Longview Neighborhood Opposes Troubled Boys Facility - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/5/07-Longview

Longview Neighborhood Opposes Troubled Boys Facility

It's a home for troubled youth, some abused, others with criminal histories.  It's a place an East Texas neighborhood says it does not want in their backyard.  The controversial boys home is set to open in South Longview on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

"I was concerned because of the fact that we had not been notified as residents," said area resident Madeline Scott.  Pastors and residents along Sapphire Street say they are angry.  What they thought was going to be an assisted living home opening in the Old Clever Memorial Building next to Saint Marks Church, turns out to be a home for abused boys, and more.

"It immediately caused concerns because we were not informed what type of facility they were going to place there," said Saint Marks Church Pastor Diana Casteel.  The concern on behalf of neighbors in this area is not that children will be housed in the facility, but that some of them will be deemed sexual predators.

"I don't mind the troubled kids, but I don't want sexual predators, those that would go out and find children in our community," said area pastor Oliver Rudd.  The non-profit organization opening the home is a contractor to Child Protective Services.  The organization did not want to go on camera, but says the home will be for boys, some abused, some victims of sexual abuse and a fraction that are sexual predators.  The organization says the boys, however, will be under the strict supervision of adults.  Still, residents are worried.

"Abused children , ok I'm fine with that," said Casteel.  "We can help them back into society, but when you start talking about sexual predators there's always a concern for the community."  The neighborhood has now started a petition drive to stop the home,  in a community that is fighting enough.

"Its a residential area that's already fighting high crime," said Scott.  "We're fighting drugs, we're fighting everything, why would you choose to bring it here?".  The home is scheduled to open next month.  Residents say they are planning another petition drive at their gathering for National Night Out on Tuesday.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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