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Letter: In Loudon, we have missed an opportunity

I live on Lovejoy Road in Loudon. When I read about the proposed homeless shelter for men, my first thought was what a good use of the Lovejoy bed and breakfast property! Then I began to hear the negatives from some folks in town.

I decided to go to the meeting where I could hear things firsthand. We had a rather larger turnout, and the people who spoke seemed to be very afraid – afraid these men would cross their property lines, enter their homes, abduct their children and Lord only knows what else.

I have been associated with the McKenna House homeless shelter for about four years. I visit at least once a month, and I have been treated with nothing but respect by the “homeless” who live there. They have strict rules they must live by. They are proud men and women and just want a fresh start. What I heard at the meeting from John Moretto was similar: There would be no sex offenders, there would be criminal background checks and no one needing psychiatric care would be allowed. Rules would be in effect. The expected stay of a resident would not be long; the men would be expected to work on the farm and actively look for a job. Residents would also be subjected to random drug checks.

I don’t know what more Moretto could have said to convince people. I think we in Loudon lost out on showing what a community could do to help the homeless people in the capital area.

Now if the other people who put in an offer to buy want to put in an animal rescue home, imagine barking dogs and roaming cats.

ELENA A. ROBBINS

Loudon

I am very sorry to hear of this reject for the proposed transitional housing, I was blessed with knowing the Moretto family and they are the most giving, honest, hard working family I am ever proud to say that came into my life, being raised in Loudon, I am disappointed with this decision, to the Morettos, I will love you all till the day I die, you have no idea what you gave to me, and I thank you for that.

John Moretto did not promise criminal background checks. He said he would be doing regular background checks which do not include any criminal activity, at all. So basically the only thing standing in between Loudon residents and possible criminal activity is John Moretto's decision on who will be allowed to live there. This however, was not what Loudon residents were focusing on. It's called ZONING and how this would negatively effect the neighborhood and town in general. This was not a good idea and very poorly planned by Moretto and Open Hands. These men need help and they need to be near resources that will allow them to improve their lives. A rural neighborhood in Loudon is not the place for this facility.

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