Some residents of a Long Island community told a City Council public hearing that a residential treatment facility for people with eating disorders would depress their property values.
But Newsday reports that supporters of the 14-bed group home planned for Glen Cove said the home is needed.
"I am truly shocked by this community, to see the way you're treating this illness, like it's some disgusting thing," Jennifer Converse, who said she had four years of outpatient treatment for anorexia and could have benefited from a residential facility, said at the public hearing.
The Malibu, California-based Monte Nido and Affiliates has applied to operate the residence in Glen Cove.
Monte Nido's similar 14-bed facility in Irvington, New York, currently is the only adult residence for people with eating disorders in the state, said Jennifer Gallagher, the company's chief development officer.
Dr. Sandra Kronberg, executive director of the Eating Disorder Treatment Collaborative in nearby Jericho, New York, said there are nearly 100,000 people on Long Island with eating disorders. Kronberg said there's a desperate need for a residential facility because some people don't get better in outpatient settings.
"These are disrupting disorders of the mind that people are not choosing," she told the more than 100 people attending the hearing.
Newsday reported that some in the crowd heckled Kronberg and other eating-disorder experts, telling them "You're not a resident of Glen Cove" and "Go home."
Residents said the planned residence is an inappropriate use for the three-story brick house across from the Nassau Country Club that Monte Nido is buying.
"The choice of a residential area is so unnecessary," said Anne Robbins, a retired physician who lives down the street from the house. "It is confrontational."
Frank Ferrante, who lives near the site where the group home is planned, said the home would "disrupt the character of the neighborhood" and reduce property values.
But Samantha Farber said she is in recovery from eating disorders after spending three months at Monte Nido's Irvington residence.
Farber said if Irvington had refused to let Monte Nido operate the facility she would "literally probably be in the funeral home."
The council took no action after the four-hour hearing.