WATTS : State Seeks to Block Operation of Home

Nearly a month after the state Department of Social Services revoked the license of the Sharon Lynn Guest home, the state attorney general's office is seeking an injunction against its owner, barring her from operating another unlicensed facility.

The petition filed Nov. 17 contends that Geneva Church has been operating an unlicensed community care facility called Ephesians Haven at 1925 Hobart Blvd. since moving most of the 14 residents there from the Sharon Lynn facility late last month.

The Sharon Lynn Guest Home, at 12040 S. Broadway, was ordered closed Oct. 13 after repeated health and safety violations were found, including lack of hot water and unsupervised care for guests, many of them senior citizens.

Church kept the facility open despite a $200-a-day fine, until moving to the Hobart Boulevard address.

"It's our position that the people that are there (at the Hobart home) are in need of care and supervision and she isn't providing it," said Bruce Barber, an attorney with the Department of Social Services in Sacramento.

"The concern we have is for the safety of the people and that is the reason we've proceeded in the first place and the reason we are trying to enjoin her from operating," he said. As of last week, Church had not paid any of the fines for health and safety violations, which totaled approximately $8,000, Barber said.

The Sharon Lynn Guest Home had a history of problems dating back to 1982 when a caseworker concluded after an unannounced visit that residents were not properly controlled and that complaints about residents defecating on a neighbor's lawn and littering an alley were partially substantiated, according to the department file.

As of last week, Church had not responded to the legal action, according to Tammy Chung, an attorney with the state attorney general's office in Los Angeles.

Darryl Alexander, who represented Church in October, said he is no longer working on her behalf.

The case is expected to be heard Friday in Superior Court.

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