City of Springfield issued order on 'Recovery Chapel'
A group home on the Springfield's southeast side is being told to close.
Four of the eight people in the house on the 1800 block of Crestview have past sexual crimes. Farris Robertson, Chaplin Emeritus of Recovery Chapel, says the men are being given a second chance to get back into society, while at the same time being watched carefully.
"We harbor no predators," said Robertson. "We in fact are the first in front line to identify abnormal and unacceptable behavior and we talk to them about it and that they are going to have to change and if they don't, they leave and we are the first ones to notify the authority."
Friday, the city denied a permit for that group home saying city ordinance forbids a group home setting for several convicted criminals in a single-family neighborhood. The city is ordering Recovery Chapel to comply with the city code within 30 days.
Victoria Moore is happy with the city's decision. "I don't believe sex offenders should associate with other sex offenders. I am a sex offender and I think that all it's going to do is create more problems and more crime," said Moore. "If they are sharing stories and fantasies, it's just going to feed it to where they just want to do it again."
Moore says offenders can live "normal" lives without being near one another.
"I have a normal life," she says. "I've had a normal life for 30 years and being a registered sex offender doesn't change that."
Robertson plans to appeal the decision and threatens legal action.
The city says the group home can move to a different part of the city, as long as it's in a "Heavy Manufacturing" area and not in a neighborhood. ..Source.. by Mary Moloney