Letters to the Editor

August 11, 2014

Group homes have a history

As a neighbor of a group home for many years, I thought I would enlighten you as to what you can expect.

We never had any issues with the actual residents of the home. I do not think I saw them more than a few times even though it had a nice porch. What we continually had problems with is the employees and the owners. Shift changes always brought honking horns in the middle of the night. Domestic battles with employees and there significant others at work was always a joy. Again this was in the middle of the night. Ambulances were a common thing as these folks were not the healthiest. This was in a quiet residential neighborhood in West Belleville.

Then the state stopped paying. The maintenance stopped. The grass and bushes became overgrown. The house itself started to deteriorate badly. Calls to the owner in Decatur were never answered. The city did what it could but it was still a mess for us to live with. Then, with no warning, they folded and walked away. The house stood vacant for years. It finally sold for pennies on the dollar. We got lucky, a nice young couple bought it as a fixer upper and now at least we have good neighbors again. Oh yeah, in the beginning the city told us we did not have a choice that their hands were tied and this had to happen.

Skip MacEwen


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