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Scarcity of Treatment Centers Posed as Lack of Fair Housing

A not-in-my-back-yard (NIMBY) response is what service providers often encounter when they attempt to locate an alcohol, drug, or mental health treatment facility in a community. But when neighbors ob

Scarcity of Treatment Centers Posed as Lack of Fair Housing

Tom Fudge: Group homes. Halfway houses. Neighborhood treatment centers. They go by a lot of names. And they are almost always controversial, whether they deserve to be or not. In San Diego County, getting condition use permits for neighborhood group homes has become near impossible. Just last year, the county put out a request for proposals to create a group home for young adults with mental health and substance abuse problems. There was no response to that RFP from providers. Zero. Nada. Locating these kinds of facilities has become so hard, most providers have apparently decided it's not worth the trouble.


Advocates for the mentally ill say that NIMBYism has gotten so bad, they might go to court to force communities to accept group homes. This hour we're talking about the challenge of locating group homes.


  • Jeanne McAlister , executive director of the McAlister Institute for Treatment and Education (MITE), which runs several treatment programs in San Diego County
  • Deborah Parker , public policy strategist and project manager of the Solutions for Treatment Expansion Project (STEP) with Futures Associates, Incorporated Deborah Parker
  • Mary Scott Knoll , executive director of the Fair Housing Council of San Diego

Break Music:   Recurring by Bonobo, from the album Days to Come (2006)

End Music:  Building Steam With A Grain of Salt by DJ Shadow, from the album Endtroducing (1996)