Lisa Lindaur, whose home is near where the Edgewater Street house has been proposed, organized a meeting of her River's Edge subdivision neighbors Tuesday to discuss the project.
She and other opponents say the proposed single-family home could cause safety problems and result in lower property values. They also believe Cornerstone and Minooka officials have not been fully forthcoming about the project, Lindaur said.
“I would like to have the open and honest dialogue of Cornerstone Services and I would like to feel safe in the neighborhood with my kids,” she said.
This would be Cornerstone's third group home, with the other two located in Joliet and Romeoville. There is a growing need for this type of housing, said Don Hespell, Cornerstone Services vice president and chief executive officer.
“We’ve gotten more referrals than we can serve and that’s why we’re opening another house,” Hespell said.
Cornerstone Services assists children and adults with developmental disabilities. It has 33 group homes and, in addition to housing, it helps developmentally disabled adults and teenagers find work.
In 2010, they assisted 99 people in securing jobs. When the 2011 fiscal year ends in June, more than 130 people will have been helped in the last year.
Residents at the meeting said they were worried residents of the proposed home would be violent. Cornerstone officials say that is not the case.
“These are children with developmental disabilities, not criminal backgrounds,” Hespell said. “We screen out (criminal backgrounds) in all our programs.”
In the two existing homes that serve children, there have been only three calls made to police and none were related to any type of violence**, said Martha Jarmuz, Cornerstone Services director of behavioral health. Two of those calls were to the home in Joliet and one to the home in Romeoville. Each home houses five boys between the ages of 14 and 20.
At the meeting Tuesday, Lindaur said she obtained a list of police calls to Cornerstone's adult home in Minooka through the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
“There was a lot of assault; there was a lot of battery,” Lindaur said.
Cornerstone's two youth group homes house five children. Minooka village ordinance limits single-family houses to four unrelated people, a provision Hespell said he would be discussing with village officials.
“We’re planning on five,” he said of the number of residents planned for the River’s Edge home.
** Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said the calls were related to incidents of violence, which is not accurate.