RE: -unit project for mentally ill in or near Trinidad
- 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.
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Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2009 16:38:17 -0400
Subject: Re: [MPD-5D] ? 15-unit project for mentally ill in or near Trinidad ?
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!
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