Residents Ask Town Board To Stop New Group Home
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 13, 2005
WEST SENECA, NEW YORK--A group of West Seneca residents are fighting a plan to establish a new group home for people with developmental disabilities in their neighborhood, Tuesday's Buffalo News reported.
Some residents on Thorndale Avenue submitted a petition to the West Seneca Town Board on Monday asking for help in preventing Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled from starting the group home on their street. The petitioners said the home would "cause a lot of hardship", especially in light of an incident in May in which a nearby group home resident allegedly stabbed an off-duty police officer.
Board members reportedly told the residents that they do not have the legal authority to intervene. They also suggested that the residents take into account the fact that most group homes residents do not pose any threat to the community.
"I think it would be wrong to characterize people with developmental disabilities as violent," said Vincent J. Graber Jr. "Most of the group home members I've seen are people who suffer from Down syndrome -- they're not convicted felons."