NEWTON COUNTY, GA. - Homeowners in a Newton County subdivision are concerned about a new transitional living facility that will house residents ranging from former criminals to drug users.
Homeowners said when they saw new homes being built, they were thrilled, since some of the houses were abandoned and had become a hotbed for crime. But once they found out it was a halfway house just a few feet away from their doorstep, that excitement turned into fear.
“Parents shouldn't worry for their child's safety while their child is waiting for the bus,” said Barry Jackson, who now lives just yards away from the facility. “If there was some sort of public notice given out beforehand that would have at least given us a time to voice our opinions.”
11Alive contacted county leaders to find out what this facility is zoned for, and if public notice was necessary. We were told the facility is under U.S. jurisdiction, and not the county’s.
Jackson is concerned about former violent criminals, sex offenders and others roaming up and down his community’s streets.
But owner Norman Bathea said the community has the wrong impression, and said his intentions are simply to help those who need it most.
“Anybody can go through any type of situation and get caught and have nowhere to go, no one to turn to,” he said. “That's a terrible feeling.”
Residents are also concerned about their property values taking a major hit.
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