Brentwood residents on edge over proposed boys and girls group home -

Brentwood residents on edge over proposed boys and girls group home

( -- Homeowners in Brentwood areworried about a new neighbor that could move into their community.

Residents received a card they received in the mail alerting them that “Boys Hope Girls Hope” is looking into the possibility of re-locating about 20 boys and girls to Madge Avenue just off South Brentwood Boulevard. It has some homeowners upset.

“How would you feel if it were right next door to you?” asked resident Faith Beckermann. “How would you feel?”

Residents hope the organization will  re-consider its proposal to build the two group homes. One will be for 10 boys, the other,  10 girls.

However Executive Director Brian Hipp says he chose the site because its not far from St. Louis and many of the teens’ families.

As for residents fears, he points to the organization’s reputation, and says the teens in need will not pose any problems for the neighborhood.

“I think the biggest misconception is any time you talk about a  group home, people immediately and justifiably think that you might be dealing with young people who are violent, chemically dependent, drug addicted, are in trouble with the law,” Hipp said. “That is the farthest from the truth.”

Beckmann says she understands the argument, but there are other concerns.

“There’s a lot of people who also say, oh you need to be more open to it. I think it’s a good thing, because they’re supposed to be scholarship kids,” she said. “I don’t know what it will do to property values. These are things you have to consider.”

Boys Hope Girls Hope wants neighbors to give them a chance. The organization is inviting the block to an informational meeting monday night.

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