South End residents voice disapproval, concerns about methadone clinic

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Residents of the South End and surrounding neighborhoods felt like they never had a say when it came to the opening on the methadone clinic and Monday night their voices were finally heard.

Confusion and concern brought out residents of Springfield’s South End to have the unknown answered by Habit Opco.

The turn out at the South End Citizens Council building was more than some expected and among the crowd were representatives of Habit Opco Methadone Clinic. A first after declining previous meetings.

Yolanda Cancel, a member of the South End Citizen Council, voiced that she wanted answers as to why the clinic chose Springfield’s South End for a location.

“We want to know from them, why is it they chose this location, how can they make it more safer there’s a lot of hangouts making it look bad,” said Cancel.

Since the methadone clinic left the North End and relocated to the South End on Mill St. residents say there has been a spike in loitering, prostitution and drug activity.

Some residents, such as South End Citizens Council Vice President Shane Millette, are being sensitive to the patient’s needs but they still want answers.

“And we understand there is much need for a methadone clinic but why in the South End we are trying to revitalize the neighborhood and we feel like we’ve gotten so far but now we feel like we’ve gotten kicked back,” said Millette.

Another complaint of South Enders is that they had no say of the clinic moving to their neighborhood. However, Habit Opco said they were very open with the city.

Business owners, Mayor Domenic Sarno and Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood were also active in Monday night’s discussion.

No voting or motions were filed.

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