COMPROMISE FOR BURGHERS OF SUBI
THE comfort of home often extends to our suburb and street. As residents of an area, we are protective of our streetscape and the people in it. So when people undergoing drug rehabilitation could be moving in, panic sets in. Families fear for their safety, the quiet streets could be disrupted and neighbours band together to protect their home, their street and their suburb. This is what has happened in Subiaco with the Fresh Start Recovery Program purchasing the former Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in York Street. A vox pop of friends revealed similar responses… “these people deserve a chance to rehabilitate, as long as it’s not in my suburb”. But where should addicts go to rehabilitate? They’re not all erratic drug addicts coming down from a high. When I visited the program several years ago, I met a married mother from New Zealand who owned a business with her husband. Her one glass of wine cooking dinner soon became two bottles a night, leading her to seek help with Dr George O’Neil. There is no amicable, everyone wins solution to this local argument. But the facts are that RMH is set up with a commercial kitchen, living quarters and security, as well as council approval for a lodging house that allows Fresh Start to move in. It is also fact that many residents moved into the area knowing they were neighbours with a facility for sick children and their families, not people undergoing rehabilitation for addiction. These facts suggest the two groups, Fresh Start and residents, will need to manage the arrangement because it appears to be a foregone conclusion.
Denise S. Cahill, Editor
The former Ronald McDonald House.