To the Editor:
Recently, it was announced that a halfway house for Indiana convicts will open in Brazil in the former nursing home on Hendrix Street.
I understand the city council had no objection to its formation. In fact, the idea was proposed and supported by a city councilman who has since resigned or completed his term.
If my facts are not accurate, I beg for them to be corrected because information about this needs to be shared.
There hasn't been public input solicited, nor public discussion on this important change to our community.
The location of this halfway house is in a residential area, which has three daycare facilities, two group homes for disabled adults, elderly and families with children who will no longer allow their children to play in their yards once the ex-convicts move into the neighborhood.
I understand why the neighbors are concerned. The idea of living next to ex-convicts who happen to be addicted to drugs to qualify for the facility, but claim to need a faith-based halfway house, does not appeal to the neighbors who work hard to make the neighborhood safe.
Will the new "residents" be from Clay County, or will they come from Indianapolis, South Bend, Evansville? Will only non-violent offenders be placed there or anyone who has violence in their background? What will the new residents do while their neighbors are at work all day long? Will they find jobs to work in Brazil when many law abiding citizens can't? Who will be driving into Brazil to "visit" their relatives while they are at the halfway house and what or who will they bring with them?
With this letter, I request that more information be provided to the public and opinions be solicited from the public regarding the formation of this halfway house. This decision will profoundly affect our way of life, possibly our safety and security and the value of our property.
If this is such a grand idea, then it should be an open book to the public and we should hold town hall meetings to discuss it.
I submit this request, on behalf of the neighborhood, to the founders of the halfway house.