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Sober living home nearing completion

Expected to open by the end of year

DeKalb County Board member Stephen Reid, D-District 5, (left) toured the nearly complete sober living home Monday night in Sycamore with treatment court program coordination Michael Douglas. Some work is left to be done, but Douglas said they hope to have the home open by the end of the year.
DeKalb County Board member Stephen Reid, D-District 5, (left) toured the nearly complete sober living home Monday night in Sycamore with treatment court program coordination Michael Douglas. Some work is left to be done, but Douglas said they hope to have the home open by the end of the year.

SYCAMORE – A Sycamore house purchased by DeKalb County to be turned into a home for those in the county drug court programs is nearing completion and should be open by the end of the year. County Law and Justice Committee members received a tour of the home Monday. The two-floor home, with two kitchens and two full baths, will house seven residents and a home manager, and there is already a waiting list.

The home at 491 E. State St. was purchased by the county for $145,000 in May 2015, but has been uninhabited while being remodeled to fit the county’s needs. Pipes in the home froze and burst during the winter of
2015-16, causing extensive water damage throughout the home, setting back the project.

“We had to redo all of the architectural drawings,” said Mike Douglas, treatment court program coordinator. A year ago, work on the home was suspended because of the increasing costs.

Total costs caused by the water damage have been more than $25,000, according to county documents, although committee Chairwoman Dianne Leifheit, R-District 8, said that was covered by insurance.

The home now has freshly painted walls, new floors and supports, all new electrical and clean carpeting.

The home will be for members of treatment programs through the county’s drug and driving under the influence courts.

“A lot of people couch surf,” Douglas said. “That’s not a long-term solution.”

Residents in the home will be supervised by a manager at the home and will have to follow strict rules. For example, only one location on the grounds, a deck out back, will be available for smoking.

The project was begun in 2014, committee member Jeff Whelan, R-District 10, said, when Chief Judge Robbin Stuckert wanted the home for those in the drug court programs. Whelan said the county looked at other homes to purchase, but neighbors resisted the idea until the home on State Street came on the market.

The home would be for men only, with two men to a room and one room housing three, Douglas said. He said there are nine men signed up for the home.

The total cost for the home, including acquisition and remodeling, will be about $429,000, according to county documents.

“We better love it forever, because we aren’t going to get much money off of it,” Leifheit said.

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