Neighbors Petition to Stop Youth Shelter

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

Kenneth Sartin says: "We've been in this neighborhood most our lives all of us. We're a community that gets along with each other."

So why are many neighbors of this Barren County community coming together against a new home?

Junior Jent says: "A couple off weeks ago I just happened to see a public notice in the newspaper saying this is a home for a temporary shelter for juveniles."

Now neighbors are petitioning to block the facility.

Jent says: "We want to know what they're putting in our neighborhood and feel like we have a right to know."

The owner of the proposed facility wouldn't go on camera for an interview, but she did tell WBKO about her plans for the home. She says it will be used in emergency situations for up to 12 children between the ages of ten and fifteen. There will be 24-hour supervision with trained professionals. These children will primarily come from multi-sibling families that are harder to place with foster families.

Sartin says: "There is a need for that. I understand that."

Jent says: "I am very sympathetic. And if they put these homes in the right areas, I personally would be more than willing to donate my time and effort to help these children. But I don't want them in my backyard."

The owner says the children are not a threat. She released this statement to WBKO: "This facility is not a juvenile detention center. These children have committed no offense, and they have done nothing wrong. They are simply the victims of some unfortunate circumstances."

Still, the neighbors say they are concerned the children at the emergency shelter might cause problems in their community and say they want answers. Most of all they say if the owners of the facility had been upfront in the beginning this might have been avoided.

Jent says: "I think that says it all. If I was going to put a business next to your home and I thought there was going to be any controversy about it, I would talk to you before I started."

WBKO 2727 Russellville Road Bowling Green, KY 42101-3976 Phone: 270-781-1313 After Hours Hotline: 270-781-6397 Fax: 270-781-1814
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