“Bullet Points” is our format for Community Board 15 meeting coverage, providing takeaways we think are important. Information in Bullet Points is meant only to be a quick summary, and some issues may be more deeply explored in future articles.
Neighbors Demand Board Rescind Support For Drug Counseling Center: Residents of East 17th Street near Kings Highway rallied at last night’s Community Board 15 meeting, demanding the Board rescind a letter of support for a proposed drug treatment facility at 1670 East 17th Street.
Led by Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association President Ed Jaworski, a group of residents took to the podium, claiming that the Board failed to inform the community that the issue would be discussed and voted on in December.
“The City Charter and the Community Board bylaws say that the Community Board should serve the community, should communicate within the community, should act as a liaison agency, should review services, should develop plans for the community. None of this was done regarding the drug center being located on East 17th Street,” Jaworski said. “What took place at the November meeting was a shortcut. It was cutting the community’s input.”
Community Board 15 voted in favor of permitting one drug rehabilitation center in the neighborhood, but voted down another, saying that the owners’ attitudes made all the difference.
At the November 27 meeting, the Board gave the nod to One World Counseling, a newly-formed entity proposing to develop a drug and alcohol abuse treatment center at 1670 East 17th Street, just off Kings Highway. The Board’s 31-4 vote came just minutes after nixing plans of an existing center, First Steps to Recovery at 2990 Brighton 12th Street, to move to 2634 East 21st Street, with a no vote of 34-1.
During the hearing for First Steps, representatives for the outpatient addiction treatment clinic explained that they served “elderly” Eastern European patients who have turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with the struggles of integration. The clinic dispenses medications and has been operating in Brighton Beach since 2002. They were seeking to move to the 2634 East 21st Street location because their current space is too small.
St. Mark Church to House Group Home for Developmentally Disabled Girls: Community Board 15 gave the green light to St. Vincent’s Services to move an intermediate care facility into St. Mark Roman Catholic Church, located at 2601 East 19th Street.
The facility’s Associate Executive Director and Managing Director of Developmentally Disabled Services Janice Ashton briefed the Board on the organization’s plan, saying that 14 “profoundly disabled young ladies” between the ages of 25 and 60 will use the existing vacant rectory building – formerly a convent. All of the girls have suffered profound or severe mental handicaps from birth, and will be attended by a staff ratio of two to three clients per staff member.
“I really know these consumers and their families. We have done such a good job that many of them, they never thought they would live so long,” Ashton said. “Usually 30 to 35 [years is the average lifespan]; they’re approaching, some 60s, 50s, and in other facilities, we have 70s and 80s.”