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When the village council members were pushing so hard to become a city, who would have thought they would intentionally import a “major city problem” into Dexter. But here we are about to bring people with a long history of chronic homelessness from all over Washtenaw county (mostly Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor) and house them directly across from Anchor and Beacon Elementary schools. Over half of those residents must also meet HUD requirements of a disability for Avalon properties to qualify for HUD tax dollars. Avalon calls them “behavioral control issues” and in Washtenaw County, the top three are drug addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental illness among the homeless.

We are going to place this population 67 feet from school property. What’s wrong with this picture? Avalon says there are no preconditions. Tenants do not have to be sober or clean from drugs or even in counseling to move in. They screen in people other landlords screen out and are often the last resort for many of them. They do offer counseling, but tenants are not required to attend. Helping the homeless is a noble endeavor but putting our kids at risk in the process is ludicrous.

Most every study available on homelessness shows a very high correlation with drug abuse. Ellen Schulmeister, director of the Delonis center in downtown Ann Arbor for 20 years estimated that over 50% of their clients were using heroin in an interview with the Ann Arbor news. In a 4-month time, they had eight overdoses at that facility. HAWC, refers many people from there to Avalon for permanent housing. Parents need to be aware of what this HUD project is. It will impact the entire school district and is hard to understand why the school board and the PTOs are so silent about it. Michigan State and Federal Drug Free Zone laws prohibit drugs within 1000 feet of school property, yet this is just across the street.

Keeping our kids safe is our responsibility and we are interested in your thoughts. Gmail us at parentsforstudentsafety@gmail.com         

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Sue Sherrill 

Dexter

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