Some Norman Residents Skeptic Of New Transitional Housing For Homeless

Wednesday, October 7th 2015, 6:13 pm
By: News 9

The City of Norman gave the green light last month to move forward with the building of a new homeless community.

Now, plans are in place to break ground on the new project.

Some neighbors are still a little hesitant about taking this undeveloped property and turning it into a homeless community, but the Food and Shelter executive director hopes that this new neighborhood association will help ease some of those concerns.

Soon, Sue Sander's view from her home on Reed Street will be filled with the construction of 32, one- and two-bedroom, transitional homes for the homeless. Sanders, like other neighbors, remain skeptical about their new neighbors and are concerned with safety.

“I really would like to have a fence. You know, some kind of visual barrier because there is no buffer zone,” Sanders said.

For months, Food and Shelter's executive director April Heiple has worked with neighbors to calm their fears by developing a neighborhood association.

“We are working together to be the best neighbors that we can be,” Heiple said.

Heiple's hope is the newly formed neighborhood association will continue to keep the lines of communication open.

“I think that before now, the neighborhood has never really worked together to lookout for each other and take care of each other,” Heiple said.

Sanders questions the impact the association will make.

“I think they have great intentions,” Sanders said. “It's better than no association at all. We do need to have something in addition.”  

The groundbreaking for this new community will take place in the next few weeks or so, and construction will start at the beginning of next year.

Once the construction of the homeless community is complete, which should be a year from now, the neighborhood association will meet regularly to discuss any issues.