The article entitled “Coalition sets up house for homeless” released in Friday’s paper was more than upsetting.
The article stated: “(The Rev.) Bardwell said the coalition chose the residence only after ‘receiving the blessing from neighbors.’ ‘We wanted to know what people thought about this, and everyone seemed OK with it,’ he said.”
As a resident in this neighborhood, I was surprised to read this in my local newspaper. This statement not only misrepresented the situation, but also was considered by many of the neighbors as a flat-out lie. After talking to the majority of the neighborhood, I found out that most of them were not even aware that this home was being opened. The few who were aware of the home (less than a handful) were not OK with the opening and never gave their “blessings.”
As a neighborhood, the general feel is that of concern, fear and anger for the complete lack of communication, as well as the deception. After reading the article in question, my husband immediately called to set up an appointment to meet with pastor Bardwell, which was set for 8 a.m. the next day. However, there was no such meeting at this time. The pastor was a no show.
After waiting for more than 45 minutes, we decided to go to our elderly neighbor’s home to hear her concerns. Once we were finished, we saw the pastor’s car. We then went to speak to him, as well as director Marvin Rothschild. At this time, the pastor insisted the appointment was not until 9.
The conversation was mostly civil but heated at times. Two different neighbors joined the conversation to voice some concerns. In the end, we left with more concerns, and more questions than answers.
Although I am trying to keep an open mind about the home’s already decided scheduled opening, it is hard not to think about the safety of my family, especially that of my two young children, the elderly, as well as all others who reside in our neighborhood. Perhaps if we were all given the proper notice and actually talked to before the decision was made, it would have helped to ease some worries.
However, since my first impression has already been tainted with deception, it is hard to put my trust in how the property will be run.
I find it unsettling knowing that my husband and I have spoken to more neighbors in one day than the Coalition.
After making it clear that we, as well as others, are upset, they are finally making an effort to talk to the neighbors — something that they claimed in Friday’s paper to have already done. Personally, I feel that it is too little too late.