This is to clarify the commentary in the Nov. 6 Pantagraph written by Judy Stearns concerning efforts to create a transitional housing program for ex-offenders.
The apartment building that is proposed for the program was in severe disrepair and served questionable tenants. It has now been acquired by a Bloomington professional concerned with the plight of ex-offenders and convinced of the need in our community.
Upon completion of the renovation, its use is being offered to the Joy Care Center to develop a transitional housing program.
We believe the highest and best use in this type of program would have been a group home, but the variance needed was denied.
In March, Judy did not receive "straight" answers because Joy Care Center was just putting the program together, reviewing what experts suggested for rules, our staff was visiting similar facilities, and we had not finalized the program.
We have shared with Mayor Stockton a draft of the standards and requirements for the program, and they are available to others.
Judy wrote of a man, paroled years ago, working two jobs to support his family. He was employed by a contractor, not by the Joy Care Center, and his parole violation reported by the neighbors was a traffic citation.
His driving was never a concern to neighbors with children, as he had no contact with them. The greater concern is for his two children and their mother, who now have lost his support.
The Joy Care Center is dedicated to helping ex-offenders assimilate back into the community, and a supervised transitional housing program in a law-abiding neighborhood can play an integral part in the success of its mission, a mission we believe to be mutually beneficial to the individual and to the community.
The writer is president of board that would oversee Joy Care.