by love ones then we try to move them in to other peoples neighborhood. This way other individuals can make a lot of money taking advantage of them by charging 500 bucks rent for a bed. Bloomington may have picketed the addicts but at least the didn’t take advantage of them their famines or their government.

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