It's about fear, not horses

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

fellow man.

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

different place.

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

for granted.

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.

ALYCE CLEMENTS

Burbank

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