State shutters three group homes in Youngstown

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The complaints were first filed in 2019 after the housing task force compiled police reports, citizen complaints and other publc documents about the living conditions in the homes

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services revoked the licenses of three group homes in Youngstown.

The department ordered the homes, operated by Faith Temple Community Outreach Homes, to be closed by June 30. Faith Temple has 15 days to appeal the order.

The order comes after testimony was presented at a Feb. 27 revocation hearing in Columbus that was attended by several members of the Youngstown Housing Task Force, which lodged the complaints.

The homes are located at 862 Canfield Road, 3520 Glenwood Ave. and 3497 Kiawatha Ave.

The complaints were first filed in 2019 after the housing task force compiled police reports, citizen complaints and other publc documents about the living conditions in the homes and how they affected the neighborhoods and the residents of the homes.

Alfreda Atkins, head of the group homes, could not be reached for comment.

In a statement, Mary Staffrey, Chair of the Task Force’s Quality Group Homes Subcommittee, said:

“We are pleased that the voices of the community have been heard, and that the residents of these homes will be placed in more favorable living conditions. All residents of Youngstown deserve to live in safe and quality housing, especially those who are most vulnerable. There have been years of complaints and compliance findings at these three homes in particular. When situations are this serious it should not take years for the state to act. We are presently working with area legislators to address policy changes and enforcement practices to prevent this from happening again. We will continue to monitor the process for the Faith Temple Homes, and we will continue to look into the conditions and to take action on housing quality issues affecting group homes in Youngstown.”

Besides attending the hearings in person, members of the housing task force also presented reams of documentation about the problems at the homes, including photos and police reports, in some cases.

A hearing officer concluded in separate opinions reached earlier this month that the task force provided sufficient documentation to show that conditions in the homes were bad enough that their licenses should be revoked.

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