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Fears about group home are unfounded

A nonprofit that serves people with developmental disabilities

A nonprofit that serves people with developmental disabilities plans to open a group home for five adults at this house at 28 Schuyler Dr. in Commack, shown on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

As the parent of an adult with developmental disabilities who lives in a group home, perhaps I have an insider’s view of the situation in Commack [“Neighbors object to group home,” News, March 9].

Individuals with disabilities already live in your neighborhoods, they go to school with your children, they work in local businesses, and they go to your places of worship. They are not frightening, felonious or dangerous. The staff in these homes is vetted by the agency that employs them and the State of New York.

I find it difficult to believe that police are called to group homes “all night long,” as one person said in the article, unless the home houses medically fragile people who need help in an emergency. This has not been our experience. The police might respond to people needing help, but not crimes.

Roseann Forziano, Rocky Point

I work as a behavioral specialist in multiple group homes in Nassau County. I can understand that neighbors might have trepidation about a group home.

Individuals with developmental disabilities deserve a nice home and community to live in, just like anyone else. Yes, there can be problems with multiple individuals living in a house, but that is why I have a job and why staff is present to assist.

I hope that people would be more open and accommodating to individuals with developmental disabilities and help them live their best and fullest lives.

Ellen Schwartz, East Meadow

It was with disbelief that I read the article regarding opposition to an attempt to bring a group home to Commack. I wonder how perfect the lives of these “neighborhood residents” must be for them to be so devoid of compassion that they’d vigorously oppose a plan to help those who can’t help themselves.

As a father of a developmentally challenged daughter who lives in a wonderful group home supporting six young women’s needs, I say that the concerns about traffic and “other problems” are misguided and uninformed. These women do not drive or own cars. They don’t have wild parties. They are well past their teen years, play no loud music, and their home is kept and maintained immaculately. The caring staff who live with them are professional, respectful and mindful of other homeowners. In short, they are perfect neighbors.

Shame on those who in these times of political and social divisiveness choose to so blatantly and selfishly think only of themselves before anything and anyone.

Gil Leib, Sayville

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