According to a letter from the City of Griffin Fire Prevention Bureau, the buildings Slaughter used to house participants in his program lacked automatic sprinkler systems, a manual fire alarm, approved smoke alarms or fire extinguishers. According to the account of an informant sent into the program undercover on March 2, the House of Restoration stole power and had drop cords running from room to room. Cords were wired into ceiling outlets that had been opened and exposed. Living conditions were crowded, with five to six men per room, and in one unit, a gas meter lay atop a dryer in a utility room.
Capt. Mitch Cardell, the fire marshal for the city of Griffin, said ordinarily those with unsafe houses are given 20 days to deal with the problem but he could not, in good conscience, allow people to stay in the House of Restoration properties any longer.
Slaughter was not arrested for conditions at his house, however. According to the informant, on March 6, Slaughter gave Amoxicillin Trihydrate prescription pills to a client who reported feeling ill from a cold. The informant asked for medicine and received some as well. According to the informant, Slaughter handed out antibiotics to other clients. This violated the law against distributing dangerous drugs and was the basis for Slaughter’s arrest.
According to the report, the House of Restoration engaged in other unethical behavior. The informant said it was common for clients to be taken to local food banks in batches of 12 to 14 and sent in two or three at a time to request food. They were told to lie about where they were from. At one Baptist church, a church representative asked the driver if he was from House of Restoration and he denied it. The church representative said it was the House of Restoration’s responsibility to feed its clients and the driver again denied knowledge of the House of Restoration.
The House of Restoration helped residents find jobs but deducted 10 percent of residents’ paychecks as tithes and charged $160 for room and board. Residents received $40 petty cash and the remaining funds ” until the client worked 200 hours ” went into the house fund for operating costs. After the client worked 200 hours, the monies collected on top of the $40, $160 and 10 percent went into a savings account for the client to receive after completing the program. Although residents are supposed to stay on-site for the first 14 days they are there, the informant was sent to do a roofing job with an independent contractor on the second day of his stay, with his pay going to the House of Restoration. During the beginning of his second week, the informant went to work at the IFCO plant in McDonough.
Although the informant was supposed to stay in the program 30 days, he requested removal after 10 due to the conditions in the buildings, including clients not being fed.
Personnel from the Griffin Police Department and Code Enforcement arrived at the site at 5:45 p.m. Monday. Slaughter was absent but arrived at about 6:25 p.m. after being called in. After discussions with the police, he agreed to be taken into custody at the Griffin Police Department’s Poplar Street headquarters.
At about 6:40 p.m., the residents began leaving the facility and city personnel began marking the houses as unfit for human habitation. Before he left for the police station, Slaughter spoke to reporters who were also on the scene.
“I’m being shut down for code violations,” he said. “I don’t get any money from the government.”
He said he bore no ill will toward the police. He then expressed confidence the situation would blow over.
“We’ll be coming right back,” he said.
He said people could participate in his program for free and people only paid him when they got a job.
Afterward, Slaughter was formally arrested and taken to Spalding County Jail.
Residents evicted from the center will be housed at ministers’ homes, at the Miracle Faith Center Church of Deliverance or at Slaughter’s home in Fayetteville.