Oh my, it’s been a while, but I could think of nowhere else to share and discuss this.
I’m a homeowner in bible belt, conservative Oklahoma. My neighbors started a facebook group which I joined where they discuss things going on in the neighborhood (everything from crime to garage sales). Today, someone posted the following:
Who knew this could happen in our neighborhood? I sure didn’t!
This house is in [Neighborhood name] and currently has 9 men in recovery living in it.
The Purpose and Structure of Oxford House
Oxford House is a concept in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. In its simplest form, an Oxford House describes a democratically run, self-supporting and drug free home. Parallel to this concept lies the organizational structure of Oxford House, Inc. This publicly supported, non-profit 501(c)3 corporation is the umbrella organization which provides the network connecting all Oxford Houses and allocates resources to duplicate the Oxford House concept where needs arise.
The number of residents in a House may range from six to fifteen; there are houses for men, houses for women, and houses which accept women with children. Oxford Houses flourish in metropolitan areas such as New York City and Washington D.C. and thrive in such diverse communities as Hawaii, Washington State, Canada and Australia; but they all abide by the basic criteria.
Each House represents a remarkably effective and low cost method of preventing relapse. This was the purpose of the first Oxford House established in 1975, and this purpose is served, day by day, house after house, in each of over 1,200 houses in the United States today.
Cue everyone grabbing their pitchforks and shot guns. Someone asked how it was allowed to have that many people in a house and the response was that the OP will check, but that it’s a 5 bedroom home with a garage converted.
Others have asked who they are accountable to, what the HOA can do (nothing, our HOA is a voluntary organization and has no binding authority over neighbors), complain that they have four cars parked on the street in front of the house, and want to know who owns the house that they can tell not to rent to these people. Response to that last one from OP is that the Oxford house owns it and that they’re a “business.” Which, no, they’re not. They’re a charitable organization. A non-profit.
I can’t stand it, so finally I ask “What is the concern here? Is it the amount of people? Or the type of people? Or the organization? Or the cars on the street?”
My response from one person was: “Isn’t it obvious?” Well, yes, I would assume it’s that they’re not our “kind” of people. But really I want these people to say that out loud rather than shrouding their bigotry.
My response from OP was: “Well, there was already an incident with one of the residents coming out of the house naked and being unruly. He was made to leave the home is my understanding. This business had been there two months.”
Sounds to me like they have policed themselves here. The person in question is no longer there, having been kicked out by the organization. And again, it’s an organization, not a business! I dunno, I would much rather have men in sober living in my neighborhood than a house full of partying college students (which is the case throughout the rest of the neighborhood).
I think the thing that makes me more frustrated than anything, is that a quick look at the profiles of everyone posting on the thread and every single one of them have bible verses in either their profile picture or their cover image. I dunno, it’s not probably a battle I want to fight, but still it’s mighty frustrating to see hypocrisy in action. I just needed to argh about it.
ETA: After a slew more comments, most especially this one from the OP:
Nine men in a recovery house will bring trouble, wether it’s them relapsing and overdosing, dancing in the street naked while drunk or high or visitors that are trouble.
The people living in close proximity to the Oxford House can kiss their property values good bye.
I finally had to say the following:
I have a very hard time with the comments in this whole thread, so perhaps I should just unfollow it and take comfort in the fact that this housing situation is legal and likely not going anywhere.
I would much rather a home of men in sober living than a home full of partying college students. To that end, I would probably much rather this home than the several others in our neighborhoods on the sex offender registry with offenses including sexual battery, rape, and offenses against children.
I guess nobody here lives by the motto of “what would Jesus do” because frankly this is quite un-christian to have zero compassion for these men and have the first thought be grabbing our pitchforks to find a way to kick them out. If we’re worried, why not help them by throwing neighborhood BBQ or picnics so they can spend more time in a wholesome, drug-free environment and see that our neighborhood cares about our neighbors and will stand together?
But again, I’ll probably unfollow because I realize I’m in the minority here in my thoughts that an organization (not business as has been incorrectly mentioned several times) doesn’t have to be a detriment if we started behaving like better neighbors. If we continue pointing our fingers and whispering behind their backs, then well, I guess we get what we deserve.