My neighborhood is primarily Catholic with some jewish folks and other christians sprinkled around.

Recently a neighbor started circulating an email about a group home that was slated to move into the neighborhood. It was a home for mentally disabled pregnant girls. The girls would come to live in the home during their 2nd trimester and stay there until their babies were a year old. The babies would be put in foster care and the moms would go to some other care facility afterward. There would be aid workers, nurses, caregivers for the babies, and several other professionals on staff at the home.

Am I crazy to be the only person in my neighborhood to support this group home? I live in a great neighborhood - it is near a bus stop, but quiet and safe, it has good sidewalks for strollers, and the group home property had a fenced in back yard for its residents.

My neighbors freaked out, mob mentality really, twisting "mentally disabled" into "mentally degranged". They said it wouldn't be safe to let our kids play outside anymore, our property values would drop, our neighborhood would be going to hell. They felt the whole property should be fenced to prevent the residents from roaming the neighborhood.

No one knows the extent of the disabilities of these girls, but really, where is the charity? Does the bible teach the "Not in my backyard" attitude?

The home has since been run out of town (the neighbors bombarded the mayor with letters of complaint. shortly after another home to house abused kids was proposed down the street, and was also swiftly rebuked. Very sad. This neighborhood has so much to offer, just not to those who need it the most.

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We have a group home in our neighborhood. I'm not sure exactly who the residents are; I think they are mentally disabled. But when they were planning this a neighborhood meeting was called. People were up in arms like you described. I went to the meeting and it was really weird. They were talking about how many beds were going to be in each room and how they were to be arranged. I stood up and asked why we cared about the arrangements of the beds? No answer. The meeting dragged on and on until I finally had to leave - I had somewhere else I needed to be. Input hadn't been invited yet from the audience. So I raised my hand and explained that I had to go and I wanted to give my two cents first. I said that none of the information given worried me any, that I didn't see why people were so frightened of the home and that a similar home is in my mother-in-law's neighborhood and they've never had a problem, that most people probably won't even know they're there, and that no laws or ordinances were broken as far as I could tell, and I didn't see the point to all the worry. I don't know what transpired after I left, but I saw a few people nodding at what I had to say, and the home did end up coming into the neighborhood. It hasn't been a problem. I had the same feeling at that meeting that you describe of wondering whether I was crazy! It was kind of scary to be the first to speak and to go against the grain of the meeting organizers but I'm glad I did.
my neighbors looked at me like I had two head when I told them I supported the home. really, their mouths were hanging open. I wrote the mayor asking him to call a meeting so we could get the facts. Instead he hired a lawyer to find a loophole in the contract preventing the group home from moving in. Fear and ignorance leads to hate and bigotry, right before my eyes. Gawd, I wish there were some atheists around here.

We have such a culture of fear to the point where people actively seek out things to be afraid of without bothering themselves about facts and all that. Anyone that doesn't look exactly like us is treated as something to fear or loath instead of someone in need of empathy and caring.

Reminds me of this quote that has been going around lately:

 

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.” 
― Stephen Colbert

 

I don't get it. A home for pregnant women sounds wonderful. The big problem would be becoming attached to the kids and then having them leave.  We have a home for mentally impaired around the corner from us and it's fine. No problems at all. We used to have the MARC building in our neighborhood too (Association of Retarded Citizens - their name).  Again, no problem. They're just people.

 

But maybe that's the problem. If you think people are basically bad, then you don't want them to live near you - any person - they're all bad.

 

On the other hand, if your neighborhood is filled with angry judgmental people, it's probably just as well. Helping Homes should be placed where the neighbors are supportive.

"Helping Homes should be placed where the neighbors are supportive." ooooo that's an excelent point! kudos :)  The women prob. have enough going on, they don't need new angry neighbors too!

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