UPDATE | Neighbors speak to Boyd County leaders over treatment center concerns
Dozens of neighbors packed Boyd County’s fiscal court meeting Tuesday to talk about their concerns over a planned drug treatment center coming to their neighborhood.
Back in October, WSAZ first reported the neighbors’ issues with the facility coming to state Route 3 near Callahan Road. In the weeks since, they have been going around the area talking to other neighbors. They told the court Tuesday that they had collected hundreds of signatures from homeowners who don’t want the facility opening.
“We just don't feel like it needs to be a round a residential area. It puts too many people at risk,” said one neighbor. “We run the risk of homes being broken into, cars being broken into.”
The man opening the facility also spoke. Patrick Callahan says Almost Home: A Family Recovery Center, is a 28-day residential treatment program for women.
“I knew there would be pushback from this from the beginning of it, whenever I wanted to do it,” Callahan said. There always is. Everybody always says, ‘Oh we need that...Oh we don't want it here.’ ”
Callahan went on to say that there will be strict policies at his center. No visitors, a privacy fence around it, and no controlled substances. Just basics like Tylenol and prescribed medications by a doctor.
The public comment period went on nearly an hour Tuesday as people from both sides of the issue spoke at often heated moments.
Judge Executive Eric Chaney says the county’s hands are tied. There are no zoning or planning ordinances against the treatment center. The only thing that could keep the facility from opening would be not passing state codes and inspections.
A group of neighbors in Boyd County say they were blindsided by the announcement of a drug treatment facility coming to their community.
They say they only found out about it a little over a week ago when a neighbor saw men working on an old church on state Route 3.
"Instantly it was just extremely uncomfortable," said neighbor Adam LaLonde. "It's very uneasy. My wife and I have two young kids, and there's a lot of kids in the area and elderly, as well."
The neighbors say they are not opposed to a facility like that opening, they just don't want it in their area.
"These people need help," LaLonde said. "We're fully supportive of it, but the location of it is key when someone wants to put something in."
WSAZ spoke to the man opening Almost Home: A Family Recovery Center. He describes it as a 28-day residential treatment program for women.
"The facility I am opening is a Behavioral Health Service Organization that is covering a gap in service for women," said Patrick Callahan. "Currently, only 30% of women are receiving treatment for substance use disorder and this facility will help them to receive residential treatment that is needed to assist them in recovery."
WSAZ spoke to county leaders who say, legally, there is nothing blocking the facility from opening. There are no zoning ordinances in Boyd County. That is why neighbors have been going door to door making other neighbors aware.
"We have covered pretty good chunk of the neighborhood," LaLonde said. "We split up and went out and we haven't had an resistance, people are instantly concerned and very supportive of it."
Callahan says the center will have fencing up around it and there will be no interaction between the patients and the neighbors.
The neighbors say another problem they have is that they never heard directly from Callahan until they noticed the work going on at the church.
They say they plan to attend the next Boyd County Fiscal Court meeting in November to speak with county leaders and voice their concerns.