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As Aspire and Progress House seek to address the concerns of neighbors opposing a proposed addiction treatment facility, neighbors should listen and reevaluate.

Aspire and Progress House held a meeting Nov. 6 to address concerns of people who live near the 13-acre property off 67th Street in Anderson – the site of the former Mockingbird Hill concert venue.

Since the facility was proposed, area residents have expressed concerns about the possible criminal records of patients at the facility, as well as increased pedestrian traffic with lack of adequate lighting and sidewalks.

Progress House President and CEO Darrell Mitchell said that some patients at the Indianapolis location own their own cars, and a transportation shuttle is provided for others. Those facts didn’t seem to comfort anyone, indicating that the transportation concerns are not the major objection.

Madison County Sheriff Scott Mellinger said he didn’t believe anyone at the facility would be more likely to hurt someone than anyone else in Madison County, but those attending the Nov. 6 meeting didn’t seem to be convinced.

In order for Aspire and Progress House to work hand-in-hand with neighbors to create a safe and comfortable environment, the neighbors should have an open mind and listen to what Aspire and Progress House can do to address their concerns.

Addicts need a place for rehabilitation and recovery, and residents need to feel safe and secure in their communities. Aspire appears to be resisting the urge to plunge ahead without adjusting the plan based on neighborhood concerns. Likewise, neighbors should resist the tendency to become entrenched in a “Not in my backyard” position.

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