Group home seeking to dispel myths about facility

A few neighbors have voiced concerns about three Mesa Developmental Services group homes under construction on 29 1/2 Road, Victoria Drive and Olson Avenue.

But the outcry hasn’t been as loud as the one nearly eight years ago when Mesa Developmental Services built its last home, at 309 Kava Way, Mesa Developmental Services spokeswoman Marilee Langfitt said.

Some of the people in that neighborhood have since volunteered at the group home, and Langfitt said there have been no complaints since the home opened in 2002.

There hasn’t been a single complaint about any of Mesa Developmental Services’ group homes in the 15 years Langfitt has worked for the nonprofit, she said. Noise and traffic problems are some of the myths she hopes to dispel. Another myth is that most neighbors don’t support the three new homes.

“It’s the disgruntled ones you hear from,” she said.

Mesa Developmental Services sent out 400 invitations for a recent meeting about the new homes. About a dozen people attended, and “maybe three or four” were against the homes, Langfitt said.

“People who don’t know our guys have preconceived notions about them that are not correct, and most of the people that take the time to get to know our people are humbled and enriched by the experience,” she said.

Langfitt said “there’s no data to support” a common claim that group homes reduce the value of surrounding homes. From 2008 to 2009, the average increase in actual property value of a home on Kava Way or Kava Court was $43,712.94, according to the Mesa County Assessor’s Web site.

The residents of the new group homes will come from the Regional Center’s skilled nursing unit, which is closing.


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