A plan to open a group home for men with mental illnesses in a residential neighborhood has angered people in Cromwell.
Residents voiced their concerns at a meeting with Gilead Community Services, the owner of the group home, on Monday night. Gilead defended the home, its safety and its location on Reiman Drive.
The home will help treat up to six men with mental illnesses.
While neighbors support the home’s mission, they say the location is less than ideal. The area is home to a number of families and is close to several schools, including the high school.
“There are better places in town for something like this,” said Rob Latulippe, who lives with his wife and three young children next door to the group home. “We’re going to have to keep a watchful eye on the surroundings now.”
Gilead says safety is a top concern and the house will be staffed around the clock. The men are not violent felons or convicted sex offenders, and Gilead officials said the location is a good fit for the program.
“We feel confident this program will provide wonderful services and a beautiful environment for folks to live in. So, we feel confident and we understand the community doesn’t and it’s going to be our job over the next months, years to change that,” said Gilead Community Services CEO Dan Osborne.
Gilead says it plans to start operations in the home in about a month.
Town officials said its hands are tied because Gilead has followed all the rules to open the home.
“It’s going to happen and we have no say in the matter,” said Gary Socha, who lives next to the home.