I got a call from my sister this afternoon about a problem Secret Harbor is having in getting permitted for one of the four new group homes they’re moving to from the Cypress Island facility. So I looked and found this story that tells more about it. The basics are that there is a church right across the street from the house they want to use, and the pastor of the church and a few of the members spoke against the idea at the permit hearing, and the permit was denied.
Now, the permit will come through, and the group home will be there. There’s no way this will withstand appeal. That’s a little annoying. But what’s more annoying is that we even had to go here. This is what’s been going on with Secret Harbor forever — everybody is so afraid of the boys there that they just freak out at the name, without bothering to know what they’re talking about. I know most of the boys who will be in that house (maybe all — I don’t know who all is going there), and I’ve worked in the first group home they’ve operated — my sister works in that home, so I’ve had updates on what’s been going on there since it opened. These folks are thinking that this home will have extremely violent boys and sex offenders, who will sneak out at night in the middle of the day to sneak into the church during services while no one is watching to hurt people, and if you’ve noticed some problems with that reasoning, you’re paying better attention than they are. These boys are supervised at all times — leaving supervision is a very large deal. They’re not going to put SOs in that house, because the church is there, just like they haven’t put SOs in the house that’s across the street from a day-care center (and where there have been no problems with the day-care center). These boys just aren’t that dangerous. There was a time when the boys on the Island were very dangerous, but that had already started changing when I went out there for the first time seven or eight years ago, and has been very different the past five years, as they’ve passed on the very violent boys.
But reality just isn’t important when you’re dealing with fear. And that’s what’s at play here.