Criticism of West Bay halfway house ‘absurd’

I write in response to recent articles in your newspaper concerning the proposed hallway house in West Bay which has been “put on hold.”

First of all, let me say that I live off Uncle Bob Road where the house is located. I drive past it every time I leave my home or return there, and I feel that there should be no controversy over this much-needed addition to our district. We should be welcoming every opportunity to help people turn their lives around instead of putting stumbling blocks in their way.

As for devaluing property, the house and grounds certainly are a lot more beautiful now than they were just a few weeks ago when the site was a real eyesore. As far as not needing any more halfway houses in West Bay, that’s absurd! The ones we have currently are for men, so are we telling the women they’re not as important when we stop the opening of their home?

The more of these the better off our entire community will be, since they speak to the fact that persons have been through a recovery process and are working at turning their lives around in a positive direction. But this is no different than any other kind of situation when people react on their initial feelings instead of educating themselves and finding out the facts behind it.

The name halfway house should speak for itself — it’s a place where people are making a transition back into society. We complain about the drug abusers on the streets, yet we’re also going to complain about those who are trying to turn their lives around and recover? That makes no sense whatsoever!

I appeal to persons to be open to the idea of showing mercy, grace and forgiveness. There is no neighborhood or family in Cayman which is not affected in some way by the abuse of drugs. There are now and have been for many years, drug addicts living in this and every other neighborhood in West Bay, and I haven’t seen any petitions going around to have them evicted from their homes, so why are people trying to do this to those who are trying to help themselves?

I’ve heard people say, “I agree that we need it, but just not in our neighborhood.” I ask them to consider, “If not here, then where?” If no one wants it in their neighborhood, where will it go?

This isn’t simply a house that has been put on hold; this is people’s lives that we’re talking about. Instead of hindering people’s recovery efforts, please offer some support and encouragement!

Instead of stopping this effort, why don’t we, as a neighborhood, put our energy into reaching out to the persons who would be housed there, offering any advice, counseling and assistance that we can? We’d all be better off in the end.

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