Proposed shelter faces rejection from LR neighbors

Neighbors fight group home in neighborhood

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Little Rock city council has received a permit to change a single-family home into a shelter for troubled girls.

However, some neighbors are not excited.

One neighbor displayed a petition signed by nearly 60 neighbors, all fighting against the move in. They need more information before they're able to welcome them in.

Neighbor Cybil Carroll worries about who's moving in next door.

"We'll, of course, I am highly opposed to it. Not knowing who would be there and it being right next door to me it makes me a little uneasy," Carroll said.

She received a letter from an applicant requesting a special permit that would be used for girls ages six to 17 with behavioral problems.

Home depreciation, safety, and other concerns are what neighbors say are their biggest worries.  And being that the facility looks to house minors; limited information is given.

Permit applicant, Eddie Ellis, said it's not as bad as neighbors may think.

"It will be for kids that are homeless or have had problems with family members where they had to be removed," said Ellis.

Ellis said the home is no different others in the neighborhood.  He just offered a licensed service. "We provide the services of taking them to counselors and housing them and making sure they are fed, making sure that they are safe."

So far over 60 neighbors have signed a petition trying to keep this permit from being approved by the city.  Ellis said neighbors can continue calling with questions.  The city did point out that Ellis needs to post a more visible notice of the special permit request, warning neighbors about what's taking place in their community.

Ellis is working to fix the problem, trying to keep neighbors informed.  Ellis will be mailing out certified letters to those in the community.

The hearing is set for November 17.


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