Residents Fight Church In Battle To House Ex-Cons

11:40 PM, Feb 28, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Homeowners who live on the 700 block of Brandywine Street, SE, are fighting a proposal to house 23 female ex-offenders in their neighborhood.

Ministers at the Temple of Praise Church say the women will not be violent offenders and will be required to complete a 90-day treatment program  before being admitted.  But residents who just learned of the plan last week, feel railroaded to say the least.

"It's not a done deal, if we have something to do with it," said Carmen Fells.

"I think people deserve a second chance but at what expense to us?" wonders another resident.

"Statistics show 90% of the women who get out of prison return back to Southeast," said Minister Sharon Anderson, "so the question becomes do you want them to return with or without treatment?"

Anderson says the church already signed a one year lease and worked with Councilman Marion Barry's office to secure federal grants.  They say they are willing to move if residents are really opposed to the plan.  They could relocate their homeless shelter to Brandywine St.

Homeowners will vote on the issue March 14th.

Written by Delia Goncalves
9NEWS NOW & WUSA9.COM

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