In the articles in The Free Press, published Sept. 25 and 26, regarding expanding Belle House to eight clients to serve as a sober house for females recovering from addiction, the neighbors and City Council missed an opportunity to provide a needed asset for addiction recovery and to be a good neighbor.
It seems to be a “reasonable accommodation” to provide this service to more women when the house is clearly built as a duplex, the need cries for it, and the structure of the program makes the risk manageable.
We might ask the biblical question, “Who is my neighbor?” The answer is the one who helped.
This community helps people who suffer from addiction, instead of labeling them as unworthy. We gain much from living as a neighbor to persons in recovery, increasing their chance of living whole and meaningful lives. We learn to appreciate the challenges of such a disease and how supportive people can really make a difference.
The irony is that when we desire only “good neighbors” we miss the opportunity to really be a neighbor ourselves.
I commend Diane Norland and Mayor Mark Dehen for their vote seeking the well-being of all our citizens.
If the council members and neighbors in opposition had a daughter in recovery, wouldn’t they jump at the opportunity to make a reasonable accommodation?