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Muskegon votes to deny abuse treatment home in Sheldon Park neighborhood

One commissioner said he voted to deny the request because he did not feel the people who the facility would serve would be welcome in the community.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Substance abuse treatment homes will not be expanding its services in Muskegon's Sheldon Park neighborhood.

The City Commission voted unanimously tonight to deny a request that would have rezoned a property on Roberts Street from residential to medical care.

The Fresh Coast Alliance wanted to build a 15-bed residential treatment facilities to the neighborhood.

But many people were concerned the facility would make the neighborhood unsafe.

They also said other locations made more sense.

Commissioner Michael Ramsey said he voted to deny the request because he did not feel the people who the facility would serve would be welcome in the community.

And he took issue to the language that some speakers during public comment used to describe those clients.

"I heard them called sick. I heard them called felons. I heard them called burdensome I heard them called dogs at some point. Often referred to as these people. It's not okay, and for a community that's so stuck on being community, the conversations that were had here tonight are unacceptable."

Fresh Coast Alliance CEO Joe Whalen told 13 ON YOUR SIDE by phone tonight that he thanks commissioner Ramsey for his support.

He says this process has been traumatizing on his clients.

He's not sure yet what the next step will be but he says his overall mission has not changed and he's more committed than ever to finding solutions.

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