Support for partners’ plans for 461 Walnut

September 24, 2010
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I am writing in support of the proposed redevelopment project of 461 Walnut Avenue and in response to the Gazette’s Sept.10 article, “Respite care facility draws controversy.” The building 461 Walnut Ave., which used to be the Barbara McInnis House, sits on the corner of Walnut Avenue and Montebello Road. As a resident of Montebello Road and a lifelong resident of Jamaica Plain, I think Boston Health Care for the Homeless, along with partners Pine Street Inn and Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), will be a tremendous asset to my community.

The project will create approximately 33 affordable efficiency studio apartments for low-income individuals and 20 beds of medical respite care for people currently experiencing homelessness. This project will serve my community with much-needed affordable housing and critical medical and healthcare services and it will enhance the surrounding larger community. I feel confident in speaking for many of my neighbors, and I certainly speak for myself, when I say that, when the Barbara McInnis House was in this location, Boston Health Care for the Homeless was an incredible neighbor and has been missed dearly.

I know that in the past few weeks there has been much press around the opposition many of my neighbors have voiced in regards to this project. Although I do not share their concerns, I have appreciated that they continue to involve me in their process of working with partner organizations. I have also had conversations with many other neighbors on Montebello Road who, like me, unwaveringly support this project, the housing it will provide, and the partnering organizations involved with the proposal. Additionally, I know that these partners continue to seek community participation and that the end product will reflect the concerns of the abutters and the wider community. I believe in the mission of this project and have felt personally included in all stages of the planning process. For these reasons, I am pleased to support the proposal and I would be proud to have this facility on my street.

Julianna Brody-Fialkin
Montebello Road

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