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Anaheim Hills’ Opposition to Shelter’s Move Is Not So Fierce

* While the article “Shelter Sets Off Storm” (July 12) was well-balanced and fair, it may have left readers with the impression that more than a few residents were opposed to the Eli Home shelter going into Anaheim Hills.

In fact, the number of upset homeowners is quite small. Many of my neighbors and friends in Anaheim Hills are quite pleased that a caring and well-run organization like the Eli Home will be able to enhance its services by moving to our community.

As a longtime Anaheim Hills resident, co-founder and past president of the Anaheim Hills Citizens’ Coalition, I can assure readers that the Eli Home project is well-supported here. Anaheim Hills and surrounding environs is a community of over 40,000 residents.

As a former Anaheim planning commissioner, I can also assure readers that this project represents the highest and best use of property that was unusable for residential development and unsuitable for most other purposes. This was not mentioned in the article. It was also not mentioned that the vacant lot and dilapidated building near Santa Ana Canyon Road could become more of a problem in attracting undesirable elements than a well-planned and maintained shelter.

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That the project is opposed by some homeowners in the neighborhood is understandable, given the natural fear of the unknown and the “Not in My Back Yard” attitude that goes with it. Having personally been acquainted with every aspect of the project, and the people involved, I can assure readers (and the opposing homeowners) that Anaheim Hills residents have no cause to be alarmed by the Eli Home moving into this community.

BOB ZEMEL

Anaheim Hills

* Your article regarding neighborhood opposition to nonprofit shelters (“Shelters for Disadvantaged Arouse Fierce Opposition,” July 25) was typical of the media bias against anyone who happens to oppose their politically correct social issues. Rather than accurate and fair reporting, you chose to use the NIMBY label, and ignore the true issues.

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I am a resident of the neighborhood where the Eli Home wants to locate. Although we have many sound reasons for not wanting the Eli Home to move into the unsafe, condemned structure they have chosen, they will not listen. Instead, we are accused of “concealing deep-seated prejudices against poor people” in order for them to avoid the true issues. The Eli Home is for abused children and their mothers. This is not a poor people issue. Eli Home director Lorri Galloway has stated, “child abuse affects all social classes.”

The Eli Home chose the wrong structure at the wrong location for the wrong price. The “get what you pay for” rule is still in effect. When all the rehabilitation money and volunteered services are expended, they will still be left with a structure that is inherently unsafe. There are other houses for sale in the neighborhood that blend with the environment where the Eli Home would be welcome to establish their “Safe House.”

JEANNIE AVERILL

Anaheim Hills

* I have often read or heard of child abuse breaking apart families, but this is the first time I have heard of families against the prevention of abuse to children.

That a group of homeowners would undertake such slanderous activity purely because of self-serving monetary concerns speaks poorly of the normally generous nature of Orange County residents. The attackers apparently think that a shelter for abused children will adversely affect property values. The fact is that drug abuse, crime and child abuse are the things which adversely affect property values as well as the safety and future of the community.

This issue will be heard by the Anaheim City Council on Aug. 2. I urge concerned citizens to attend, and I am confident the council will do what is best for the future of us all and rule in the favor of the Eli Home.

MIKE EDMISTON

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Whittier

Mike Edmiston is in the process of moving to Anaheim Hills.


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