Another elected official has gone on record opposing a proposed therapy program for those suffering from substance abuse issues and eating disorders.
Miracle City has plans to establish a NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services licensed 822 program at 2800 Bruckner Boulevard in Throggs Neck.
The latest opposition letter came from Senator Alessandra Biaggi, who in a Friday, June 7 letter to OASAS, stated she wouldn’t support the facility because of its proximity to These Our Treasures, an early education program and its remote location on a one-way street.
“Expanding Miracle City’s Current Program will be detrimental to the atmosphere of the neighborhood and disrupt the fabric of the community where the residents and children need to live independently and thrive,” said Biaggi.
Her opposition, long awaited, came weeks after a Friday, May 3 letter by Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Councilman Mark Gjonaj, who where the first to oppose the facility.
The assemblyman and councilman opposed the facility citing a lack of police resources to support the facility, its distance from public transportation and concerns about loitering at other nearby similar facilities, in addition to the reasons Biaggi gave.
The Throggs Neck Homeowners Association contacted OASAS via email on Friday, May 10, to express its opposition to the planned program citing the past track record of Miracle City.
Gerbino said that the membership took a unanimous vote at a recent meeting to oppose the facility, with one person abstaining because she is a judge.
The civic organization is concerned about the credibility of the facility owners and managers, which was referenced in the letter and in an email by Robert Barbarelli, TNHOA vice president.
Bob Jaen, president of the Throggs Neck Merchants, took a more measured stance in explaining his own support for the facility.
“I am against any kind of drugs being dispensed out of any locations other than a pharmacy, but if there is counseling and off premise social work, what would be wrong with it?” he said, adding since Miracle City is suggesting it won’t dispense medication. He feels the community should monitor the program before drawing conclusions.
He believes that misinformation is being spread about Miracle City’s intentions.
“As far as the merchants, we treat all the members the same, until we see them doing something wrong,” said Jaen, who noted he was in fact the co-leader of the Throggs Neck Strong coalition in 2017 that opposed a rumored homeless shelter at the same location.
As previously reported in the Bronx Times, local homeowners and residents are concerned that once an 822 license is issued for counseling purposes, Miracle City could easily add the dispensing of medications like methadone.
Community activist Edgido Sementelli, who hosted several rallies at the location, has collected countless signatures on paper (and more online) with the names and address of individuals opposing “a drug rehab facility at 2800 Bruckner Boulevard.”