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I am perplexed. I am confused. I am disappointed. And more importantly, I am ashamed. Why? Because of the recent negative debate and denial of the proposed halfway house on Girl Scout Road.
I grew up in Perry County. It's a beautiful place to live. There are a lot of good people. But there is a dark side, a side I know all too well. Perry County has a major drug and alcohol problem. It's to such a degree that it has drawn national attention. With the added problems that meth has caused, I am perplexed as to why Perry Countians are so against helping those who not only need, but want help to break free of the chains of addiction.
It confuses me that people will acknowledge a problem in their community, yet refuse to participate in a very realistic and feasible solution.
I am disappointed with the inaction of the Perry County commissioners who used zoning laws to their own advantage. They make excuses instead of seeking solutions.
And I am ashamed that this community has turned its head in denial. To the man who said, "these people with problems should go to Indianapolis," I can only say "shame on you." That was spoken out of true ignorance. Suggesting that we exile people to another city, state or country is about as irrational as it gets.
Instead of turning a blind eye and hoping the problem will just go away, trust me, it won't. We should actively participate in working toward finding solutions. Instead of being bullied through ignorance or frightened by slippery-slope arguments from self-righteous naysayers, stand up and say "Yes" to doing the right thing.
All communities have problems. But what makes a community a community is when the people in that community work together. A real community does not bury its head in the sand. I often wonder what my life might have been like if I had the opportunity to participate in a treatment facility of this sort. Instead I was jailed countless times beginning at the age of 11. How much sense does that make?
The bottom line is this: a community is only as good as its citizens. I know that most Perry Countians are good people. Now is the time for those good people to make their voices heard.
Stand up. Make a difference.
Greenwell is an offender at Branchville Correctional Facility.