2010-07-02 / Letters

Victory For Rockaway

Dear Editor,

Rockaway residents should applaud the federal appeals court decision this week lifting the stay of emptying the hell-holes posing as “therapeutic assistance” which plague our neighborhoods. The result of the court order is that the residents will be scattered around the five boroughs in suitable housing with real therapy and a real hope for an independent life, instead of residents of the five boroughs being placed in Rockaway.

The Park Inn and its ilk now must close at long last. The former residents will be much better off, and so will the residents of Rockaway.

The only people at these hell-holes who ever got better were the owners, who received a monthly direct deposit of our tax dollars each month for each resident whom they neglected to treat. The greedy owners minimized expenses for care and treatment so as to maximize profit, leaving the residents to their own devices, and the neighborhood be damned. Once these for-profit hellholes are closed, we will see a dramatic drop in quality of life issues like disturbed people in the street, panhandlers, petty drug trafficking, public urination etc. that presently destroy the commercial development of Beach 116th Street.

The residents will, going forward, be protected by two advocacy nonprofit groups, Disability Advocates and Coalition for Institutionalized Aged and Disabled, who will supervise and monitor compliance with proper housing and medical and mental health treatment.

This is a victory for the prisoners of the adult facilities and a victory for the Rockaways. The only losers are the greedy owners who have for decades exploited the residents supposedly in their care, letting them roam the streets without proper care and ruining the Rockaways.

Every Rockaway resident should applaud the court’s decision. We are now almost at the point where the Willowbrooks of Rockaway will be a bad memory.

HOWARD B. SIROTA

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