CROWLEY, La (KLFY) — Homeowners in a residential area fought to keep a homeless shelter out of their neighborhood. Now they are continuing their fight against what will possibly be a transitional home in the same exact place.
What started out as protesting the homeless shelter, which has since been dissolved, has turned into opposing the idea of turning the old Christian Villa Nursing Home into a transitional home.
Christopher George Sr., community advocate, is still fighting along his community in protest of putting a transitional home in their neighborhood. “Now we’re having another meeting about the same issue our community said no to in the first place?”
A meeting was held Tuesday night for members of the community to voice their concerns and speak with advocates of the transitional home.
At the meeting, Katie Alleman was present to answer questions and explain that she, nor her organization, has any involvement in the transitional home.
Alleman sent us a statement saying
“I am not the person that called the meeting about said “shelter” last night. I have not been to, nor have I been involved since the unfortunate negative attention it received weeks ago. I was invited to the meeting last night, just as several other people were, because I am an advocate for the less fortunate. There is an epidemic in Crowley and many other areas. The epidemic is growing more and more every day with homeless sleeping in blighted houses (starting fires), in our parks where our children play, and in front of businesses. While we cannot fully end the epidemic, a small group of individuals in Crowley have taken the initiative to help our city. Initially, we looked at several different places to house this “shelter”. The current location was offered to us. Opening an organization of this magnitude is a very long process and would have taken months to prepare. We started with the legal aspect and found that it is 100% legal to put a “shelter” in that facility because it is properly zoned, with no restriction. We spoke to Code Enforcement and was told that we were clear to open. Our next outlet was to speak to the IMMEDIATE community surrounding the building. Our plan WAS to have a place to house the homeless overnight, a few days at most, while we tried to outsource them to other facilities. It is very unfortunate that Christopher George Sr. chose to begin his City Council campaign by giving out incorrect information, when he was initially told about it months prior. At this point, myself and our initial team have all backed away from this endeavor. It is my understanding that Smokey Wheeler went to the immediate neighbors of the facility and received 100% positive feedback. I am not sure what their plan is as of now, but I chosen to back away. There is still a growing epidemic happening and my only concern at this point is, will anyone do anything about this? Several organizations have been putting the homeless in hotels, and unfortunately, that has to come to an end as well. I was advised that the government funds through Assist Agency, Crowley Christian Care, and several other organizations have been depleted. (I do not represent those organizations nor do I speak for them). I receive several calls daily/nightly regarding people that need a small hand up. Will our administration, current and running, do anything about this? “-Katie Alleman
George says he was not allowed to attend the meeting when he arrived, but was able to see what was discussed from a video post of it on Facebook.
“I wasn’t allowed to go in to even voice my concern. My thing is, if it was for the community, why wasn’t I invited in? But I respected his wishes and stayed outside,” stated George.