Monday, August 14, 2006

Gilmore Gets It

Catagorical imperative of the day: those willing to start halfway houses for drug-recovery programs ought to be as willing to start them in their own exclusive neighborhoods. Clustering them across lower income city neighborhoods just because cheaper houses can be had there might be good for the pocketbook, but it is not the best way to mainstream recovering addicts and it remains an unfair burden on urban residents.


  1. Interesting juxtaposition here -

    On one hand, no rehab house in North Nashville, in spite of the reduced costs (enabling the dollars to stretch further) and locating the service closer to the areas where there is the most need. Given the public transportation here, it would seem logical.

    On the other hand, a downtown church located where the need is greatest receives kudos.

    Is nimby alive and well in downtown.

  2. We have halfway houses in many parts of North Nashville. You need to refer to "AIMBY" rather than "NIMBY", as in, "Already In My Backyard" in North Nashville. City dwellers already accept halfway houses as part of the landscape. Suburbanites do not, and thus are more effectively NIMBY. As I've said over and over, I believe that the services should be spread around to all neighborhoods not just urban ones.

    "Areas of most need" = begging the question. You assume suburbanites don't have drug problems. Drug use is everywhere; not just in the city. Transportation issue is an easier problem to solve than is the long-term affects of saturating specific areas with rehabilitation houses.

    Unless suburbs take on some of the responsibility of rehabing our problem populations, city neighborhoods will continue to be targeted and experience depressed property values. It becomes a vicious, self-feeding cycle. That's not an issue of economics or politics; it's an issue of fairness.

  3. I am certainly not arguing that suburbs dont have drug problems. They do. And they are usually in a better position to deal with the consequences through use of insurance supported private care. The urban areas may or may not be more affected by drug problems, but the citizens there are probably less affluent and more reliant on city services. From that standpoint it seems to make semse to put the services closest to those with the most severe need.

    From a financial standpoint, it seems reasonable to also look at the property cost and what will bring the most value for the available dollars. Do we buy a house for under $200M in the inner city or do we wait for sufficient funding to buy one in an outlying area?

  4. From a practical standpoint, I think that you must ask about the name "halfway house". Halfway to what? While you are right that it isn't helping the success of any of the residents of these rehab houses to have them propositioned several times in a walk around the block, is it realistic to think that residents of these houses are "halfway" to living in Belle Meade? As long as our suburbs are hostile to those without cars, for example, they might not be helpful places for those who are starting over without cars. Better public transportation, nifty in many other ways, would be a big help here as well.

    Do we know from where in the city these residents of rehab houses are coming? Surely there have been some statistics kept on where people lived before they got into these programs. If they really aren't coming from the suburbs, does that lessen the load that they should bear?