Five years ago, Dillon Katz stepped into a house in West Palm Beach.
“I walked in and the guy was sitting at this desk — no shirt on, sweating,” Dillon said.
The man asked Dillon for a smoke.
“So I gave him a couple cigarettes,” Dillon said. “He went around the house and grabbed a mattress from underneath the house — covered in dirt and leaves and bugs. He dragged it upstairs and threw it on the floor and told me, ‘Welcome home.’ ”
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The house was a “sober home” — a kind of halfway house intended to integrate recovering drug and alcohol users back into community life and keep them on the right path.
Some sober home operators are dedicated to helping residents succeed in recovery. But others see addicts as a payday. A corrupt drug treatment center might pay $500 a week in kickbacks to sober home operators who steer them clients with health insurance — somebody like Dillon Katz.
The process is known as “body brokering.”