Battle over proposed residential re-entry facility - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Battle brewing over proposed residential re-entry facility

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Residents and city leaders are fighting back against a proposed residential re-entry facility  near Evansville's Joshua Academy.

Currently, the Federal Bureau of Prisons contracts with the Volunteers of America to operate a halfway house in Evansville called Hope Hall.  That contract expires in February.

In the meantime, the Bureau received a bid for the new contract from the Transition House which plans to purchase property on East Virginia Street, less than 400 feet from Joshua Academy.

In order to move forward, the Transition House must secure a variance from a City Ordinance which requires such residential re-entry facilities to be at least 1000 feet from a school.

City Council unanimously passed that ordinance last November.

If the Board of Zoning Appeals denies the variance, the Transition House won't be coming to Evansville.

If the BZA approves the variance, the Bureau of Prisons will have to make a selection and  award the new contract.

Those in the re-entry facility are non-violent offenders who officials say aren't likely to harm children.

There will not be any sex offenders housed at this facility.

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