The organization planned to turn the house into a group home for two developmentally delayed men. Not 12, not 20. They simply wanted to use the house to give a safe, rural setting to two men. Others said they feared for their children. Two residents. Two staff. Someone spread the rumour that the home was going to be used for sex offenders. Not Nike Roshe Run just sex offenders, mind you, but sex offenders with mental health problems. Is it at all surprising the community protested the group home?There was no truth to the rumour but, as is always the case in these sorts of conflicts, that didn’t matter. The damage was done. Jennifer Frain, the executive direction of New Directions, says her agency received only one phone call after it contacted residents to tell them about the proposal. People fear what Nike Roshe Run they don’t understand. Here’s a comment from our website Tuesday:”Good, happy to see this decision. The last thing we needed was a bunch of addicts and criminals avoiding jail in our backyard, just like in St. Norbert. The criminals are always walking away from there in St. Norbert and stealing cars to get out of the area. That’s a hassle our RM does not need.”The group home is not for criminals. It is not for addicts. It is not for mentally challenged sex offenders. The men who would live in Springfield would benefit from a quiet environment. It has a responsibility to stand up for its clientele and to call out a community that didn’t want challenged people in its midst. If they can run them out of Springfield, where else are we going to tell the disabled they’re not allowed?And where do we draw the NIMBY line? Is it race, religion, nationality? Ultimately, who decides who deserves to stay and who must be shoved out the door?This is much more than the story of one rural municipality buffeted by rumours and guided by fear. This is a battle for the rights of people who can’t advocate for themselves. We need to join New Directions and make people realize the right decision isn’t always the most comfortable.
About Lindor Reynolds
National Newspaper Award winner Lindor Reynolds began work at the Free Press as a 17 year old proofreader. It was a rough introduction to the news business.
Many years later, armed with a university education and a portfolio of published work, she was hired as a Free Press columnist. During her 20 plus years on the job she has written for every section in the paper, with the exception of Business. She get around to them some day.
Lindor has received considerable recognition for her writing. Her awards include the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists general interest award and the North American Travel Journalists Association top prize.
Her work on Internet luring led to an amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada and her coverage of the child welfare system prompted a change to Manitoba Child and Family Services Act to make the safety of children paramount.
She has earned three citations of merit for the Nike Free Run Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism and has been awarded a Distinguished Alumni commendation from the University of Winnipeg. Lindor was also named a YMCA/YWCA Woman of Distinction.
She is married with four daughters. If her house was on fire and the kids and dog were safe, she grab her passport.