Fearing for a decline in their quality of life, Olinville residents are upset over the prospect of having a new group home move into the neighborhood.
On Tuesday, June 9 residents gathered at the Olinville/Bronx Park East Community Board 11 committee meeting to discuss a group home looking to occupy 2940 Colden Avenue.
The Institute of Applied Human Dynamics Inc., an agency in existence over 50 years that serves adults and children with mental retardation and developmental disabilities, plans to use the property as a home for seven autistic males between the ages of 15 to 18.
“We have residential facilities in about 23 different locations, and I don’t know what the opposition would be for this site,” said Stanly Silverstein, executive director. “We have 24-hour supervision. The teenagers will never go unsupervised at the home or in the neighborhood. There will always be 2 to 3 staff members on duty.”
Colden residents fear a repeat of problems created by a group home that formerly occupied the location, which catered to youngsters who would litter and smoke on the street, steal from the neighbors, and create disturbances.
“I have two sons and I am afraid to even let them go out front if I’m not sitting right there,” said Judy Brim, a Colden resident of nine years. “I don’t think it’s fair to the children or the residents on this block to bring more people into our neighborhood.”
Property owners were also concerned about the impact their potential neighbors may have on their property values.
“Who would want to buy this home knowing that it is right in their backyard,” said Brim.
Joe Thompson, chair of the CB11 committee, called an additional meeting on Wednesday, June 17 with members of the Institute of Applied Human Dynamics Inc. to address residential concerns.