Drug treatment and psychotherapy center New Directions lost its lease and plans to relocate to 500 Atlantic Avenue in March. The substance abuse treatment program has been headquartered at 202-206 Flatbush Ave between Bergen and Dean since 1983.
More than a dozen neighbors came out at last night’s community board meeting to voice their opposition to the move. Community Board 2 supported the relocation plan, noting that many people in the community benefit from drug treatment services.
Neighboring property and business owners at the meeting said that they didn’t want another health service on this stretch of Atlantic, where there are already medical and dental offices, a hip center and transitional housing for the homeless. Business owners, as well as the Atlantic Avenue BID, said the block needs retailers or restaurants that would draw more foot traffic to the area.
“We’ve seen crime go up… I hear people screaming down the street, and I think it affects my business,” said Karen Zebulon, the owner of a craft shop, Gumbo Brooklyn, across the street. ”I think I would do better on a different block. We need more retail on the block.”
Several neighbors said they are worried recovering addicts and alcoholics will bring safety issues and crime to the area. However, New Directions Executive Director Mark Solomon said the program had never needed to call the police or been cited by the state. And he emphasized that the center offers psychiatric services, group therapy, art therapy and criminal justice services, but it isn’t a detox or methadone program.
“There’s really been no negative impact [on our current neighborhood],” said Solomon. GMAP
Image by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark