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Rochester Drug Recovery Center Faces Pushback From Neighbors

The Rochester City Council rejected a community petition on Tuesday to relocate a private drug recovery center.

The council said it doesn't have the legal authority to force a relocation unless the center is breaking the law or violating a zoning ordinance.

Sixty-five people have signed the petition. In it, community members say they’ve have seen an increase in drug activity in their neighborhood around the SOS Recovery Community Organization.

John Burns is the SOS director. He says he wants to have conversations with the neighbors who signed the petition.

"At no time did anybody on that petition ever reach out to us and identify challenges that they'd like to assist with. None of them have come in and seen the services we provide," he said.

Petitioners and SOS workers will have a chance to speak with the City Council during a workshop next week.

Burns said this situation is a chance to educate others on the impact stigma around addiction can have.

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.
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