Proponents of halfway house withdraw plans amid opposition - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Proponents of halfway house withdraw plans amid opposition

Source: KXXV Source: KXXV

A proposed halfway house that caused controversy in the town of Valley Mills will no longer be opening there.

Tailgate Preacher Ministries withdrew its intention to open a church-based recovery program for former inmates called Freedom House.

It would have been located in a rented house on Highway 6 next to a grocery store.

Some residents opposed it because they had concerns it would have been close to a bus stop.

City Administrator William Linn said the city learned about the project on Wednesday.

"Upon researching the Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC), City ordinances and The Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it was determined that while nothing contained therein expressly prohibited The Freedom House from operating, concerns existed as to The Freedom House's  full compliance with THSC sections 464.055; 464.056; and the absence of a final determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service pertaining to The Freedom House's 501(c.)3 designation as required by  THSC 464.051(3)(B) which would exempt it from licensure,” Linn said in a statement.

He said when he first learned about the proposal, he met with the proponents of Freedom House and asked to provide additional documents and to hold off on opening until the documents were reviewed by the city.

On Friday morning, Pastor Marvin Ennis told Central Texas News Now they will continue to search for other locations for the residency program besides Valley Mills.  

“Freedom House will no longer be located in Valley Mills, Texas. We are no longer going to pursue opening a house in Valley Mills,” Ennis said.

Ennis would not confirm whether the decision was made due to opposition from community members.

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