A Kennesaw man who runs a faith-based residential recovery program out of his home without the required permits has 60 days to comply with zoning and business laws.
That was a Cobb County judge's order Thursday in the case of Kevin Weikum, the executive director of His House Recovery Residence, which utilizes Bible study, professional counseling and other approaches to help recovering addicts transition back into the mainstream.
Weikum and his wife founded His House in 2007, according to the ministry's official website. Until recently, the couple operated the program without incident.
"Since one of the local newspapers ... published our whereabouts," he wrote Friday in a message on his Facebook page, "some of our neighbors have come out against us."
That article, he said, drew the attention of neighbors and others who accused Weikum of running an illegal group home out of his Latimer Lane NE home, according to CBS Atlanta.
On the ministry's website, in a May 2012 story in the Marietta Daily Journal, and in a YouTube promotional, Weikum said that clients may remain at the 3-bedroom private residence "as long as it takes to ensure a smooth transition to sober living." Most stay about five or six months, according to the MDJ story.
In CBS Atlanta video footage of Thursday's court proceeding, Weikum said he "fulfilled all of the requirements that were asked of me. Nobody in zoning would sign the application so that I could get either a certificate of occupancy or a business license. All I've been waiting for is zoning to sign the application so that I could get both of those documents."
Until that happens, Cobb County Magistrate Judge Joan Vaughan Bloom said Weikum can't continue to run the facility. If he does, the penalty is a maximum 60-day jail stay and a $1,000 fine.
Weikum's next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 29.
Kevin Weikum in His Words
Weikum posted the following message on his Facebook page on Friday, one day after Cobb County Magistrate Judge Joan Vaughan Bloom gave him 60 days to get the proper permits to continue operating his home for recovering addicts:
God blessed us yesterday in Cobb County Magistrate Court. Since one of the local newspapers that have done articles on our ministry published our whereabouts some of our neighbors have come out against us. This has resulted in the attention of the news media and Cobb County Community Development. All of whom where in the courtroom, along with some of our neighbors, to explain their objections. Many of you have been praying for us and it was evidenced very well by the decisions made by the court. While I'm confident this won't be last word in the matter, I'm more confident in God's intervention to protect His work and His people. Thank you for your prayers! Please keep us before the Lord. God is continuing the good work He has begun here and lives are being changed for His glory. There has yet to be a hurdle He hasn't carried us over and we believe greater days are ahead. The need for our ministry to grow is constant and we're seeking appropriate property to facilitate that need for expansion. Our resources are very limited. What comes in goes right back out into the lives of our community. However, God's resources are endless and its through His people that He meets the needs of those who seek Him. Your prayerful awareness of His potential resources for this ministry will make this work thrive and lives will continue being changed, families restored and our community stronger. Thank you once again and God bless you!- Kevin Weikum