Proposed Dunkirk Methadone Clinic Draws Public Concern

DUNKIRK – A proposed methadone clinic, which would be nestled next to a Catholic church and grade school, is drawing concerns from local parents and teachers, who say they fear for the pupils’ safety and the school’s future.
Dunkirk parents and teachers met Tuesday in a closed-door meeting with representatives of Hispanic United of Buffalo, which would run the clinic, as reported by WNYNewsNow’s news partner
Opponents are against the location of the clinic, but do not oppose the clinic itself. Some of the parents and teachers offered suggestions for alternative locations.
Parents also raised concerns, according to WIVB, that the clinic could cause a drop in enrollment at the school, with some even suggesting it could cause the school to close if 20 or more families remove their children.
“Our enrollment numbers will definitely be affected. It can mean the difference between us closing in September so this is really difficult. There is a need in the community, it’s just that we have an issue with the location,” School Principal Jenny Tilaro told WIVB.
Among concerns raised by the assembled parents and teachers are that while the clinic would be helping addicts, it could also lead to an influx of drugs and more drug dealers. They also expressed worries that children may find drug paraphernalia on the ground and pick up and play with the items.
Parents said there were other locations that met zoning requirements and were not next to a church or a school full of children.
The sale of the building is still pending, but officials are confident the clinic will open near the school. Hispanics United of Buffalo could not be reached for comment.