Fayetteville Neighborhood Opposes Home For Troubled Teens
Posted March 9, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST
FAYETTEVILLE — Residents in one Fayetteville neighborhood are fighting to keep troubled teens off their block. Homeowners say it will make life miserable for everyone else.
A Fayetteville house is about to become a Woodbridge alternative home for teenagers with emotional and behavioral problems, and those who may have been convicted of crimes.
Dozens of homeowners do not want the teenagers as neighbors.
"I know that the kids are known to run away, and where is the first place they're going to go? Maybe my backyard," says homeowner Kim Shrauger. "Are my kids going to be outside playing when somebody decides to come in my yard in the back? It scares me to think my kids are going to get hurt one of these days."
Homeowner Jean Carter also does not want the group home in the neighborhood.
"I think if it's somebody that needs to be incarcerated, whether in a group home or in jail, they're dangerous to the community," Carter says. "Property values will go down about $20,000, I think, a home."
Woodbridge President Mike Singletary, who owns the home, says an adult will be at the house monitoring the teens 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"We don't want the residents of this community, or any other community where we offer the services, to feel threatened or feel that a kid is going to come next door and break in or harm them in any kind of way," Singletary says.
Group homes are protected by state and federal laws which means the neighbors cannot do anything about it.
"These kids have to live somewhere," Singletary says. "You just can't take them and dump them on a farm somewhere and expect someone to supervise them and provide the type of care and treatment that we offer children."
Residents went to City Hall, but they were told they could not find help there.
The teens are expected to move in about two to three weeks from now.