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What Changed? Council Approves One Halfway Home, Blocks Another

Updated: Thursday, June 19 2014, 11:47 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD -- Newschannel at Nine's Garrett Brnger brings us the tale of two halfway houses in Springfield with two very different endings.

Which home's program could pass, and if one may not have the chance.

"Motion passes 7-3."

And with that, the city council gave Calvin Jones and his Adulthood Transition Center (ATC) a break, whereas not 5 months ago, they turned down House of Rainbow.

"I think there's a big difference."

In their discussions last night, aldermen cited a lack of problems with the  ATC compared to House of Rainbow, whose troubles started after one of its parolees was arrested for the murder of a woman in a nearby house.

According to Alderman Gail Simpson, Jones, who has a location on 11th Street and one on E. Jackson, runs a tight ship.

"Those who don't follow the rules are immediately sent back. There's no questions about it."

Aldermen Jobe and Cahnman vote "yes" Tuesday night instead of "no" as they had with House of Rainbow convinced in part by the backing of the sites' aldermen.

"I talked with both aldermen. Ald. Gail Simpson, ald, Doris Turner. They were supportive of the project."

And the public.

"11 pages of signatures here. These are the petitions, signed by people, signed by people right in that neighborhood saying they want this."

House of Rainbow didn't have either of those.

But not everyone is happy about the ruling for ATC.

"Yeah, it's an ongoing problem to be honest."

George Sinclair owns much of the block directly next to one of the ATC's two locations.
He's concerned about the ATC being so close to so many kid-friendly spots.
He was one of two objectors to the plan, but he says he and other neighbors plan to fight back.

"We would appeal to the mayor to not sign that."

There are doubters on the council, too.

Ald. Frank Edwards was a "no", saying he didn't want to be inconsistent and all it will take is one incident for it to be a bad decision.

"Once you've given the variance, the city can't go back in and say 'oh we want to take that away.'"

What Changed? Council Approves One Halfway Home, Blocks Another

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