Second company looking to build halfway house in Laney Walker area

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock/ Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A potential halfway house in the Laney Walker Neighborhood has been a hot topic.

Just last month a Nebraska company asked to build a house on 7th street. Wednesday, a second company pitched their plans for a home on Taylor street.

Though there are still a lot of questions some neighbors are warming up to the idea.

"What's in it for our community?," asked Stella Nunnally, president of the Laney Walker Neighborhood Association.

She has lived in the area since 1947 and says, "I've seen a lot change. Some was good, some was bad."

Wednesday she and about a dozen other neighbors listened to the newest plan for a halfway house this time on Taylor Street.

"We're not against halfway houses," said Nunnally. "We're not against people being rehabbed. We all need to be rehabbed one way or the other, but sometimes it's not what they doing it's how they do it."

The company Dismas Charities understands that, which is why they say they use the houses to benefit the community through revitalizing the neighborhood.

"If they're gonna come in and be a positive influence then I feel like the neighborhood can deal with that," said Linda Metoyer. She is the Assistant Secretary for the Neighborhood Association.

The company says the offenders participate in programs tailored to each community, like picking up trash along the streets or working on abandoned houses and that satisfied neighbors like Metoyer.

"We have a lot of old abandoned houses in our neighborhood that really kinda depreciate the value of the neighborhood and if they can help us with that and help us with the schools, that would be wonderful," she said.

Although Stella agrees there could be some benefits she says let someone else have them.

"We have one why not put another one in somebody else's community so that we all can share the benefit of helping people," said Nunnally.

The neighbors say communication and keeping them informed will be the key to all of this.

Also getting the company to understand the needs of the community. They say they need to hear more about how this would benefit them before they're sold on it.

The company says that's what they plan to do over the next six months.

No action was taken Wednesday. They have those six months to talk about it.

They still haven't made decisions on the first on either.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons says there is a need for a halfway house here, it's just about figuring out where to put it.

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