Concerns over methadone clinic

January 29, 2009 3:21:02 PM PST
A methadone clinic in Camden is on the move and concerns about the changes of location are coming from two fronts. For decades a methadone clinic has operated in the 400 block of Broadway in Camden.

Now, the board of directors of the South Jersey Port Corporation has agreed to lease one of its buildings at the Broadway terminal to the clinic's owner, Parkside Recovery, for $26,000 a year.

The state, which owns the port, will also spend nearly $2-million dollars to rehab the building.

It's about half a mile from the nearest homes; still, some think it's a bad idea for the Waterfront South neighborhood

Monsignor Michael Doyle is the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish. He says most of the methadone clinic patients are from outside the city of Camden and that his neighborhood has been dumped on enough.

The current Parkside Property will be demolished to clear the way for an expansion by UMDNJ's medical campus. Some of the patients we spoke with think the move 18 blocks south will make it tougher for some to get help.

Helene Pierson is executive director of Heart of Camden a nonprofit that rehabs homes in Waterfront South and says the port is not the place for the clinic.

"They're a New Jersey state agency that has certain bylaws for maritime use, so a methadone clinic is not proper use of that," Pierson said.

The clinic is hoping to relocate in the fall, however, the heart of Camden nonprofit is planning a lawsuit to try and block the move.

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