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Residents Protest Group Home in Neighborhood

Residents Protest Group Home in Neighborhood

Posted - Jul. 28, 2004 at 7:29 a.m.



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Debbie Dujanovic ReportingScore one for a Holladay neighborhood. Hundreds turned out to fight a proposed group home for troubled youth. Now there's news residents may be slowly winning the battle.

It’s a home in Holladay that's at the center of this controversy. A company called Futures through Choices has applied for a business license to run a group home there. But hundreds of Holladay residents say no way. And now it appears they're chipping away at the original plans.

It's an emotional issue, a highly charged meeting. Hundreds from Holladay turned out to fight Jerry Jeffries' plan to open a group home for troubled youth.

Scott Hopkins, Citizens for Safe Holladay: "We're concerned about the safety of our children, our neighbors; not just in our neighborhood, we don't want it in any neighborhood."

Earlier this month neighbors protested near the proposed group home. The original plans allow for housing up to five males there, teens to 21-years old --criminals who've been categorized as having low IQ's.

By phone today, Jerry Jeffries says his eight other group homes along the Wasatch Front do extremely legitimate work, that this type of home offers community based treatment that's effective. But Kim Barraclough lives near one of the group homes in West Jordan and says it's a nuisance.

Kim Barraclough, Concerned Citizen: “Hear the yelling and the screaming there. There’s something that happens there every week or two that concerns us.”

In Holladay this show of concern may be paying off. The state is now considering banning sexual and violent offenders from home -- part of the original plan. One neighbor calls that news a small victory. But the fight is far from over tonight.

The company's application for a business license is set for review in August. If it does become a group home -- even housing less violent offenders -- residents in Holladay are prepared to take it to court.

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