Two Springfield halfway houses will continue to operate. The city council overrode two of the mayor’s vetoes, paving the way for the required zoning changes.
Calvin Jones runs the two properties, one on south 11th in Southtown and another in the 1900 block of east Jackson. He says his residents aren’t the ones causing problems.
“There’s no burglaries on record, there’s no assault on record, there’s no robberies on record, they haven’t even spit on the sidewalk,” Jones says. “It just doesn’t exist. So the whole notion that it creates a problem, it’s wrong.”
Jones says concerns about ex-cons bothering young people in the area are also unfounded, as there are no records to indicate it’s a problem.
“If you come to one of those events down there, those kids just walk right by you and they do what they do,” he says. “They’re not worried about whether someone has a criminal record or if they’re in a house trying to get their lives together.”
Jones’ facilities require residents to actively seek jobs if they’re not working. If they do work, they’re relegated to a strict curfew.
Springfield halfway houses have come under increased scrutiny after residents of one on the north end were charged with first degree murder in a 2012 incident. Those two trials are still pending.