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The Suburbanite
  • Harleigh Inn project will be subsidized housing for severely mentally ill

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  • I have to assume that the writer of the Feb. 22 article “Neighbors don’t want ICAN to buy Harleigh” did not attend the same City Council meeting I attended.
    It states that North Canton citizens don’t want the Harleigh Inn to house homeless veterans. That is false. The truth was finally presented at this meeting, and there was a council clerk to verify everything (public records).
    It was made clear that this proposal has nothing to do with veterans. The veteran card can be taken off the table; it was just a way to make the situation more palatable for residents.
    The meeting confirmed all of our community’s fears regarding this proposal. This is nothing more than subsidized housing with the promise of most, if not all, tenants being severely mentally ill and not monitored. ICAN will have no responsibilities regarding any aspect of these tenants’ conduct or need for ongoing care.
    Maryellen Cameron stated that the need to house severely mentally ill people arose after Massillon State Hospital closed. Our military men and women have the VA to help them if they want help. ICAN hasn’t been forthright, and our community has no reason to expect anything other than what was said at the meeting.
    We will foot the bill for security (police), EMS and tenants’ rides on SARTA buses. How about the extensive screening process that was suggested in the proposal? The question should be, what screening process?
    The truth is ICAN will be funded by taxpayers and supported by the community. We should be the ones who have the final say, given the impact that 25 new residents will have in our community. The on-site coordinator is just a glorified term for maintenance man.
    We are an educated community, despite what ICAN believes. We would like to remain North Canton, not be forced to become Canton North.
    LAURA YOUNG,
    NORTH CANTON