LaFollette residents oppose House of Hope location

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By Natasha LaFayette

LaFollette residents appealed to their city council on Monday night to protest the proposed sight of a temporary house for victims of domestic violence.

“Good evening gentlemen, me and my group are here for one thing,” said LaFollette citizen Connie Pelizzari. “We are not opposed to the House of Hope, we love those people, we support those people. But we are here to discuss the pending location that they wish to move to. We do not believe this is a safe location for the victims of domestic violence.”

It is an open area with a school across the street and residents all around, said Pelizzari as reasons why the location was not good for victims of domestic violence.

“We feel that if these people do locate there it’s going to bring down the prices of property,” she said. “And all we are asking for is let us know what you can do, because we do not believe these people would be safe there.”

City Administrator David Young asked Pelizzari the location of the proposed site and she gave an exact address of an apartment complex across the street from the LaFollette Middle School.

“And you have so many people around there that would be really hurting from this and we would like to ask for help that they don’t move in,” said Pelizzari who later questioned why the House of Hope has to leave its current residence in Jacksboro.

Young, also a county commissioner, was aware of the House of Hopes intentions to purchase a new residence with funds provided by the county. He provided some background information to the council saying, commissioners also advised against the LaFollette location.

“They approached the county commission last week and requested money to relocate. They have lost their building,” said Young.

One of the three locations the House of Hope is interested in was the set of apartments Pelizzarri was referring to, said Young.

Young expressed to the LaFollette Council the concerns of County Commissioner Bobby White about the open location being considered.

White asked Eddie Wheeler about a possibility of not using the LaFollette location if the money was allocated, yet no promises were made to the commission, said Young.

Young proposed the council could draft a letter, explaining its disapproval of the location and requesting the House of Hope choose a different place.

“It’s so visible,” said Young. “I think that a lot of these women that go into that would not be safe if people see them going in and out, especially the husbands or whoever has battered these women.”

There is no zoning or codes laws that would allow the council to stop the process, but the council could express their concerns to the House of Hope, said Young.

Mayor Mike Stanfield was quick in expressing approval of drafting a letter to state the council’s discontent with the proposed location.

Councilman Joe Bolinger, who serves on the planning commission, said he would investigate further into any zoning or codes laws that could be in violation.