Parents Upset With Homeless Housing Near Day Care Center

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Parents with children enrolled in a downtown daycare center met with city leaders Wednesday to voice concern about a proposed apartment building for the homeless being built in an adjacent lot.

The day care center is inside the First Presbyterian Church and serves more than 100 families. A developer wants to build the nearby apartment complex for homeless residents who can pass a screening process.

But parents say they worry drug addicts and sex offenders will be among the residents. They want the development stopped.

“They’re recovering from drug and alcohol addictions and or mental illness and if one of them happens to not take their medication or relapses then they will come out the back door and be face to face with our child,” said Kodi Collins, a parent whose 1-year-old child is enrolled at First Presbyterian.

The church has offered to swap downtown property with the developer, Larry Hamilton, for an alternative site. But Hamilton said the tenants will not be a threat to the children.

“The people will be screened more intensely,” says Hamilton.

The city has asked the developer and parents to negotiate an agreement on a secure design for the project that would satisfy both sides.

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  • tx_chessmaster

    Another instance of “not in my neighborhood”… better their children learn about reality and hopefully develop more compassion than their parents exhibit. Normal supervision and safeguards required of all day cares (hopefully) should suffice, and other special measures can be put in if the need is shown; but to assume these people are “threats” is just wrong. The article stated they’d be well screened.

  • Amulette

    These parents need to gain some common sense.Hundreds of kids are picked up playing in their own yard,walking to school alone or to the corner store and going to visit friends.This situation is not going to be any worse,in fact it will probably be safer,day care help are paid to watch these children.Most kids vanish under (what should be) parent supervision.It’s sad,but thats just the kind of world we all live in.

  • ProDallas

    The people posting on this board critical of the parents don’t have all the facts. The church has offered the developer a land swap just two blocks away from the curent location which is a far more appropriate locatoin, but the developer has declined the offer. These kinds of facilities – permanent supportive housing – are designed for people who are chronically homeless, often with histories of drug addictoin and mental illness. The parents and the church support these kinds of facilities. However, it’s not appropriate to build them literally inches from playgrounds where kids from six months to five years old play every day. And for the developer, this is a money-making venture. They will not build this facility if they don’t get millions of dollars in financial support from the citiy of Dallas and the state of Texas – from tax payers. Let’s not pretend the developer has any other objective in mind other than to make money on this real estate development.

  • WhatabouttheLane?

    I think the bigger question we should ask is why the City of Dallas is GIVING a developer a prime piece of property (valued at $1 million) to a developer for FREE. And then he chooses to build a homeless shelter right next to a day care and make more money from tax credits. I understand the church has offered to purchase the property. Why is the City of Dallas giving away a $1 million piece of property when the church would have paid for it. I am sure the City could use $1 million.

  • working_hard

    @Anulette…so I guess you are saying that parents should just give up and not try to protect their children? @tx_chessmaster…The parents said they think the complex is great for downtown, they just asked it be moved a couple of blocks to the alternate site. That is a win for both the children and the homeless who are in need. How about showing some compassion for the children.

  • safe_place

    @Amulette…..Okay, let’s talk common sense. Why put what is practically the equivalent of a half-way house directly next door to a school? There has to be a better location. I’ve heard such wonderful things about this school, and it would be a shame to put these young children in danger.

  • Arec Barrwin

    This doesn’t even warrant debate. Two & three year old children don’t need to be next door to a group of homeless people, many of whom, sadly, have mental disorders such as paranoid schizophrenia.

  • kids are awesome

    The best thing for the city is to protect the homeless and the children. The church should be allowed to purchase the land, and the developer should swap for the other piece of land. It is sad that the city gave away a $1.m property for free without giving the church the opportunity to buy the land. These are hard working parents who paid the taxes that the developer wants to build this project.

  • dallas momma

    I thought they were going to build a charter school on this property. Sounds like a better idea for that to be next to the daycare. Why doesn’t the developer move to the other site if the funding hasn’t even been approved?

  • City Politics Failure again

    The church has plans to build a charter school on that property but they were not offered up first right of refusal when the property became available. Makes more sense to put a school next to a school and move the PSH one block over. That was you get a new school and a PSH downtown.

    What is so difficult for the city to understand about this? The developer is greedy and doesnt want to wait 6 months to apply for funding that we as tax payers are footing the bill for anyways.

    The logical choice is get a school and a PSH out of this deal. If you want to improve downtown you need schools and PSH or no one will want to live down there… This issue does not have to be you only get one or the other. Both can happen if the location of PSH is moved one block.

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