December 20, 2007
(email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org )
Kevin M. Ryan, Commissioner, Department of Children and Families
Carole Dortch-Wright, Deputy Director, Communications and Legislation
Re: Cherry Hill Brookfield Group Home
Dear Commissioner Ryan and Ms. Dortch-Wright:
Thanks for your December 17th letter. It was some relief to have any communication from you. I am glad you followed through on your earlier guarantee to get back to me. Although the Brookfield home is not opening up at this time, I can only make my own conclusions that our residential and community due diligence, i.e. gathering of facts, information and research presented to you, put a halt on occupancy. Some criteria, protocol and codes of behavior should remain the same and not change for any group home for the safety of any child placed in a group home of this nature. Specifically, the distance between houses, green acres of land behind a residential property, pool, upper decks, parking spaces available, etcetera.
Because I have been directly affected and feel so wronged from the beginning (June/July) by old and potential new neighbors, the obvious non-care of the property/house up to and including now next door to me, my feelings remain the same for all group homes everywhere. There ought to be a set of standards for choosing a property/community.
The Brookfield Community has listened, attended, recorded and has been very responsive to your presentations; we have communicated all of our legitimate concerns, feelings, facts, and fears. I have personally avoided the media spotlight, so that I may subjectively and objectively thoroughly understand this precedent-setting issue, and how it affects my family, my neighborhood and my community. I do so with the best interest of everyone, especially keeping in mind all of the children.
With the promise that we will be hearing from a Catherine DeCheser for continuing dialogue, I honestly don’t think I have any more energy, stamina or emotion for more chit chats. At this point we would hope and expect a decision from you, Commissioner Ryan, be handed down to NJMentor suggesting they seek a property in a neighborhood where they may find a better fit, for the neighbors and for the children they serve.
Maureen (and Bob) Gornowski
1109 W. Valleybrook Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
12/20/07 - 1:07 p.m.
cc: Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt email@example.com