Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Ridgmar Neighborhood Association

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

The Ridgmar Neighborhood Association

Article excerpt

In July of 1991 the Tarrant County Mental Health-Mental Retardation (MH-MR) Services proposed to purchase a house in the Fort Worth, Texas neighborhood of Ridgmar. The house was intended to be a group home for six young adults with mental retardation. The house would cost $215,000 plus an estimated $10-15,000 for renovations. It was in a beautiful upper class professional neighborhood and would meet all the criteria (see box) the MH-MR had set for a group home. The proposal was brought up for approval. Then things began to get ugly.

"Big Brother finally invades Ridgmar" was the headline on a flyer which was distributed throughout the neighborhood. It called the group home a "social experiment" at the "taxpayers' expense" and said it would hurt property values. Another flyer appeared implying that the home would be a "half-way house" for "paroled convicts, drug addicts, and mentally retarded." It also hailed the group home as "a total and unnecessary waste of our valuable resources."

The Ridgmar Neighborhood Association President Joe Wagner and 25 other homeowners filed suit against the MH-MR. …

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