After NewsWorks ran a story about a protest at Kemble Park in Northwest Philadelphia against the conversion of an apartment building into housing for at-risk populations (Neighbors say at-risk housing proposal doesn’t belong on Kemble Avenue, Nov. 4), reader wrote to us with a question.
Lorraine Payne, president of the newly formed A Concerned Community Association (ACCA), an organization that opposes the facility, asked:
If the community is strongly against [Resources for Human Development] and the drug/alcohol rehab for mental and behaviorial health, why are they not being represented with their community leaders? Why is the Oak Lane area being infiltrated with these types of rehab sites? (Kemble Park Appartments, Gaudenzia House, etc….)
NewsWorks’ Queen Muse followed up with RHD.
“According to RHD, this was an opportunity to improve the community, as it will be renovating a formerly deteriorating building and an unkept park across the street,” she wrote. “In order for communities to get the attention of their legislators and leaders, they must organize and let their opinions be known, which is what it appears ACCA is doing by protesting and taking legal approaches to the issue.”
As reported in the original story, the housing facility would accommodate formerly homeless transgendered men and women, some drug and alcohol recovery patients, and elderly men and women with mental-health disabilities. Neighbors oppose the facility because they say it will ruin the community and drive down property values.