T’was the nights before Christmas and all the yahoos on Forest Street are out …

The house on 119 Forest Street (top photo). A stone’s throw away from the house – a busy city neighborhood that is NOT totally residential (bottom photo). – R. Tirella

By Rosalie Tirella

… dumping on the Community Health Link group home that is slated for 119 Forest Street. The Chandlers say: MON DIEU!!! We’re moving!!! We’re leaving our neighborhood!! Young boys who will pillage and plunder and destroy the peace and tranquility of Forest Street! This group home for adolescent boys  must be stopped!

And all the Who-nuts from the Who-hood came out to protest! Let’s picket! they screamed. Let’s call our district councilor, Tony Economou, and scare the begeez outa him! Let Economou over-react with us! Let him demand that Woo cancel the Dover Amendment!! He’s no leader! He’ll do whatever we say to get re-elected!!



Middle-class Worcesterites at their most classist, most heartless. Woo dopes at their NIMBY-est! Where’s Beth Proko?! Call her! She has just put the kibosh on a dog park/play ground/play scape  for the PUBLIC land near her huge Victorian home! She claims drug addicts abound and will destroy the peace of her west side neighborhood if a city park is built on what is basically … nothing.

GET A GRIP, people!

Reality check: Look at the group home at Newton Square, a shining addition to a west side hood! Neighbors there freaked when they heard SMOC was putting women alcoholics (IN RECOVERY) in the big house right by their precious rotary.  Neighbors came out with their pitchforks!!! A total Woo freak out. … A few years has passed … and there has not been an incident. The property looks better now that SMOC is owner and (I drive by the place two or three times a week) the women (unfortunately) seem to be invisible.

Now, here at the Forest Street site, another group of  crazies are hoping to get their way with inflamatory claims, lies, threats, etc.

I say: Let them whine. And move out if they need to. Let’s have the West Side accept and try to understand needy kids, kids that need love and understanding. Not hatred. Not hatred, especially during the holidays. Also, be truthful: The house at 119 Forest St. does not sit in the middle of the neighborhood. It sits next to a major street, and is a five minute drive from Forest Grove Junior High and a seven minute drive from Shaws, CVS and the shopping plaza that folks in the hood shop at.

Community Health Link’s executive director, Deb Ekstrom, is a good lady who (while not super accessible) DOES DO A GOOD JOB running her sites/homes. No monkey business for Deb.

Let’s give these boys a chance. As a longtime resident of District 4 (I now live in D. 3), I have (like all inner-city residents)  had to deal with a fair share of crime and grime and assholes. The assholes usually do not come from group homes … . It’s time the rest of the city’s residents embrace folks who are not cookie cutter copies of themselves!


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