Middletown approves conversion of home into group home for homeless veterans

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Homeless military veterans will soon have a new place to receive help in Middletown.

The Middletown Planning Commission approved a plan to convert a house at 1314 Fairmount Avenue into a group home for homeless veterans. The planning commission initially said no to the proposal but ultimately agreed to the proposal.

Despite the reservations by some community leaders, many community members are fully behind the decision to create the group home.

"I'm a veteran, so I (don't have a) problem with the veterans getting help," said Emory Hinton. Hinton, a parent, lives next door to the property.

Some residents like Timothy Sams voiced concerns about the group home. While Sams said he thinks the concept is a "positive thing," he thinks "it's scary too." Part of the fear stems from the belief the group home will bring drugs into the neighborhood.

However, people like Hinton and Karen Mareer contend drug use is already a problem and it shouldn't be a reason to keep people who've served their country out of their neighborhood. Marerer said she plans to do her best to make the veterans feel like they're a part of the community.

"(I'm going to) welcome them to the neighborhood. I don't want them to feel uncomfortable being here," she said. "When I see someone in a uniform I just go up to them and I shake their hand."

9 On Your Side visited Middletown on Friday to find out more about the project and how members of the community reacted to the news. 

You can view the video in the media player above.

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