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Community Bands Together Against Halfway House

Some concerned Turley residents are breathing a sigh of relief after stopping a halfway house from moving in next door. Tulsa County Board of Adjustment members voted not to allow Cornerstone Church to open their facility there. Meanwhile, News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports the folks behind the halfway house say it's got to go somewhere.

Chad Evers sat along side dozens of people eager to speak their peace. But Chad is a three time convicted felon, he’s for the halfway house because he says a facility like that could have made him a better person when he needed it most.

"And I've been out of prison for five years now. If I'd have had that shot back in '94, I could've made something of my life," said halfway house supporter Chad Evers.

One neighborhood residents says she’s for the halfway house, saying she's more worried about the criminals we don't keep tabs on.

"But I am not afraid to live there with a halfway house there," she said.

The lawyer for the halfway house cited studies and statistics that painted the facility as favorable for the community. But it was their burden to prove that it wouldn't alter the welfare of Turley's residents. And according to those opposed to it, it would alter everything.

"North Tulsa is like the city dump. Everything is dumped on North Tulsa," said Edward Taylor, who’s against the halfway home.

Edward Taylor is a minister. He said he already shares the burden of one halfway house in his neighborhood and its not fair to give them another one.

One young mother living in the neighborhood said she'd move away if the halfway house moved in.

"I don't want to wake up with my child missing. I don't want to wake up with, you know, her dead," resident Yonis Nicholson said.

But in the end, the board members cited more technical issues, not emotional reasons, for denying the halfway house. The would-be director, Matthew Crumb, said they learned from the hearing, but the facility is needed and will have to go somewhere.

"That's the standard argument. We don't want it in our backyard, and unfortunately there's two sides to every coin. You can't do the good of rehab without taking on the risk," said Crumb.

Meanwhile, Turley residents say they are still not letting their guard down.

"This is a war and this is just the first battle," resident Mike Wheeler said.

The board voted 3-1 against the halfway house. Those who voted against it said the area is zoned agricultural and the new facility would change the area too drastically.
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