Open Door is still hoping a turn in neighborhood opinion will help them get them get the board approvals necessary to move to the intersection of New and North Broadway.
Fifteen-year-old Jeffrey Guzman, a patient and a volunteer at the center, felt strongly enough about the place that he asked CEO Lindsay Farrell if he could write about their struggle. She gave him the go-ahead and he posted a Patch opinion piece so much beyond his years that some thought it must have come from their lawyer.
Now, this media savvy teen, has taken his campaign to Facebook, creating a page in support of the move.
He writes an introduction to himself and his cause:
My name is Jeffrey Guzman, I am 15 years old, and I'm a patient and volunteer at Open Door Family Medical Centers. I've created this page because over the past 7 months I've seen a really sad event.
Open Door wishes to move from its old, rundown building at 80 Beekman Ave. The 2nd floor isn't even safe enough to use, thus limiting space in half. This prevents the facility from expanding its services to the low income patients it serves. These low income families are already under served and should be getting quality care like any middle class or high class person. Open Door is Federally Qualified but it still has not reached its full potential.
That's why it wishes to move to 300 New Broadway, a recently renovated building. Unfortunately, it has faced opposition from many of the residents in the area surrounding it called, Webber Park. Many concerns have stemmed including parking, traffic, and safety.
These concerns are understandable as people want the best neighborhood possible, but 300 New Broadway is zoned as a commercial building, and has remained vacant for years because off all this opposition. Open Door has addressed the issues (read Closing the Door On An Opportunity or any of the traffic studies, below) yet still there is opposition. Many supporters believe, this opposition is driven by fear of a decrease in home value and neighborhood integrity, because of class and race associated with Open Door.
He’s bolstered the page with many link to citizen letters of support, traffic reports, newspaper articles, photos, and finally his own Patch post:
The July Board hearing had been held the day prior to this article's release, and the ensuing debate which lasted 120 comments, got very heated.
Guzman welcomes the debate, but would prefer support. He asks readers to Like the page and spread the word. "Make your voice heard! If we all stick together, we will make Open Door's relocation happen! And we will be able to allow patients to get even better care and service," Guzman writes.
Are you for or opposed to Open Door's move to North Broadway? Weigh in here.