Letter in Opposition to New Horizons Drug Treatment Center

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This open letter is in response to today’s story in the Item about the possibility of a Drug-treatment program opening a location on Exchange Street in the Downtown Lynn Cultural District.

Your opinions are welcome. Please post your short responses in the comments below, or send any long-form responses on this or any other topic by email. Thank you.


Dear Mayor Kennedy,

My wife, Dr. Emilie Miller, and I received the Community Service Award from your office  and the honorable Lynn Police Department in October of 2012.  I trust you remember us and what we did and endured for the sake of our community, our neighbors, and our home in Central Square.

I am writing to express our opposition of the development of a New Horizons Drug Treatment Center in downtown Lynn:

Here is the reference in the Item:


Your Honor, please consider the following:

  • The clinic will be detrimental to the quality of life here in Downtown Lynn.
    It will negatively impact any prospect of a lasting economic recovery of Central Square.
  • More social service organizations in downtown will make downtown worse.
    They not only attract those who genuinely will benefit from assistance but also those that will fail, and those failures will stay and degrade Lynn.  Downtown Lynn will become a Skid Row as it happened in LA.
  • The burden should not be all Lynn’s.
    Lynn has done enough to support the needful community at large and it is time for our neighboring towns to do their part to help others.
  • The proposed locations are unsafe.
    The proposed location sandwiches the clinic between the two largest segment of residences and the valuable art institutions of Lynn Arts and Raw Arts, the latter being a haven for children seeking stability and safety.
  • Central Square is getting better, don’t ruin its progress.
    In the 10 years we’ve lived here we’ve seen the square endure and ultimately overcome the Dot-Bomb and the Great Recession.  Gulu-Gulu is gone, but now we have Café Moca.  Raw Arts expanded.  Downtown Bistro left but the more successful Blue Ox arose its place and expanded.  We now have Rossetti, R. F. O’Sullivan, we improved the Commuter Rail platform cleanliness, residents volunteer and clean Central Square every year, and there are now business condominiums under the tracks.  Central Square has come so far; don’t jeopardize it.

Your Honor, we are confident in saying the residents of Central Square will not allow a Drug Treatment Center without a fight.  The residents said yes to the Health Center expansion.  We said yes to the Hospice.  The drug treatment center is a different issue all together, because it attracts unsafe elements into our neighborhood thereby threatening the safety of our homes and our families.  Where the safety of my family is concerned there is no room for compromise.  The Dr. and I will work tirelessly with our neighbors to rally them to oppose the New Horizon Drug treatment center and ensure our safety.

We ask for your support in our continued opposition to the Drug Treatment Center in Central Square.


Mr. Mark Miller
Dr. Emilie Miller

Copies were also sent to Representative Brendan Crighton, EDIC Dir. James Cowdell, and Ward 5 Councilor Dianna Chakoutis

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Do you live in Downtown Lynn Stacy? My building also has children in it. The Lynn arts center as well as the rawarts center cater to children with there programs. Children or no children this is a terrible idea for Lynn this would set us back 5 or 10 years we already have centers improve those don’t build more here. This kind of negqtive real estate development needs to be spread out otherwise its untenable for a community. As it is now its already some what untenable situation with to many underfunded public investments and not enought private intrests but… Read more »

DTL is swarming with addicts who need help. They need help in the area they frequent.
There are no children in DTL, Mr.Miller. Maybe one or two lofters who soon enough will move to the burbs.
DTL is coming up but the addicts are rampant and need help. A clinic will help the area. People who go to clinics want help. Give it to them.


This is a terrible idea just as realestate values of the downtown area are increasing and possible development is on its way you want put in a facility that will not only stifle all that but also ultimately cost us the taxpayers more to support due to the almost certain increase in city services to manage this centers impact. This would not only hurt image of downtown Lynn it will physicaly hurt as committed residents finally call it a day and move and few remaining hardworking business owners close shop because its untenable to stay. We should not be losing… Read more »

> Bibby acknowledged that increased state tax dollar spending on drug treatment in response to opioid drug use, including drug overdose deaths, “is partly driving the bus” in New Horizons’ bid to open a Lynn location. Awful! Chris Bibby should be ashamed of himself, what a vulture. As the letter states, this will drive a wedge between DTL and Sagamore Hill, and will cripple Broad St development. On one hand we have talk of developing the waterfront, then this — maybe we’ll have to drive to the waterfront from downtown, ha! Then again, I’m probably jumping the gun; discarded syringes… Read more »

Patrick Coppola

There’s already a treatment center on the lynnway, habit opco, why do we need another one?


I am all for saving lives. I just don’t think that downtown is the best place for it.

Mark Miller

Children live here now. There is no disagreement that treatment centers help people. They do. At issue is whether downtown Lynn is an appropriate place for a treatment center, and it is not. Families live here now. Families with young innocent children. They play in the streets, giggle in the little parks, create our art, and march to and from church every Sunday. Treatment centers draw in those that need the help and those that can NOT be helped. Of those that can’t be helped, some stay, because they have no place to go or no means to go. Over… Read more »

I believe everyone who needs treatment and seeks it should have access to the right treatment but it seems that Lynn continuously opens new centers that serve people well beyond Lynn’s borders. We seem to take everyone who is seeking help for addiction and other issues, why not let other communities share in opening such facilities.

Regards, Tim

Anthony Dyer

I do not oppose the treatment center..I believe this will be a positive step in the right direction..im a life long resident of lynn. Addicts need more help than ever right now..I guess the area of location is not going to make people happy but I strongly believe no matter where the location is people will be against or in favor..im sure drug use will continue. It wont stop..but I know this will save lives and lots of them..I am fortunate to be alive and living a good life due to right help when I was down..people like mary wheeler… Read more »

Jolene Kelly

I am in complete agreement and against this idea. As a resident and an employee in the Cultural District, I feel this is a negative move. I DO NOT want this as my next door neighbor. I do respect that people need help, but this is not a good idea and will fight it all the way!

Darlene Poplawski

I totally agree with everything in this letter. Lynn never catches a break. Instead of doing something that would be beneficial to Lynn, like expanding the Blue Line, it just gets more of the same. I feel like Lynn has become a dumping ground and I’m tired of it. I love this city. I want to see some positive change and this is definitely not positive.