Proposed group home in Lysander has some neighbors considering moving away

Rendering of proposed group home in Lysander.

Just off of Doyle Road sits a vacant lot filled with flowers, weeds and bugs. A group home could be sitting there by next summer for children with mental health problems like ADHD.

Michelle Collins lives in Lysander and helped to organize a community educational meeting at the Baldwinsville public library. "I would like to see the project come to a screeching halt and to come up with a better place," says Collins.

Neighbors say they should have been given the chance to voice their concerns after the project was proposed early last year by Toomey Residential and Community Services. Many people who packed into this meeting say it took more than a year for the town board to tell them about it.

Dorothy Alessio lives just down the street from the proposed group home. "We consider that they totally failed us. Failed us either by neglect or indifference," says Alessio.

Children at the home receive counseling services and learn how to interact with others their age. They are there for up to a year before leaving for their homes. The home is currently set up at Elmcrest Children's Center in Syracuse and wants to move to a different school district and a spot with more land.

Judy D'Amore is the executive director of Toomey Residential and Community Services. "We wanted a good size play area for the kids, because they're 7 to 13, they're active," says D'Amore.

Some like Rick Burzynski are concerned about the security around their homes if the group home moves in.

"One of our close friends, her daughter works at Elmcrest. They're told that when these kids escape, I don't wanna say escape, get out of their facility, you just have to let them go and that's a big concern," says Bursynski.

"We're staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You know we work really hard to help these kids to return to their families," says D'Amore.

This still doesn't sit well with Burzynski. He's now considering moving away from his longtime home.

"I figured we'd live here for our whole lives but now we don't know. I mean people are very upset in the whole area," says Burzynski.

After hearing complaints from neighbors about the Lysander town government we tried calling the town supervisor, but we were unable to immediately get a comment.