Help Me Get Out Of Bed Bug Infested Sober Living

After 30 days In an in patient treatment center I opted to live in a sober living house in Ft. Lauderdale. With a strong LGBTQ Sober community here I thought it would be an excellent place to live sober. That is the case. The community is strong and the friendships I’ve made will be everlasting. I have a sponsor I’m working diligently with and attending meetings on the regular. I also have been looking for a job daily. I have Uber and Lyft and 2 extremely part time jobs with caterers that are gratefully allowing me to scrape by on the rent and bills It’s been 3 months since my discharge from treatment and I’ve been living in one of the hundreds of sober living homes in Ft Lauderdale. Sober living homes have a reputation here for being infested with bedbugs and the home I currently reside in is no stranger to the problem. As I’ve heard, this has been an ongoing problem at this companies dozen properties. In Florida, sober living homes are not required to be regulated by any agency other than the Florida Association of Recovery Residences and all they do is certify them. Basically they are allowed to operate as they want. When I brought the bed bug problem to the attention of the owner and property manager of this particular group. I was met with indifference. I was basically told that it’s a problem here and to deal with it. When I contacted FARR I was told if I didn’t like it, I could move. I’ve reached out to other agencies and the results are the same. Department of health told me they don’t regulate sober living homes, coalition for the homeless (I’m considered homeless since I live in a halfway house) said basically the same thing. Folks, I’m at my wits end. I can’t live like this anymore. Sleeping in pesticides the house manager sprays that don’t work, waking up with bites all over my body, the lack of sleep I’m suffering and spending my own money to remedy or at least keep the situation somewhat under control. A housing opportunity has arisen for me. A friend in the program has a room for rent in his condo, it’s a safe place, bug free, peaceful. I would have my own room and I could call it mine. It’s $700 a month and that includes everything. I can afford that currently, what I can’t afford at this time is the initial move in cost of $1400. After exploring some other charitable outlets for the payment which I was turned down for, I’m turning to all of you. I know it’s a lot to ask and it’s something I’ve mulled over the last few weeks, it’s after the holidays which is always difficult. But I’m desperate. Yes, I could look at other halfway houses but there’s no guarantee that I won’t have the same problem. Please consider helping me with this. If you can’t at least share and spread the word. Thank you and much love. With Gratitude, SEAN


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Sean David Billingsley 
Fort Lauderdale, FL
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