Sugar Land unlicensed group home: Fort Bend County deputies arrest 51-year-old accused of permit-less operation

SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) — Fort Bend County sheriff’s deputies have arrested a woman who was allegedly operating a boarding home without the appropriate permits, officials said.

The video above is from ABC13’s live-streaming channel.

On Feb. 23, 2024, at about 6:45 a.m., the sheriff’s office responded to a call regarding an aggressively loose dog in the 13700 block of New Village Lane in Sugar Land.

Once deputies arrived, they encountered someone outside the home who appeared distressed and asked for police assistance. As officials began to look, at least nine people were found inside the house, showing signs of neglect and possible injuries. Five of them were taken to medical facilities for treatment.

The sheriff’s office said the occupants’ ages range from the early 30s to the late 60s. The home, deputies said, was found to be unsanitary and cluttered.

RELATED: Harris Co. sues church and pastor for illegally operating as boarding home with unsafe conditions

The 51-year-old woman accused of operating the home arrived on the scene and was detained by an investigator. She was taken to Fort Bend County Jail, where she was booked for operating a boarding home without a permit, officials said.

A preliminary investigation determined the occupants reportedly paid the 51-year-old a certain undisclsoed amount to stay at the home. The home business was called the “Destiny and Serenity Shared Room,” the Fort Bend County Fire Marshal’s Office tells ABC13.

Officials found no history of permits for the residence to operate as a boarding home. However, records reveal that in October 2022, the house was looked at for boarding, but it failed to meet the requirements, and all had to vacate the residence.

The following month, the home was empty. The fire marshal’s office then closed the investigation.

The sheriff’s office said the clientele varies for boarding homes, such as those who are homeless, people searching for assistance, or who need extra care.

However, ABC13 spoke to the woman accused via phone, who said she was not operating a boarding home. She tells ABC13 that she “has been taking care of people her entire life” and is upset that her name was being mentioned in the matter.

A property search found that she was renting the home from someone else. The homeowner spoke to ABC13 and said they were unaware and were left surprised at what the woman was accused of after renting to her for about a year.

“I don’t know what to say. (It’s) really shocking to me,” the homeowner said.

RELATED: 16 people found in Cypress-area home in what authorities call illegal boarding

After the first investigation, the homeowner says they were assured by the woman that it was not being used as a group home and that it would only be her, her son, and two kids living there, but it happened for a second time.

An investigation is underway to determine how long the home has been operating under these conditions.

The woman accused has since bonded out of jail but has not officially been charged, according to the district attorney’s office.

For updates on this story, follow Daniela Hurtado on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2024 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.


Related posts