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Posts : 12
Join date : 2007-08-23

PostSubject: Liberty Twp. Group Home   Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:35 am

By LYNN OLANOFF The Express-Times

LIBERTY TWP. | Some Townsbury Road residents are not rolling out the welcome mat for their new neighbor -- a group home for troubled teens.

New Jersey Mentor opened the home on the 500 block a few weeks ago. Neighbors recently learned of its existence and turned to township officials to get answers on why the house was allowed to open and how it will be monitored.

The neighbors say they fear for their children's safety.

New Jersey Mentor officials attended Thursday's Liberty Township Committee meeting to address the neighbors' concerns. The officials said the teens -- ranging in age from 14 to 19 -- are always supervised by at least two trained workers and have been deemed by the state as fit to live in a community setting.

"We have many other group homes in the state and have never had a complaint. We're good neighbors," said Lisa Coscia, Mentor's vice president for the mid-Atlantic region.

Neighbors said they were concerned about information they found on New Jersey Mentor's Web site that said the association provides housing for sex offenders.

"It's a bit disturbing," said Larry Siebens, a father of five. "We together have small children and larger children and concerns about their well-being."

Coscia said the Liberty house will have no residents who have the potential to be repeat sex offenders. Most of the teens will have emotional or behavioral problems, but some may have sexual issues, she said.

Townsbury Road resident Audrey Benson said she did not think the house was a good fit for the neighborhood. The area is rural and already home to Warren County's juvenile detention center, she said.

"It's our community, and we're upset by it," Benson said.

Mayor John Inscho said the township committee shares the residents' concerns but has heard good things about New Jersey Mentor from Frelinghuysen Township Mayor Tom Charles, who has two Mentor group homes in his community. The homes have never been a problem, Inscho said.

The Mentor officials encouraged township residents and officials to call them with any concerns or problems. The organization is also planning open houses at the Liberty group home in November and December to give neighbors a chance to see the house and meet the staff.

"We want to make sure we integrate well in the neighborhood," said Jim Reynolds, New Jersey Mentor's clinical program manager.

Reporter Lynn Olanoff can be reached at 908-475-8044 or by e-mail at
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Join date : 2007-08-21

PostSubject: 101.5 -- The Jersey Guys -- Casey and Rossi   Sat Oct 20, 2007 10:14 pm

If any of you tune into 101.5, on Monday, October 9th, Casey and Rossi (The “Jersey Guys”) were blasting NJMentor and the State on this Liberty NJMentor group home issue. I have emailed the station producer (a/k/a C-Dogg), ( requesting a copy of the broadcast. It was unbelievable. If you think Cherry Hill residents were in an upheaval, you haven’t heard anything when it came to this verbal blasting broadcast.

The following is the portion related to the above. I copied it from their website.

“Liberty Township residents are up in arms over the new hoe for trouble teens that opened up a few weeks ago. The ages of the kids ranged from 14-19 years old. Casey thinks this is a big mistake and that if he was one of these residents he would be livid because he wouldn’t want his daughter to have to worry about walking down the street and wind up being attacked by one of these unattended mentally disturbed teens. Ray agrees to an extent but says that unfortunately no matter what argument Casey makes you know that people are going to say that they have to live somewhere. Casey is not concerned with that theory as it should be a supervisor’s problem to find a location for these teens far enough away so that they will not be a danger to anyone else. How could they put a home like this in the neighborhood and not even warn the residents first?”
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