New Yale Street recovery facility sparks controversy

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – There’s an assertive effort in Holyoke to stop Mental Health Associates from opening a new facility.

That new location sits near residential homes. And that’s the issue at hand.

MHA is renovating a home on Yale street and turning it into a recovery program, however some neighbors strongly oppose.

Mental Health Associates is opening a 16 bedroom recovery facility in Holyoke.

The non-profit organization is renovating a single family home on Yale Street – and turning it into a recovery program for people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

22News visited this neighborhood after receiving numerous e-mails from concerned residents.

Yale Street is located on a dead-end street, with three other houses on it.

Holyoke resident Dave Healey told 22News, “Shuttling the clients in and out, probably going to have trash collection, delivery trucks, I would expect there will be emergency response vehicles much more than there used to be. I think it’s going to be a dramatic change in the quality of life for the folks on that street.”

However Mental Health Associates disagrees with the neighbors.

A representative with MHA said it’s important for people to feel at home while recovering.

Christine Palmieri, VP of Recovery and Housing Services at MHA told 22News, “Where they can have group dinner at a dining room table. It’s important that people know that this is a safe place, where they can be themselves and talk about things that are hard where they can learn real life skills in a home.”

Mental Health Associates added that they chose the location of Yale Street because it was a large enough home to accommodate their needs.

Neighbors have filed lawsuits and appeals with the city to stop MHA’s facility but depsite ongoing litigtion.. MHA has started renovation work on the house.

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