Updated at 7:30 p.m. Thursday: Constitution Health Plaza has canceled plans to open the safe injection site at the South Philadelphia location.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Businesses and residents in South Philadelphia say they are angry they were left out of the conversation about where the Safehouse injection site will go. They say they were only told about it after the deal was signed.
The residents say they were blindsided by the decision and are now concerned for their safety and the well-being of the entire neighborhood.
“It’s not fixing anything and all it’s doing is hurting this neighborhood,” said Jody Della Barba, with Girard Estates Area Residents.
Residents in South Philadelphia are fighting for their livelihoods after Safehouse indicated its plans to open a safe injection site inside the Constitution Health Plaza, near Broad and McKean Streets.
“Where there are users, there’s dealers,” Barba said.
“It’s horrible,” another person said. “It’s really horrible what’s going to happen when they are out if they got kids in there and all? Little kids.”
There’s a day care and senior center inside the plaza, as well as doctors’ offices. Nearby, there’s busy East Passyunk Avenue with many shops, restaurants and bars.
Adam Leiter, the executive director of the East Passyunk Business Improvement District, says they weren’t notified about the injection site until Monday.
“I think that people recognize that the problem exists, but there needs to be a conversation that involves them and lets their voices be heard,” Leiter said.
The site will be open five days a week for four hours a day. While people here says help is needed, they add this is the wrong place for the injection site.
“I’m not opposed to the idea at all. I think it would be very helpful,” Estelle Agnes said. “It just doesn’t seem like it would work here.”
“This is a community. We need to speak up and you just opened up a shop right at our backdoor and didn’t tell anybody it was coming,” said Anthony Giordano, with Stand Up South Philly.
Stand Up South Philly and Take Our Streets Back is planning a rally against the injection site. It’s set for 3 p.m. Sunday at Broad and Snyder Streets.