NIMBY approach unfair to those in need
July 29, 2014
I believe we must still be living in the 19th century. The efforts of Grass Valley resident Trishele Swasey and Monica L 'Etoile to block housing for the mentally ill shows a complete lack of knowledge both about mental illnesses and the incredible efforts of our Behavioral Health Director, Michael Heggarty, and many others that do. They understand the desperation of their clients when they often have to end up on the streets (which I suspect is even more repugnant to you) because they are not getting needed help.
These people do not choose their illness, nor can they just use willpower to overcome it. The vast majorities are not a danger to others, but may be to themselves. Many are veterans who have not received needed services from the VA. I am proud of our county for stepping up to the plate and developing innovative pilots, on a small scale to address this problem. As Mr. Heggarty has stated, the screening of potential residents will be very thorough. Our hospital is also working in tandem with them to provide special emergency services.
I would invoke the Grass Valley City Council to also get up to speed on what is really at stake here. As a body you are charged with serving all residents fairly. Not allowing fear-driven efforts to block the implementation of this or any other badly needed service. Please remember that just from a financial point of view, the "revolving door" is always more expensive.
Alta Sierra resident
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