Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Halfway homes stay in Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE - A judge ruled that Oxford Homes, which house men and women with disabilities as well as recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, can stay in Baton Rouge.

A year ago Westminster neighborhood board members attempted to prevent recovering alcoholics and drug addicts from living in group homes leased in single-family neighborhoods.

"If you have one home breaking a one family zoning, we're afraid it's going to be open season for all sorts of problems," said Crime Prevention Board Member Donna Shelton.

U.S. District Judge James J. Brady issued a preliminary injunction, preventing city officials from enforcing a housing code that would evict people staying, and paying rent, in Oxford Homes. Yesterday, Brady made that injunction permanent.

Amanda Ferguson, a mother of five, lives next door to the Westminster halfway house. She said she's never had a problem with her neighbors.

"We all go through hard seasons in our lives, and it's important that people have a good support system," said Ferguson.

There are 19 Oxford Homes in Baton Rouge, and 1,500 nationwide.


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