Halfway Houses and Their Effects

Halfway Houses and Their Effects

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Rexburg, ID

#1 Jun 30, 2011
To whom it may concern:
I am a senior at college studying Business Management with a minor in Communications. While studying in a course entitled,“Persuasion” I have become very familiar with the purposes of Halfway Houses and while they do have fine intentions I would like to address their overall ill affect on neighborhoods and communities.
A fully operational halfway house presents loses to nearby residents that can be quantified both financially and socially. Allow me to first illustrate how these homes can change the real estate market in their vicinity. Property value is a calculated estimation of what land or a structure is financially worth. This calculation is based off of several factors including location, physical distinctiveness of the terrain and buildings, as well as how the climate of the real estate market is at the time . However, when one comes to the point of buying a home, especially families that have children, a question arises nearly every time without fail,“how is the neighborhood and community?” I know of no one that has bought a home without this as a major concern. If a halfway house is located in the vicinity then there is going to be a sense of insecurity among potential residents. I for one would feel this way even if I was assured nothing “bad” ever happens. These homes provide a place to live for grown men or women that have or are struggling with major problems including drug use, or mental issues. This alone deters home owners, thereby, worsening the climate of the real estate market. With less interested buyers property values decline. A financial loss is recognized by those already established in the area and by the community at large from the lost taxes that would have been paid by the homeowner.
In regards to the social affect of halfway houses, do the pros outweigh the cons? Let’s analyze a hypothetical situation in which a halfway house is being occupied by recovering drug addicts. How can we be certain that the home is going to be monitored properly? Marilyn Philips, a recovered drug addict herself, now managing a halfway house even admits that “there are certain things that [she] can’t monitor”. In essence, residents of the facilities are not always going to be under great supervision. Imagine that a resident decides they no longer want to be there and they escape with very little effort, a task not as easy to do in a judicial care system. These people become dangerous and a hazard to others due to their extreme behavior as they seek out drugs, are on a buzz, or even trying to flee capture. Reported in NJToday, New Jersey’s oldest weekly periodical, there were 201 escapes by halfway house residents between January 2008 and March 2009. This is an average of one escape every two days over the fifteen month period. These escapes were affiliated with seven out of the twenty five privately ran halfway houses in Trenton, New Jersey . Problems such as this prove the instability of halfway houses in view of their management. Current and potential residents do not want to be faced with those concerns; they don’t want to live in fear of these realities.

To be continued...
Looking For Feedback

Rexburg, ID

#2 Jun 30, 2011
Finally, an American writer by the name of Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), also known as Mark Twain, once wrote a piece called,“Corn-Pone Opinions”. The article was not discovered until after Clemens’ death and was then published under this title. What Clemens made clear in this literature was that men and women seek very hard to be like majority of those they are around. He quotes a slave that he heard as a child say, "You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is." (1923). In essence, the more there is of a certain type the more attraction there is for that particular type. Take for example the societal class system in the United States. People that are upper class live near other upper class people and so on with middle and low class individuals. Ghettos are ghettos because of those that they attract. In application, halfway houses pose the potential of attracting more individuals of the type being housed into the vicinity. While it depends on the type of residents at the house, in most cases this is not a good thing. As this occurs slowly and over an uncertain period of time you will begin to see changes in the quality of certain neighborhoods and even communities.
In conclusion, I find myself seeing more to lose than there is to gain with halfway houses. Understandably, this may not be true in all cases; but from those that I have taken into consideration such as those that treat drug addicts and mental handicaps (dangerous type) it is hard to see how these programs can benefit the majority. Should we really risk these types of dangers with families nearby? Perhaps, halfway houses have a place among the under aged offenders but not amongst grown adults that then have the privilege to live in the midst of common citizens. In the case of those that are nailed for illegal drug use does that punishment even fit the crime? How about those guilty of sexual abuse? The point is that it doesn’t seem right to put a shark in the same tank as your gold fish. What I hope to accomplish with this letter is that we reconsider who is allowed to live in a halfway house. Most importantly, we need to remember where these houses are.

United States

#3 Jul 6, 2011
Not in my neighborhood. You will understand after you get a job and invest your life into your home and you won't even need to question it.

Hallandale, FL

#4 Feb 21, 2015
^Inconsiderate NIMBY dbag.

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