Thank you for the clarification. While I don't pretend to believe that this isn't a NIMBY issue, I at least challenge people to argue some legitimate reasons for opposing this project other than "I don't want a bunch of drug-addict homeless women in my neighborhood."
Admittedly I know or have read little about this project so I cannot comment on the accusations of it being haphazard or ill-conceived. I plan to do a little more research. The comment that the proposed location is troubled by drug activity is a non-starter. Show me one neighborhood in the city where you think there are no drugs and MPD will be able to show you a dealer nearby. It is city wide and pervasive. The one reason I can think of that this IS a good location is that in reality, many of the potential residents are from the area. As someone who works in the public mental health field, I know that many more of the people who utilize these services are from poorer neighbhoors: Eckington, Ivy City, Trinidad, Langston, Capitol Hill South, Anacostia, Congress Heights to name a few. For many, what little family and social supports they have are also located in these neigbhorboods. Moving them to Georgetown or Beach Drive would only serve to isolate them further.
Frankly I'm less concerned about where something like this project is placed and more concerned that it DOES get built. The city desparately needs more housing and services for the mentally ill population (which FYI, is not a social ill but a recognized, treatable illness much the same as cancer or diabeties). Energies would be better spent holding the players accountable to standards than building road blocks to the project all together. I have no doubt that if all things being equal, this project was about building a rec center at this location, people would find a way to make it happen dispite all the conditions you list below.
On Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 5:15 PM, <khenderson029@...>
Placing vulnerable women with substance abuse and mental health issues in
the midst of an area that is troubled by drug activity is in my opinion an
example of reckless endangerment. Additionally, the project principals never
demonstrated their ability to operate such a facility in a manner that protects
the community and their clients. The project was haphazard, ill-conceived and
not fully developed and my community has heard nothing to contradict this fact.
The project principals could not defend the project or answer any basic
questions; they told us to "trust them," which is absurd.
This project proposes to open in PSA 504, which is among the areas with the
highest number of ex-offenders, registered sex offenders and other social ills
that we are working diligently to overcome. We cannot in good faith accept a
burden like this and we should not have to. How many times do our Georgetown,
Kalmia Road, Beach Drive, etc., neighbors have to fight against projects like
this. There are persons with substance abuse and mental health issues in every
ward of this city. Why is it that we are expected to bear the burden of
treatment facilities that are not properly planned? The project principals all
live in Maryland and should focus their efforts on treating their residents that
have substance abuse and mental health issues. Do you think any of us could go
to Maryland, disregard their residents' wishes and secure their tax dollars
to fund a poorly planned project like this?