Two former addicts looking to help others by opening a San Anselmo group home for men and women in recovery are facing opposition from some neighbors.
Opponents said an 18-bed transitional housing facility for recovering addicts is not a good fit for a quiet residential area.
Supporters maintained it would provide a much needed service.
The two former addicts, Anthony Serchia and Kristina Wandzilak, hope to establish the group home at the former senior care facility and make it last step in the recovery process for others
"People used to come here to die. Now people will come here to live and have a purpose in life," said Serchia.
They're planning to renovate the property turning it into a transitional home called full circle living with case managers on site for those who've successfully completed a substance abuse program.
They said it's a crucial step to staying sober.
"20 years ago, I was homeless in SF, eating in dumpsters and here I am today," said Wandzilak.
They will be able to initially open the facility with six beds without any special permits, but their plan to eventually expand to an 18-bed facility is running into opposition from area residents.
"I don't see the neighborhood coming around to that," said neighbor Darren Overby.
Overby told KTVU he and others in the area do not oppose sober-living housing. They just don't want it to be as big as the one proposed.
"We would be opposed to any business that brings noise and traffic and parking congestion into our neighborhood," said Overby. "It's not about full circle intervention. It's not about the work they do."
Wandzilak said she wants to use her own journey to save lives.
"If I can change my life, anyone can," said Wandzilak. "My vision has always been to illuminate the way out."
The six-bed facility for men is scheduled to open in about 60 days.
Wandzilak hopes to open the larger facility for men and women by next summer, but the plan still requires approval by the city.
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