Mayfair, Holmesburg residents fighting proposed methadone clinic

MAYFAIR - July 9, 2013

"It is a good thing to give people the methadone to help them get fixed, but not in a residential area across from a school, two daycares," said resident Bill Harmon. "It's too residential."

The signs and the chants didn't help in the courts, but state, city, and civic leaders are hoping they will rally this neighborhood.

Two years ago, the city granted a permit for Healing Way, Incorporated to build the clinic. But community members fought back.

Last year, the zoning board blocked the permit. Healing Way appealed and recently won, clearing the way for the facility, which will treat hundreds of drug addicts a month.

"I know all the pros and cons about it," said Susan Potts-Nulty of Holmesburg. "And I can tell you the people who are doing this are doing it because it's cheap and they're going to make some money."

Several elected officials are leading the effort with the help of a pro-bono attorney, who is appealing that court decision.

"Maybe people in other parts of the city don't realize this, maybe they just see this as a Northeast Philadelphia issue," said State Representative Kevin Boyle. "But that ruling has pretty stark ramifications throughout the city of Philadelphia."

Leaders say they're not against addicts receiving help.

Two miles away from the proposed site there are 3 other methadone clinics.

"In the fall I'm going to introduce legislation designed to stop methadone clinics from being near residential housing, our neighborhoods and near daycares and near libraries," said Philadelphia City Councilman Bob Henon.

Action News tried to speak with the businessmen who are trying to open the clinic, but they were not available for comment Tuesday night.

A community meeting is planned to explain the legal process and answer questions. It's scheduled for Tuesday July 16th at 6:00 p.m. at Lincoln High School on Ryan Avenue.

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