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Surfside Beach debates 'Recovery houses'

(WPDE)

Not everyone in Surfside Beach is happy with the next door neighbors.

Some people in the town were not happy to find out that three addiction recovery houses, sometimes called "sober houses", were located within town limits.

Several people have asked town council members to look into the matter, wondering if children playing nearby are safe.

"Let's put two of them within two blocks of our children's parks," Meg Perrino said, sarcastically. "Because that's a great idea."

Others asked if the recovery houses are legal, as they house multiple adults and are run by businesses in a residential area.

But many just wanted more information about the houses.

"Just because they're there, doesn't mean they have to be shrouded in darkness," one woman said. "I want the full story on this so I can learn to be more accepting of it."

But council members said they can't take any action against the houses, explaining that they're covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"We have to work with what we have," Tim Courtney told the audience.

Others said the people living inside the homes are human beings who have made mistakes, and are entering a new chapter in their lives.

Nikki Jensen is one such person. She lives in one of the recovery houses.

"Two years ago, I was a very different person than what I am now," Jensen told ABC15. "Community support, the support of other people, the support of other recovering addicts is what's gotten me to where I am at."

Jensen said the house she lives in is her home, just like anyone else on the block. She referred questions about how the program works to her program coordinator.

The houses are run by Oxford House, which also has properties in Florence, North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, and Conway.

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