Planned recovery house draws concern

WARREN TOWNSHIP — Approximately 30 residents attended this week’s trustees meeting, with some voicing concerns about a potential halfway house coming to their neighborhood, but an official with the treatment center said there is nothing to worry about.

Trustees said they plan to contact officials with FSR Parkman, a new Warren-based, 16-bed detox and treatment center that opened several weeks ago at 4930 Enterprise Drive, which formerly housed the Boy Scouts of America Northeast Ohio.

The facility, which has a staff of about 30, will offer individualized addiction services that follow the evidence-based treatment model used by First Step Recovery, a Warren-based detox and treatment center that opened in 2015, and also provide consulting services.

April Caraway, executive director of the Trumbull County Mental Health Recovery Board, said she has heard FSR is planning to open a recovery house in the township for clients who complete the detox and outpatient program.

“They are a certified agency and do a nice job of helping people,” Caraway said.

Residents said they are concerned about a home at the corner of Leavitt Drive and North Leavitt Road owned by FSR Parkman, which they heard was going to be a halfway house for clients leaving the detox center. However, Cindy Woodford, consulting director with FSR Parkman, quashed that rumor.

“The home will be used for supportive housing for clients. It is a not a halfway house. We provide a high standard of care, so residents do not need to be afraid. This is a neighborhood setting and we will be good neighbors,” Woodford said.

She said she already has spoken to the township zoning inspector about the agency’s plans and she would be glad to meet with trustees and residents about their concerns.

She said there will be no cars or visitors at the home, with clients spending most of their time at the main facility off Enterprise Drive. Woodford said the agency’s goal is to help people affected by the opioid epidemic in Trumbull County.

Trustee Ed Anthony said trustees also have checked to see what will be located at the corner of Huntington and Parkman roads, which resident Debbie Ball said she heard was going to be an office for the detox center.

“This all surfaced a couple of days ago. We had no knowledge it was going on,” Anthony said.

“What upsets us is not knowing what it will be used for, how it will affect our property values and who will be brought in. We still have a lot of questions of why they are coming to this neighborhood,” Ball said.

Anthony said because there are so many questions, a meeting will be scheduled.

“I know many of you have questions. If I lived there, I know I would,” he said.

Several North Leavitt Road and Leavitt Drive residents said they would have liked to have been informed ahead of time what is planned and questioned if there will be addicts or recovering addicts living there.

“I am all for people trying to better themselves and get to a point for a better life, but not in my neighborhood. There are a lot of young children and families who live in that neighborhood. I do not know what that is going to bring to the neighborhood,” said resident Alicia Stilwell.

Stilwell and other residents told trustees they had just received word of what was being planned a few hours before the meeting.

“This does not make any sense to me and is completely outrageous that we were not notified, including the trustees. “This neighborhood is quiet and who knows what it will turn into because of this.”

Raymond Fowler of Wakefield Drive questioned why a detox facility couldn’t be located at St. Joseph Warren Hospital or another medical facility.

“Why go into a small residential area where it will upset everyone?” he asked.