Pubdate: Sat, 16 Mar 2002
Source: Ventura County Star (CA)
Copyright: 2002, Ventura County Star
Bookmark: (Treatment)


RECOVERY CENTER: New Home Must Be Found Before It's Forced To Move From
Current Location.

Oxnard city officials have some difficult decisions to make about the future
of College Park, but one decision should be easy: If the city forces the
Rainbow Recovery Center to relocate, the city must find a specific place to
move it and must help the center get relocated -- without evicting it from
the park.

Rainbow Recovery Center is currently housed in two old farmhouses that are
still located at the park. The center is a nonprofit haven that since 1981
has offered treatment, counseling and housing for women who are trying to
escape the perils of addiction to alcohol and narcotics.

One of the many proposals for the future of College Park includes use of
these farmhouses as part of a museum dedicated to the history of farming in
Ventura County. It also would include exhibits of some antiquated farming

That fact prompted Kathleen McQuillan, executive director of the Rainbow
Recovery Center, to ask, "What is more important -- a tractor or a human

That may be an oversimplification for dramatic effect, but there remains an
element of truth. Fortunately, this needn't be an either-or choice. 

The city must weigh whether a farm museum is the best use of that property,
as part of the park's development. Such an assessment will be difficult
enough, given the competing pressures for other uses in the park.

City officials are currently digesting a report that asks, and purports to
answer, such questions as: How many soccer fields are enough? How many
baseball diamonds? Should there be a swimming pool? How much of the park
should be set aside for simple strolling and picnicking? 

These are all valid questions, as recreational uses compete with each other
for their fair share of the park's territory. But the Rainbow Recovery
Center isn't mere recreation. It's a commendable effort to get vulnerable,
helpless women out of the trap of booze and drugs and to offer them more
rewarding futures than their painful pasts.

Referring to talk about simply evicting the Rainbow Recovery Center from the
park, Mike Plisky, chairman of the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce -- which
supports the farm museum -- said, "I would never support them being thrown
out into the street."

Neither would the Star. 

It won't be easy to find a new home for the center, since the fact it deals
with drug addicts makes it unwelcome in many neighborhoods, though there is
no history whatever of such charity organizations becoming a community law
enforcement problem, especially not those that are treating women.

Wherever the center is to move, that must be decided and implemented by the
city -- without any eviction papers being served.
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