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“No one informed us of this:” Neighbors question planned drug and alcohol facility in Franklin

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FRANKLIN (WITI) -- Neighbors in Franklin are speaking out about a house for people with alcohol and drug issues that may be built near their homes. They say they have a lot of kids and elderly in the area and aren't getting much information about just who will be moving in.

The Franklin neighborhood is on edge and planning its next step.

"The members of our community are very angry, frustrated, sad with the fact that no one informed us of this," said concerned neighbor, Angeline Benning.

They're talking about a community based residential facility approved by the city's planning commission for a wooded site at South 92nd and St. Martins Road.

"No one can tell us what they have actually done or why they will be in this facility," said Benning.

Right now Matt Talbot Recovery Services has three locations in the Milwaukee are including this one on North Avenue.

Its website says its facilities house people affected by alcohol, and drug abuse -- and teaches them the skills to live independently.

"It's gonna be five beds or five individuals living here at first. It's designed that it can be expanded up to eight total," said City of Franklin Planning Department Manager, Joel Dietl.

Dietl says it will be a one story building with 24-hour staff. State statute says this kind of facility is permitted in residential areas and the city could only reject it for zoning reasons.

"Location of the driveway, landscaping, only those kinds of things," said Dietl.

It will be the 17th community based residential facility in Franklin, and like most, will be located by a subdivision.

Neighbors question whether there's a better site available -- since this one is partially a wetland.

"The DNR has stated that somebody will actually have to come out and see what the land is actually like," said Benning.

The building will need to be at least 50 feet from the wetland.

Neighbors are signing a petition and hope to force a public hearing.

"A lot of it is just fear of the unknown, ask as many questions as you have, keep pressing for good answers," said Dietl.

FOX6 News reached out to Matt Talbot Recovery Services for comment, but have not heard back from them.

The facility still needs to go through a few more stages of approval but may open later this year.

25 comments

    • Sunny side up

      Franklin is the most uninhabited place in Milwaukee county. Roughly 35 sq. mi. Lots of which is uninhabited farm land. I understand the frustration of no one giving the community the heads up, but don’t understand the “not in my community” mentality.

  • Tim

    Get over yourselves! You don’t want it in lily-white Franklin, but if it was in Milwaukee, or West Allis you could care less. Franklin has it’s share of soaks that need a place to dry out, too. Think about THAT on your way to church this Sunday! Hippocrates.

  • Sue

    How sad that alcoholics and drug addicts can’t have a nice, safe, peaceful place to begin their recovery. There are many places like this in Milwaukee, in bad neighborhoods where drugs are easy to get.

  • Amanda

    The people that live in recovery houses like this genuinely wish to improve their lives. Most have gone through rehab and other counseling and a recovery house is the next step to independent, sober living. It’s a family environment, with a house manager on site at all times. They have curfews and rules to follow while they are there. Its pathetic how hypocritical and uptight people are. Instead of welcoming people that are actually trying to change their lives, these “community members” would rather shun them back to Milwaukee so they don’t interrupt their perfect, happy circle in Franklin. Compassion goes a long way people! Heaven forbid any of them ever had a hardship to overcome.

  • js

    I would just like to say i live near where this facility will be built. Right now we are looking for answers. We have reached out to Matt Talbot to set up a meeting and they have yet to schedule one or get back to us which they promised. This was pushed threw while our Aldermann was on vacation. There is more than meets the eye here. At the planning commission meeting they told us there would be physically disabled residents. Now the story has changed. We are looking for answers and are getting none. Being a good neighbor is a two way street… It is not a bad thing to be cautious of who moves next to your kids and want answers on how to best guide your family

  • ltdarkstar

    There are not many of these facilities and the ones that are in Milwaukee are full with a waiting list – I know this because one of my loved ones suffers from depression and many of these recovery homes and specialty hospitals (Such as Rogers) clump depression with the recovering addicts and such. Rogers has a waiting list a good 3-4 weeks long as do many of the other facilities. Why is it a bad thing to build another one? Don’t these folks need to get better? I’d rather see them in a home or environment conductive to their rehabilitation than pushed on the streets because god-forbid one of these rehab clinics or group homes is too close to your million dollar mansions or whatever.

    • Heidi

      First off, this subdivision has not one million dollar mansion. In fact most of the houses were built in the 1950’s and are modest ranch homes. Next. The real issue here is not that we don’t want people to get help for their addictions, but our concern for what type predators will come and try to influence the residents after they are released. This plot of land is not the right location. There are a number of vacant buildings and land in the Franklin area that would be more suitable.

