Opioid Treatment Crisis
The official zoning hearing at the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) for the application by Wedge Medical to open a 16 unit residential facility at 4800 Frankford Avenue will be held on November 14th at 2 PM at 1515 Arch Street.
Why is this important? The Frankford NAC is the RCO (Registered Community Organization) for our area. That group held a meeting in October where Wedge presented their case for support for the project to the community. There was almost universal opposition to the project. The results of that meeting were then forwarded to the ZBA.
The ZBA on the 14th will render a final decision on the application. They could go against the wishes of the community and give the project the green light. Your attendance at this meeting will add weight to the results of the community meeting.
There are several reasons why I oppose this project.
- We all know that there is an opioid crisis. In Frankford, there is an opioid treatment crisis. We have too much of it to meet the needs of the people from Frankford. Frankford is overwhelmed with people in treatment and many are not from here. Last year I met a young man on the Avenue. He asked me where he could find something and we got to talking. He said he was in a treatment program. I said where are you from. He said he was from Lancaster and had never been here before. I asked how did he end up in Frankford and he said his caseworker had no openings in Lancaster but found a spot in Frankford. I hope his treatment was successful.
- At the community meeting with Wedge, they were asked if all the residential spots would be for Frankford residents. Wedge said they do not control who gets the spaces. They have to accept whoever is referred to them.
- Somewhere in City Hall, they are tracking addiction and when they see there are a lot of people with addiction living somewhere, a light bulb goes off and they say let’s put another treatment facility there. So with our many fine treatment facilities, it looks like the addiction problem is very high but the reality is that is is high because of all the treatment facilities that they have already allowed to move in. It becomes a cycle the feeds on itself and there is no end in sight.
- If you want to buy drugs in Frankford, go to Foulkrod Street and Frankford Avenue. That is exactly where the location of the planned facility sits. Even the few people I know who support the new facility acknowledge that this is the worst possible location for it unless you really don’t care whether these folks succeed or fail in their treatment.
If you decide to attend the meeting on the 14th, do not expect to be in and out. These things can take time and I have yet to be at one that runs on time. On the other hand, your voice can make a difference. I’ll be there, it is too important to miss. Will you be with me?