Eden should not dismiss the idea of a group home
In response to recent opposition from the Town of Eden towards a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities, we would like to advocate for community support of the proposed group home.
Reasons for opposition such as resident unease, an over concentration of services to this population, increased police and ambulance activity and potential danger to local students seem discriminatory. It seems these opinions are based on misconceptions about individuals with disabilities rather than evidence about the impact of the proposed group home.
A lack of available group homes for individuals with disabilities leads to institutionalization, severely diminishing the quality of life for this population. The Supreme Court deems this “unjustified isolation.”
As professionals with experience working with individuals with disabilities, it appears the fears of the community are based on stereotypes and prejudice. These individuals have hopes, dreams, goals and feelings, like everyone else. Community group homes enhance lives by providing access to education, employment and social and cultural events. Every person, disabled or not, is worthy of dignity and respect.
We encourage community members to stand up for the rights of individuals with disabilities and to advocate for this group home with the Town Board and Board of Education.
We also encourage everyone to get to know someone with a disability. Attend the Special Olympics or volunteer with a local organization. It may change your views on people with disabilities and enrich your life.