Community Post

22nd Ave neighbors issue new statement on felon housing

Last night the members of the 22nd Avenue Blockwatch sent us a new statement on the negotiations between them and Revered Jeffrey of New Hope Baptist Church regarding the pastor’s plans to set up transitional housing for felons on their block:

We, the members of the 22nd Avenue Block Watch and Community Group, an organization that has been meeting regularly for more than 35 years, recognize the importance of and need for housing in helping inmates transition back into our society.  We have supported other causes promoted by Reverend Jeffrey and Black Dollar Days Task Force over the years.  However, due to the lack of planning, the absence of prior community notification and input, and the numerous organizations supporting vulnerable populations in proximity to the proposed location (including housing for seniors, day care centers, and schools), we believe it is necessary to proceed in a measured and responsible manner.  As our talks with the Reverend and BDDTF continue, we urge him to address all of our concerns expressed in our letter of February 25, 2010, as well as any expressed by us or by other neighborhood organizations in the process of reaching a Good Neighbor Agreement. 

The referenced letter, which was read at a community meeting last Monday, is attached above.

Revered Jeffrey made it clear last Monday night that he’s looking for a quick negotiation on the Good Neighbor Agreement, which would put bounds around the operation of the residence and help protect the interest of the neighbors around it. However, the tone of the statement, such as the need to “proceed in a measured and responsible manner”, appears to indicate a desire of residents to move forward more cautiously.

The next meeting on the subject is scheduled for this Monday night at 7pm, where SPD Director John Hayes will mediate the next phase of discussion between the neighbors and the proponents of the transitional residence.

0 thoughts on “22nd Ave neighbors issue new statement on felon housing

  1. Other than prayer, what does the Reverand plan to provide to the recovering criminals? Will there be guidance councelors on staff? Career placement and training support? If the men are former drug dealers or addicts, will they have rehab counseling? Does he plan to work with other community organizations who provide counseling or support for felons?

    It takes a lot more than prayer and hope to change a lifetime of bad habbits. If the purpose of the duplex is to just keep them out of the rain, then he’s not really doing them much of a service.

  2. Having followed this situation on CD News I took the opportunity to attend Thursday’s open house, where a number of your questions were answered (yes to various kinds of support). You may also find answers in previous posts and comments threads here. Or you could attend next Monday’s meeting, or read coverage of it if you are unable to attend. The slant of your questions is very negative, which is problematic given that you don’t seem to have taken the time to become informed enough about a neighborhood development that you are nonetheless concerned enough to comment on here.

    I am unaffiliated with this project, but supportive of its underlying aims – which are precisely to deal with the problem you point to at the end of your comment. I do think, however, that most of the questions and issues raised in the Blockwatch letter attached to this post are important – and, however we might be critical of the lack of early communication on the project, I am glad that it seems that the church is now being proactive in addressing them publicly.

  3. I beleive it would be a great idea if more members of the community will participate in the meeting on Monday.

  4. I did see a quick news “blurp” on it last night, but other than that, this is the only other venue I have seen this situation mentioned on. Honestly, I don’t know that many people know about this. Once they do, it will be too late.