Lancaster Divided Over Planned Drug Recovery Apartment Complex

By
Michael Locklear

Dateline
Updated Wed, Dec 14, 2011 8:18 am

A proposed apartment complex is dividing people in Lancaster.

The complex will house drug and alcohol addicts and be located right next door to services that will help them recover.

The problem, some say, is the location in downtown Lancaster.

A used car lot is the proposed site for the $6 million housing project.

It's called Pearl House and will accommodate 36 families.

The parents are recovering addicts.

"We don't have any family safe housing with services provided for people who are motivated to recover," says Jennifer Walters of Fairfield Homes, Incorporated. "So we are in desperate need of this housing for Fairfield County."

At a meeting Tuesday, Main Street Lancaster -- a group of business owners -- voted to come out against Pearl House.

In a written statement, the organization says, "MSL has heard from business owners who will consider relocating if the project moves forward."

One Lancaster business owner says she's against Pearl House because of where it will be built.

"It's being put on one of the most dangerous and drug-ridden corners of our city, which we don't find that very encouraging for recovery." says Janet Muralt. "It's just a bad environmental place for these individuals."

She also says Pearl House is too expensive.

But, The Recovery Center CEO Trisha Saunders says Pearl House is part of the solution.

"I think it's really hard for anyone to become stable and independent, have a job and take care of their family if they don't have a safe, secure place to live," says Saunders. "And Pearl House will resolve that problem for many of our families."

Despite Main Street Lancaster's vote, the folks behind Pearl House plan to move forward as scheduled.

The Pearl House project is being paid for by the state.

If it stays on track, Pearl House is scheduled to open at the end of 2013.

Tags: