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Community News
Confronting NIMBY
Psychiatric News
Volume 41 Number 18 page 11-11

Since group homes are still a tough sell in many communities, and the NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome can be a huge hurdle, Barbara McGoldrick left nothing to chance in her campaign to make it easier for parents to establish group homes for disabled children (see article above). To prepare the community for the new residents, McGoldrick and others held garden parties at which representatives from Trinity (the program that runs the group home she funded), the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and other mental health groups gave informal talks and answered questions about mental illness. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of DuPage County held garden tours of eight homes in to raise money for the residences. "We're here, and we're going to make the place look nice," McGoldrick said proudly the day after she bought the first home. Workers from her husband's landscaping company were already planting shrubs and tidying up the front yard. She said she was determined to let the community know right away that the new residents were going to be good neighbors. So far the neighbors have been supportive.

Because they are private purchases, Special Needs Trust (SNT) homes reduce the likelihood of rancorous debates that often erupt over the siting of group homes. Unlike some other group homes, the SNTs in Naperville, Ill., are limited to four residents. Part of the opposition to group homes has been provoked by over-crowded and run-down dwellings that are an eyesore to neighbors.

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