COMMUNITY DO NOT WANT METHADONE PROGRAM IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD
By D. Aponte, Columnist:
Buffalo, NY: My old neighborhood is under scrutiny, regarding a methadone program operated by the Hispanic United of Buffalo, a well-known community service organization, located at 254 Virginia Street (corner of Virginia & Tenth). It is the same building where services for senior citizens is provided, and where they spend most of their day.
My 87-year old father goes there during the week as part of the senior group activities, such as playing dominos with friends; and my concern is his safety, especially when he has to walk a half a block every day, to and from, to his car whenever he drives himself to the center.
He is concerned and afraid of getting mugged or having his car vandalized. When he don't drive, the Hispanic United does have a bus that picks him up as well as bring him home. Sometimes, a relative picks him up from the center.
The residents and homeowners in the community/neighborhood are also concern about the program being located in the area, afraid of being mugged, or being victims of vandalism, or theft. They also expressed concerns about their children coming in contact with used discarded syringes left behind by heroin addicts, which can jeopardize one's health if they come in direct contact.
The local residents, both renters, and homeowners are very angry that they were not notified or given an opportunity to voice their concerns about the proposal to house a Methadone Clinic right in their backyard.
The program is located just a few blocks from the John F. Beecher Boy and Girls club, and also without their knowledge or approval.
Several meetings took place, on March 14th and 15th, right on the premises of Hispanic United, to give the local residents an opportunity to voice their grievances about the Methadone program. They were confronted by people that do not even work or reside in the community, outsiders that were organized to support the methadone program against the wishes of the local renters and homeowners.
In general, Hispanic United of Buffalo (HUB) does a terrible job keeping the community informed or to invite them to participate before any decisions are made.
The rights of this community's tax-paying citizens are being invaded. What gives these "community leaders" the rights to bypass our neighborhood, and approve a new location for HUB's Methadone Clinic without the people's knowledge and approval.
No one is above the law! This Methadone Clinic belongs in the Medical district, an appropriate location, and not in a residential area.
I do sympathize with the heroin addicts, and I sincerely hope a solution is found soon.
Like I said before: No one is above the law. Our taxpaying citizens must have a voice in the matter, and especially the people being directly affected by HUB lack of responsibility and sensitivity. More to come.....