Girard at Large has learned that Kevin Paul, the fugitive that disappeared from an illegal sober home operating at 151 Parkview St. in Manchester Ward 9, didn’t just live in a sober home, he worked for Blueprint Recovery Center (BRC) in Concord. BRC provides treatment and services to recovering addicts and is affiliated with multiple so called “sober homes” in Manchester. Jonathan Gerson, who owns and or operates several illegally operating sober living facilities in Manchester, is the managing member of the limited liability company that owns BRC and its executive director.
Girard at Large was first to report the addresses of the homes Paul lived in.
Paul was transferred from an illegally operating facility at 329 Lake Avenue in Ward 5 to the one on Parkview Street with the approval of his probation officer. Felons on probation are required to have their living arrangements approved. Paul was ordered into sober living and required by the court to wear an ankle bracelet. That both properties are accepting people under court order raises the question as to whether or not they are operating as halfway houses which, under the city’s Zoning Ordinance, which has specific location and operational requirements that must be met; requirements that these properties do not meet.
Both buildings are owned by Andrew Moser, a Realtor with the Keller Williams office in Bedford. In a recent news article, Moser refused to answer a reporter’s questions about whether or not the houses were operating legally and how many clients resided in each dwelling unit. 329 Lake Ave. is a two family. He admitted to owing and operating the homes,which is clear both from city tax records and social media posts.
Moser’s known association with Gerson and his work as a Realtor have people wondering whether or not he’s been brokering deals for Gerson and others who have been buying residential properties and using them unlawfully under the city’s zoning laws and in violation of the city’s housing, life safety and other building codes. Gerson lost a variance case on February 13, 2020 on 70 Russell St. in Ward 2 and owns and or operates at least four other facilities in violation of city zoning and life safety codes, including: 296 Orange Street in Ward 2, 859 Chestnut Street in Ward 1, 273 Dubuque Street in Ward 11 and 162 Reed Street in Ward 11. Gerson told a meeting of neighbors in Ward 2 on January 13th that he was “in the process of applying for a variance” for the property on Orange St., which is just a block away from the one on Russell St.
While Girard at Large was investigating Paul’s employment with BRC, his Facebook page was changed from saying he worked at “Blueprint Recovery Center” to “Behavioral Health Technician at Blueprint.” While it is unknown who made the changes, Paul was apprehended near Fort Worth, Texas shortly after they were made.
Paul’s flight from the clandestine sober home in the city’s South End has fueled growing outrage over the location of these properties in unsuspecting residential neighborhoods. Pressed by neighbors in Ward 2, city officials have scrambled to explain the city’s lack of zoning and life safety code enforcement, blaming the state of New Hampshire for not regulating their operation. Neighbors have presented the Board of Mayor and Aldermen with an opinion from the First Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving the city of Fitchburg, MA and its attempts to enforce zoning and fire codes on sober homes. The court sided with the city saying that enforcing the codes did not discriminate against sober home residents and that expecting them not to be enforced would defeat the very purpose of having the codes. Click here for news coverage of the decision. It was rendered in October of 2019.
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I have posted this response on Manchester Ink Link as well as Next-door.com:
This begs the question…when will Manchester actually do ANYTHING? This has been going on for years and now residents are fighting back because when these fly by night ‘sober home mills’ open up in neighborhoods not zoned for these businesses the residents see the results that threaten them. A GOOD legitimate sober home is responsible and is visible in the community. Manchester officials need to stop blaming lack of support from the state. Instead (here’s a novel idea) start enforcing existing zoning laws and fire/safety codes to weed out the dangerous homes. Otherwise dissolve all roles that create zoning ordinances and save the tax payers money. Also, stop all inspections because the only enforcements are for fences, pools, driveways, additions….but open an illegal irresponsible unsafe sober home, have it identified by inspectors then don’t despair because you can continue to stay in business and collect your weekly rent. Our city has become a magnet for opportunists because our enforcement is a joke. These opportunists are literally pouring in and calling homeowners and the city to propose purchasing their property for sober homes. People in sober homes are in need of very serious help and need real support. It is disgusting Manchester is choosing to enable this reprehensible business model that has no interest in the welfare of this vulnerable population. Much of this is also linked to the unfortunate relationship between these out of state ‘sober homeowners’ and outpatient facilities that employ non-professionals and somehow collect from insurance companies. This is a very serious scam that is incredibly harmful to people who are desperate.
Couldn’t agree more! Thank you.