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Halfway Houses Will Stay
The battle that's dragged on for weeks now is settled.
Springfield city council overrode mayor Mike Houston's veto, and halfway houses will stay put. Seventeen people signed up to speak at city council about this.
Houston says he vetoed the halfway house zoning relief at the request of the people who do business in the area. That was called into question.
One right after another, members of the community filed up to the podium and made their case before Springfield aldermen. Weeks ago, they voted 7-to-3 in favor of giving zoning relief to allow a halfway house on east Jackson Street and another on 11th street to continue operating.
Houston's veto could've closed those businesses and sent the parolees who live there packing.
"I believe if we do not have these transitional centers, that they are going to be spread all around town, these people, or they might stay in prison," said Fredrick Schnapp, a man who went through the program. "They maxed out, they do their time, they cut their parole in half, they get back out. They're thrown back on your street, and they're not getting no rehabilitation, and then crime skyrockets."
The owner of a skate park and several other businesses in the same block as the 11th Street halfway house, is a huge opponent of it, but largely because of testimony from folks like 21-year old ex-convict Schnapp.
They voted 8-to-2 for the one on East Jackson Street. That one is in alderman Doris Turner's ward. She counts this as a success and calls Houston's veto "political posturing." Houston, though, says that is not the case.