Clovis Group Home: Legally Operated or Danger to the Neighborhood?
When a sex offender allegedly prowled the backyard of Nathan Inan’s Clovis home, he had enough.
Inan said the man lived behind his house. That home is leased by Praise Transitional Housing, which operates assisted living care facilities.
Neighbors in the quiet area near Locan and Ashlan avenues call it a “halfway house.”
Residents, including Inan, spoke out at a March 20 Clovis City Council meeting. They shared a general fear of who was living there. A community meeting at City Hall was held two days later.
Praise Transitional Housing said it operates group homes, mainly caring for the elderly. A company representative and the property rental agency that leases the house said the sex offender no longer lives there, even though the state registry says he still does.
Neighbors Want Action
The state Megan’s Law sexual offender registry confirms that 41-year old Daniel James Hernandez lives at the home in the 3000 block of Indianapolis Avenue.
Hernandez has two offenses listed — sexual battery, and lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14. He is considered a high-risk sex offender.
Inan shared his story on social media with neighbors. He described the incident to GV Wire.
“There was an individual who knocked on the door and started looking through our windows. We woke up to the security camera and then we called the police,” Inan said.
A picture from Inan’s security camera looks like the mug shot of Hernandez.
Inan said that technically the incident was not trespassing, since he did not have a chance to tell Hernandez to leave.
Related Story: Clovis Says No to Apartment Complex
Inan and other neighbors say there are more than just elderly residents at the home.
“It’s a whole variety. So we’ve seen everything from elderly who are on walkers and canes, all the way to people that are the age of Daniel Hernandez or younger people; men who are generally younger, well-built, larger men,” Inan said.
At the March 20 city council meetings, mothers complained that the home is next to a neighborhood walkway and less than a half-mile from Freedom Elementary.
“Parents should be informed. It’s not right for parents to be on aware of the situation,” Erika Inan told the city council.
Since Jan. 1, Clovis police say there have been 15 calls for service. One was for the prowler at Inan’s home. The remaining 14 came from the home itself, including seven welfare checks, and one misdial.
Property Manager: House is Fine
Bob Glougie, who operated the property management company American Dream Realty (Glougie recently sold his business), said Hernandez’s alleged prowling was a one-time incident.
Upon hearing the complaints, Glougie called Lashun Smith, described as a co-owner of Praise Transitional Housing. Granted permission to inspect the home, Glougie saw nothing but elderly residents. He called the house clean and non-threatening.
Glougie said Praise Transitional Housing leased the six-bedroom home a few months ago. He said about 12 residents live there. The company leases two other homes in the Clovis area.
“It’s totally unfounded,” Glougie said of the complaints. “(The incident) was one bad apple, and he’s gone.”
GV Wire called a number listed for Praise Transitional Housing. A man answering the phone confirmed Hernandez no longer lives there. The man, who did not give his name, said no laws have been broken, and that police have inspected the home — although the city says that inspection is upcoming.
The man said that the home is mainly used for the care of elderly patients and those with dementia. He said several other registered sex offenders live in the neighborhood — a fact confirmed by the Megan’s Law website.
At the community meeting on March 22, Inan said the Praise owners said they do not conduct background checks. They also reportedly said they would relocate all the residents within 60 days.
Police Chief Curt Fleming also attended that meeting.
“We also spoke to residents about what a ‘nuisance property’ is because (neighbors) were using that terminology. A nuisance property according to our municipal code is a property where crimes are occurring and at this time, no crimes are occurring at this property,” police spokesman Ty Wood said.
City: No Permits Needed
Clovis Assistant City Manager Andy Haussler said city staff will inspect the house, but no city permits are needed to operate.
“Based on AB 686 and the corresponding technical guidance from the state of California, no land use or business license is needed despite the City’s development code to the require them. When staff discussed the issue with the California Department of Social Services – Community Care Licensing Division they indicated they would not be pursuing a license from the operator,” Haussler said.
The city has also reached out to the office of Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, “to discuss the issues based on state laws being implemented.”
Inan wants the city to require more licensing. He also wants residents in the surrounding area to be notified when such a group home operates in the neighborhood.