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Unlicensed group homes: Their challenges, the push for legislative change, and how to identify rogue operators

Channel 2 Investigates spoke with Adele Givens, the president of the Houston Association of Senior Living and Residential Care Homes
Channel 2 Investigates spoke with Adele Givens, the president of the Houston Association of Senior Living and Residential Care Homes (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – How easy is it to set up an unlicensed group or boarding home in a residential neighborhood in Harris County?

Channel 2 Investigates spoke with Adel Givens, the president of the Houston Association of Senior Living and Residential Care Homes, who told us that it can be done in as little as a day, which raises concern for those who may be seeking group homes for family members, or themselves.

The concern for many is that these unlicensed homes serve some of society’s most vulnerable, including people suffering from illness and disability. Poverty also comes into play as many patients do not have the financial or family support to ensure proper care. Conservative estimates for the number of unlicensed homes in Harris County, according to elected officials, is anywhere between 120 to 150.

So, Channel 2 Investigates asked Givens to share the important questions you need to ask to determine if a group home facility will work for your needs.

QUESTIONS WHEN CHOOSING A GROUP HOME

• Can they present their license?

• How long have they been there?

• What is the staff to resident ratio?

• Is there staff at the home around the clock?

• What type of care to they provide?

• How may residents currently?

• What is the occupancy limit for the home?

And coming up on next Tuesday, Channel 2 Investigates will take a deeper investigation into local group homes.