Re Mariposa care facility:
I am a new resident to the city of Burbank, having resided in the
city only within the past year. In this time, I have grown fond of
the city, with its small-town, family-oriented charm. Nonetheless,
having read this article in its entirety, I have become discontented
with the lack of community appreciation and ill reverence for our
Those averse to the idea of a residential care facility oppose it
for three reasons: property value will decrease, an increase of
traffic, and the inability to ride one's horse down an alley.
I am not educated in the field of real estate, so I am thoroughly
unaware of what pertinence a reputable establishment that helps those
who are less fortunate has to do with neighboring property values.
Like McDonald's, Ralphs and Target, this is a business and is run as
any other business would be. Moreover, it is a business that assists
those who would otherwise be cast aside, to live as homeless
individuals, with no regard. We do not make protests about the large
corporations that must maintain large consumer markets contributing
to an increase in traffic, and that require larger parking spaces to
be built. Why must we object to the idea of a "mom and pop" business
whose aspiration is to do good for their fellow man?
There is concern about the increased traffic and parking
situation. As I have come to learn in my year here in Burbank,
traffic and parking situations are the price one pays for living in
the "big city." Do the individuals who protest complain about any
business that wishes to establish itself in Burbank that will
ultimately contribute to traffic problems? Or do they complain merely
because this company's sole business is to contribute to the
well-being of individuals who are unable to defend themselves and
their right to live in a residential community like anyone else?
In reference to this article, the clients or patients of this
facility do not and are unable to drive, and many of its employees do
not drive. Those who do have some parking and would not represent a
challenge to our Southern California traffic. I am positive this
facility also would encourage carpooling or the use of public
transportation to their employees as way to prevent disruption on the
streets of Burbank.
There is also distress about one's right to ride their horse down
an alley. Having no horse of my own, I cannot relate to this
challenge. However, if we considered each other's feelings and
well-being as much as our animals, maybe the world would be a
As a former employee of a residential care facility similar to the
one in question, these outcries of neighboring residents are all too
familiar. In Bakersfield, where I was employed at such a facility,
everything is spread out. They do not have the traffic and parking
difficulties we do in Burbank, and housing is less expensive.
Notwithstanding, I heard the same accusations stated above, and do
not believe these complaints warrant constant bickering among us. Nor
do I believe these problems have anything to do with the situation.
The problem is our lack of respect, and fear of what we do not
know or understand. What is to be feared from those who are mentally
disabled? These unfortunate souls live their day-to-day lives unable
to make choices and decisions for themselves that so many of us take
These individuals are legally considered "adults" by society's
standards, but have only the mental proficiency of a toddler.
They think as a child, act as child and do as a child. To be
fearful of these individuals is to be fearful of a 2-year old.