East Bronx residents fight green light for rehab center

Residents hope newly minted Gov. David Paterson will reverse plans for a mental health center in Westchester Square, which they say is overrun with such facilities.The New York State Department of Health has given a green light to the six-story, 56-unit Postgraduate Center for people with a history of mental illness.

Residents argue that the structure will block the two-story houses along Lyvere Street, and they argue the area is already saturated with "self-help" centers.

"There's families and there's many children, and we have a Catholic school a block and a half away," says Mariella DeJesus. "Right over ? two blocks we have a public school. It's not convenient."

Community Board 10 District Manager Kenneth Kearns says while the board doesn't oppose similar facilities, he worries that the people it will serve will not have adequate supervision. The board is appealing to the new governor to overturn the plan.

Paterson's office says it will review the project, but adds that the governor is focusing on the fast-approaching budget deadline.

The Postgraduate Center had no comment on the matter.

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