A recovery center is causing controversy in one local neighborhood. The center will bring in recovering addicts. It would also be built virtually next door to a day care center.
If built, the center would be within eyesight and earshot of 4 year olds. "She could take a kickball and throw it from the day care center hitting the recovery center," says a concerned parent.
And, as you can imagine, some here were none too pleased.
Thirty feet, one house and some trees: That's all that would separate 4-year-old McKayla and her day care classmates from men with substance abuse problems.
The apartment house will become a type of halfway house, one of five on West 31st Street, under a procompaniesal considered by the city of Riviera Beach.
"You are going to put drug and alcohol users next door? It really makes me angry." states another.
What parents and grandparents are upset about - not that the men who live here would be getting help for physical and psychological problems - but that the men would be so close to so many kids bringing what, parents say, could be dangerous. "Everybody deserves a place to live. They are human beings. But when it comes to children, we have got to protect them."
Considering the children was what the city's planning board did Thursday night. They also argued the recovery center wouldn't be fit for five separate homes on this block.
The measure was voted down, but the recovery center's leader, Pastor Cedric Mays, says he will continue to fight on. "I don't know what God has in plan, but, I know, He does have a plan. In spite of what happened tonight, I'm going to continue to help people."
As far as helping people is concerned, the center's owner says he will consider moving back into their original location just up the street or perhaps moving to another city all together.