  • Angeline Benning

    I am a mother of two small children that lives in the community next to which this site is located. I am very frustrated that you are all taking your own spin on this situation without stopping to find out actual facts. No one has told anyone to go to Milwaukee or West Allis with this facility. We are concerned citizens that are worried about the safety of our children as well as preserving out wetlands. This facility is NOT LIKE the other facilities. Franklin has 16 of these facilities already existing. We have been told that this facility will be different than the rest, but no one can tell us how. Please do your research and look up Matt Tallbott industries…they do not just house drug and alcohol abusers trying to turn their lives around. Per there website it states:
    Clients for the program include those experiencing the following transitional situations:
    Correctional institution to community
    County Jail to community
    Alcohol and other drug Abuse inpatient or halfway house programming to community
    Dependent family situations to independent living
    Offenders who are violating conditions of supervision to provide alternatives to incarceration

    Now tell me if you would want this facility next to your home???? Would you allow your children to roam the neighborhood? Would you feel safe to have your grandmother living alone next to this facility? The fact of the matter here is that our city went ahead and approved site plans for a wetland site that has no permit to build on, and a CBRF facility that has no permit to be a CBRF. How can a city move forward with this type of project without checking to make sure there are permits issued first. There is more to this than the news was able to portray last night in a few minutes of coverage. Please please do not think that the neighbors are at fault here. We are just trying to seek answers!

  • Frustrated

    Is there anyone out there that has worked at Matt Talbott facilities or any CBRF that can comment on this facility for us?

  • Sunny side up

    Can’t have this in Franklin, oh no! just like they couldn’t have a Myers. “It’ll ruin the small town feel”. I don’t see the issue with a sober living home. It is 5 monitored adults looking to kick addiction, not 5 registrants looking to shack up together. Get over yourselves! If the people of Franklin are worried about potential crime and predators ,do something about the classy strip of motels on 27th st. My bet is the people of Franklin will fight this tooth and nail….love thy neighbors people, these are addicts, not necessarily violent criminals.

  • s holmes

    We were not deformed of this sitsheation. They gotta go somewhere, might as well be Franklin, lol.

  • Jene

    What many people do not understand is that the drug addiction epidemic is not centralized in the inner city. Many of us, and yes, even Franklin, have people afflicted with addiction already living in your neighborhood, around the corner, next door, down the street. In fact, the suburbs and even rural communities are plagued by heroin addiction and prescription pill addiction and people are dying every single day from this epidemic. Don’t think that because you live in a nice suburb that your neighborhood is immune to this problem. Wouldn’t you want to help and better your community by serving the people of your community that need help? It is time for EVERYONE (and I am not just singling out the Franklin community) but EVERYONE to open up their eyes, get educated on the matter and stop denying that fact that it could be your brother or sister, your niece, your grandchild, your mother. We can no longer hide from these issues, we need to FACE them.

  • lisa

    I cannot believe this so irritated !!! you franklin folks say you don’t want the mentally ill,those recovering from an ADDICTION, an illness getting help NEAR you or your family. Well have you been to the inner city ,Southside…it’s getting kind of crowded.If I could I would build one RIGHT next door to ME and my family. Unlike you I teach my children the TRUTH and kindness and compassion for others who want to better themselves. But of course you Franklin folks don’t even know that heroin,opiates are rampant and free flowing right in your schools,communit RIGHT now.because it will NEVER happen to YOU or your loved ones. Or depression or anxiety or suicide But it’s right next to you ALREADY. .

  • Scott

    Unbelievable, the people that don’t want this! You poor rich (and ignorant) people that don’t want anything in Franklin that isn’t up to YOUR standards. One of the reasons so many homeless stand on street corners is because there are not enough places for them to get help! But you wouldn’t know that living in your multi million dollar homes! Wake up idiots…I’ll bet there is someone in your family with an addiction problem….and you just don’t wanna face it! I’ve lived in Franklin all my life and I’m ashamed of all you rich trash that has moved in…go to brookfield or whitefish bay, where all the stuck ups already live !

  • Resident of Milwaukee

    Guess what folks, Matt Talbot Recovery Services is planning to build a CBRF facility in my neighborhood, (Uncas Park) thats right, MILWAUKEE, and we were not notified either. No meeting has been set up yet, but alot of questions will be brought forward with all the people that are involved in this project. We were informed this past weekend 17th of April that this facility will be up and running by Sept. 1, 2015. As I said we were not notified before hand, but that it was a done deal. What and who is dealing under the table.
    An I agree with the ones that say “Why not in your area”. People wake up, just because you live outside of Milwaukee, you do come to Milwaukee, either to work, shop or visit. I’m not happy with this facility in my neighborhood, the unknown is frightening, but lets get real, there are problems everywhere. Milwaukee has problems and it’s on the news nightly, but the surrounding areas, yes thats right the burbs, you have alot of problems/incidents that are not seen on the nightly news, and your community keeps this quiet, have you ever wondered WHY!!!!!
    WHY IS NO ONE FROM FRANKLIN PUTTING UPDATES ON THIS BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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