Residents frustrated with proposals regarding who will take over Five Towns Community Center

Residents frustrated with proposals regarding who will take over Five Towns Community Center

Two proposals to take over the Five Towns Community Center were brought forward Monday at a town hall meeting in Lawrence.
Neighbors who rely or work at the center have been on edge since Nassau County opened the bidding process to nonprofits to take over the facility.
Program director for Five Town Communities Counseling Services Portia Robinson is worried that the bidders will get rid of the program that provides mental health, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS assistance to adults.
"They're going to push us out because Blakeman has said mental health, substance abuse and HIB and AIDs programs do not belong in the same building," Robinson says.
The two proposals heard at the meeting were from The Marion and Aaron Gural JCC, a Jewish nonprofit, and the local school board.
While Robinson says both proposals are incomplete, but others like Robert Power say there is a history the community needs to get past.
"Having a history of mistrust with politics and the government and mistrust amongst each other and that forms a very traumatic experience and keeps the circle of trauma for the community going," Power says.
Power, who relied on the community center as a child, says residents must keep the conversation open instead of disagreeing and maintaining barriers.
Members of the community center told News 12 there will likely be more meetings to come.