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RE: -unit project for mentally ill in or near Trinidad

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  • Elise Bernard
    Dear Ms. Henderson, As the former ANC5B08 representative I strongly object to your most recent email. I m also puzzled as to why you felt the need to send this
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 2, 2009
      Dear Ms. Henderson,

      As the former ANC5B08 representative I strongly object to your most recent email. I'm also puzzled as to why you felt the need to send this email to so many neighborhood listservs. I can only assume that this was yet another ill-conceived attempt at self-promotion. You stated in your email that I supported this project. That is not, and has never been, true. I met with representatives of the project (ANC 5B07 David Hooper was also present). I then held two meetings within my single member district about the project. I also surveyed residents. The feeling was overwhelmingly against the development. I then voted accordingly. I always had personal misgivings about the project (but, as an elected representative, I felt it was my duty to offer up the project for public opinion before deciding how to vote). While I think such services (re-integration/addiction management) are important, I felt that this was a poor choice of location, and I had concerns about the management of this project. I also consulted multiple specialists with experience in the area. They mostly told me that such a project could succeed, but only if well managed. The management plans put forward were inadequate in my mind, and in the minds of residents who voiced their opinions. As I said, I voted accordingly.

      In short, I never supported this project, and you know this well from the various emails, face to face communications, and phone calls that we exchanged (and that I also exchanged with your daughter, who was at the time, and is currently, actually the Commissioner). I ask, and advise, you to please represent the facts accurately in public statements.


      P.S., I never saw, or heard, anything to suggest that the Councilmember supported this project. His office did meet with the representatives, but my understanding is that he has clearly come out against this development on multiple occasions.
      To: MPD-5D@yahoogroups.com
      CC: crm_112@...; Eckington@yahoogroups.com; edgewooddc@yahoogroups.com; brookland@...
      From: khenderson029@...
      Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2009 16:38:17 -0400
      Subject: Re: [MPD-5D] ? 15-unit project for mentally ill in or near Trinidad ?

      Sure Scott.

      In 2007, Urla Barrow from the Institute for Urban Living attended the ANC
      5B10 meeting to gain approval for their project to build housing for women
      recovering from substance abuse and other mental health issues. The proposed
      location is 1058 Bladensburg Road, NE. Meeting attendees asked substantive
      questions about the project scope, including questions about funding, treatment
      protocols and whether or not a social worker would be housed on-site. The
      representatives, including project principal Dr. Fisher were unable to provide
      any substantive information about the project and failed to articulate any real
      project plans, including plans for sustained funding. They ended by saying
      that we should just give them our support because the women need help. All of
      the project principals live in Maryland.

      Some residents from ANC 5B08 also attended this meeting where we voted
      unanimously to oppose the project. We believe locating this type of housing
      in the midst of an area that is still plagued by rampant drug activity puts all
      parties at risk and we will not accept any project in our community that
      threatens to undermine our public safety and drain police resources.
      Additionally, there is a Methadone clinic two blocks from the proposed

      Two days after we voted no, the project principals attempted to mislead
      some residents into supporting the project by claiming that it was a project to
      provide housing for elderly women and that our Councilmember supported the
      project. We alerted neighbors of the fraud and I contacted DHCD and the Council
      to let them know our decision. The Councilmember denied supporting the project
      and we believed the matter was dead on arrival.

      Here is what we know now:

      The Councilmember has been supporting the project, along with the
      Chairperson of ANC 5B and the former ANC 5B08 Commissioner. The project has
      secured funding from DHCD and they have partnered with an organization called
      Mission First, presumably to improve their chances of setting up shop in our
      neighborhood. Residents in Ward 7 rejected this ill-conceived project and
      project principal Dr. Fisher is being sanctioned for violating the boundaries of
      the doctor-patient relationship with one of his patients. The project is rife
      with red flags and we do not want it. We will not be dumped on and burdened with
      a project that individuals who reside in Maryland are promoting here. We are
      preparing to battle for our legitimate right to a safe and peaceful community
      and welcome any neighbors that wish to stand with us. WE SAID NO IN 2007 AND SAY
      NO AGAIN! First, we battled the threat of sex clubs operating in our midst, now
      this. We have come too far as a community to allow this type of project to erode
      our public safety gains. The battle lines are drawn!

      Kathy Henderson

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