One person heard the rumor at a Normandy Park book club. Another got wind of it chatting with neighbors on a walk. Then residents saw strangers moving in next door.
By the time citizens of this small, tight-knit suburb, just south of Seattle, realized that a private, for-profit California company was buying houses and moving in the severely mentally ill and drug-addicted — well, it was too late.
In the past six months, the La Mesa-based company, called Hanbleceya, has opened a treatment clinic in Normandy Park, bought three homes and rented two others. The company has plans to expand in Normandy Park, and also possibly to Burien and Des Moines.