Bethel residents react to homeless facility

Residents of the Bethel community met Wednesday with representatives of St. Vincent de Paul.

Posted: Jun 7, 2018 12:24 AM
Updated: Jun 7, 2018 10:36 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Members of the Bethel community met Wednesday with officials from St. Vincent de Paul to discuss a proposed group home for teenagers.

Some community members who attended voiced their concerns over the proposed facility. They said they weren't notified about the proposed facility and worry that it's too close to Bethel Community Park and Meadow View school.

One man in the heated meeting said he's thinking of suing in order try and stop the process.

St. Vincent de Paul officials told KEZI 9 News they did everything they could to get the word out ahead of time, including canvassing the neighborhood on a Saturday and sending out flyers.

"So what we're trying to do is building a system that is a trustworthy, balanced system but then invite the neighborhood to participate because the more you know your neighbor and the more you know the people in your neighborhood, the safer you are," said Terry McDonald, director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County.

McDonald said the main reason they waited to announce the location was to make sure the land survey was completed first.

Neighbors said they wished they could have had a vote on where the facility would be before it was decided.

"It still doesn't pass any of my measures of common sense to put a shelter right next to a school," neighbor John Tillotson said. "And it's not right next to a high school where they might go to high school, it's right next to a school for little kids."

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