Bar commerce at Dix

Hospital land should be home for park, residential facility.

[03.08.04] — The Dix land is too precious a jewel to relegate to another commercial development, despite the substantial one-time inflow of cash that its sale would generate.

I truly hope that, in our collective wisdom, we will have the strength to do otherwise.

As our region grows, open space available to the public will grow increasingly scarce. I would very much like to see this land retained for public use as park land for walking, outdoor concerts, and casual enjoyment.

I would also like to see a new residential facility to house people in emotional or mental crisis.

As a HopeLine volunteer, over the years I have talked to many people who were at immediate risk of suicide.

The greatest impediment for these people to accept outside help has consistently been the absolute terror of being subjected to a mental health system that too often exacerbates their problems.

There are many, complex reasons for this, none of which would I lay at the door of any one person or entity. Most people who labor in the mental health arena are competent and dedicated.

I would hope that this facility would by a physically bright place with much open space, and be staffed with people who could help those suffering from intense dispair find a renewed sense of perspective and hope.

Thoughts of suicide are transient but intense experiences, and those who experience them truly need someone who will care for them and be a catalyst for healing.

Gene Bowers, ESB Management Services, Raleigh

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