What happens when good people try to do good things but have to do an end around to accomplish what they want? They cause discord to say the very least.
The issue at hand appears in a story in today's Spokesman Review. It revolves around the establishment of group homes for troubled youth. The headline reads Neighbors complain about group homes.
We are no different than many other communities where problems need to be addressed but no one wants the solution near them. More troubling in this case, however, is that by skirting the spirit of the law, ire has been stirred. Several dwellings have been purchased for the purpose of housing what has been marketed as homes for "anxious, depressed and gentle kids". These kids range in age from 13 to 24. I'd be upset too. Kids thirteen to twenty four with anxiety and depression are often not gentle.
Under Idaho law these homes are perfectly legal because they house fewer than eight. What bothers me is that the doctor and his wife who have undertaken this venture tried to get a permit in another community to open a home for 36 then withdrew their request after there was a substantial community outcry. This is when they opted for the smaller homes already allowed by law.
It occurs to me the issue isn't so much how many residents will be housed in each of these homes, but the fact that the surrounding neighbors weren't notified before the properties were purchased. That they acted within the law may be true, but I think the "spirit" was ignored. Especially since they had faced public outcry previously.
Gads, we're back to the same old saw aren't we? Communication! Open and above board. If the homes are permitted to remain as such, those kids will be eyed with suspicion by the neighbors. That should help their anxiety and depression.
The people establishing those homes will be viewed with suspicion because they didn't communicate. If group homes are in the same category as residential, perhaps that should be readdressed.
The sheriff's department says they have received only six calls since July in reference to two of the homes. We don't place six calls in a decade in our neighborhood! Other than a suicide threat they were mostly minor matter, the article continues.
I don't know how the surrounding neighbors feel, but to me a child 13 to 24 threatening suicide has more problems than those described as having "failed in traditional schools and have social problems such as a lack of friends or eating disorders, or who have been bullied or teased."
I hope none of them have access to firearms just because it's legal under the Second Amendment!