Neighbors concerned with rehab clinic potentially replacing El Pueblo Boys & Girls Ranch

Posted at 6:45 PM, Apr 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 20:45:14-04

Neighbors living on Pueblo’s mesa tell news 5 they’re devastated to learn a rehab clinic could be moving into the now defunct El Pueblo Adolescent Treatment Center.

Although El Pueblo Boys & Girls Ranch was a different type of facility, neighbors tell News 5 they worry a rehab clinic will set them up for similar trouble and they’re acting now to make sure their voices are heard.

"It was devastating news, we absolutely hated it," said Evelyn Suazo, a lifetime resident of the mesa neighborhood in Pueblo, of the first time she heard Crossroads Turning Point detox center was potentially moving across the street.

"Safety, we don’t feel our neighborhood will be safe. There’s things that are gonna happen, there’s gonna be strangers walking around," Suazo said. 

"Possibly drugs and needles in the area."

Crossroads’ CEO Leroy Lucero told News 5 trash hasn’t been a problem with their clinics in the past and they don’t anticipate a problem here.
 Lucero also clarified they will not be offering services for the homeless and are mostly targeting adult women.

Back when the property was filled with adolescents, Suazo’s next-door neighbor, her brother James Matuzak, had to deal with runaways.

"They were hiding in barns and scaring the horses and stuff and it just – wasn’t good," Matuzak added.

Even though it’ll be a different group of patients, the people who live here still think this neighborhood just isn’t the place for them.

"Well they probably need [rehab clinics] everywhere but I wouldn’t want it here," said Matuzak.

Lucero says he’s also working with County Commissioners to set up a community center, a recreational center and more in the mesa neighborhood.

Currently, the organization is in the process of reaching an agreement with the former board for El Pueblo Adolescent Treatment Center on a property transfer.

That decision that could take up to 90 days to finalize.

Meantime, community members will meet Wednesday night at 7 o’clock at Mesa Public Library to talk about their options.