SMOC communication lacking Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Carolyn N. Curtis Metrowest Daily News
I read with interest the article which discussed SMOC's efforts to obtain a building permit("Permit unlikely to find support," Oct. 30). My interest turned into a combination of amusement and incredulity, however, when I got to Jim Cuddy's assertion that cities and towns outside of Framingham have been less hostile to his plans to site social service agencies in their communities.

Here in Worcester, both residents and local officials regard SMOC with suspicion and distrust, a perception that is the direct result of actions of the organization.  A case in point is the program that Mr. Cuddy intends to site at 2 June St., the location of a former rest home, which is within a few hundred yards of three schools and a public park.

Originally, he proposed to site a program for sober homeless women in the home, discussed his plan with local officials, and received a commitment from a state senator to secure funding.  With no notification to either these officials or the public, he then decided to site a wet shelter for women at this totally inappropriate site.  Fortunately, this decision was made at a point in the state budget process that allowed for the funding to be removed.

While he now has a plan to provide services to sober women, he has refused to provide any details or address legitimate concerns of the community.

Worcester hostility stems from the fact that the organization refuses to communicate openly and forthrightly about its intentions or be responsible in its siting practices.

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