Halfway house proposed in Sherman

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

SHERMAN -- A group from Shreveport, Louisiana, who helps drug and alcohol addicts gets sober, wants to bring a halfway house to Sherman.

The organization, called Christopher House, wants to help more people in Grayson County, but in order to do that they must first get permission from the city.

After his son was killed by a drunk driver in 2002, Christopher House founder Chris Oki-Pinti set up a program dedicated to help rehabilitate those in need.

Now he wants to bring the program to Grayson County.

If you pass by it, you wouldn't know it’s there, but an old motel on South Travis Street is home to a recovery support group.

Soon it could be a new halfway house.

"Expand our offering to people just coming out of jail and we want to give them a place to come and actually make a go at it and make a better life for themselves, "said David Wayne Hensley, the house manager for the newest Christopher House rehabilitation program.

It’s an organization designed to help those in need get back on the right track.

Officials with the group say they were asked to come to Grayson County by the state of Texas because the region lacks this type of service.

They have been here since January. But now, they want to expand their program and make it a fully operational halfway house in order to help transition non-violent prisoners from their cell to the real world.

"We’re here to help any support we can get to help people get back on track anything we can do to help the community out. We're here," said Hensley.

But in order for that to happen, they must first receive a specific use permit from the city of Sherman.

"People make requests normally we have about twenty requests per month at the zoning board and certain uses require a permit."

Sherman Director of Developmental Services Scott Shadden says a halfway house must be located in a commercial district, and the city must allow for a public comment period in order to receive feedback from nearby residents.

"If it’s successful there, it will go to the city council for approval."

It’s a decision officials with Christopher House believe will be beneficial to the area. The organization's request for a standard use permit is scheduled to be discussed at the planning and zoning board meeting next Tuesday.

City officials ask those with an opinion to contact them at City Hall.

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  • by leisha vrana Location: pleasanton on May 21, 2007 at 06:00 AM
    for me i think that the more we try to help people with addiction and alcoholism is a great thing... and grayson co. needs it... so many people get locked up from their addition, when they could be treated and learn about there disease without going to prison and learning nothing!!!!!! though it is up to the individual to make a decision to change their life... until they make they decision,and take the 1st step admitting that the are powerless over there disease, its up to them... meeting makers make it
  • by Anonymous on May 20, 2007 at 01:37 PM
    Considering the number of homeless people that I encounter through my profession, this is a very good idea. We also need a homeless shelter in the community that will not only take women and families, but will also assist men who are homeless
  • by RJMac Location: Sherman on May 18, 2007 at 09:02 PM
    Amen and dittos to Lillian and Terri's posts. dope ain't just in the "wrong" side of town anymore- it could be next door, or somewhere in your block. The more that is done to help addicts get back to a normal life the better. I worked in a hospital in Oklahoma where we housed a teen addict recovery program in one closed wing, and to see kids as young as 13 to 14 with drug problems will tear your soul. As the parent of teenagers, this bothers me to think that it could staert that young. Yes, I know it's for older addicts, but just to let you know "shove 'em somewhere else" and "lock 'em all up" just doesn't work.
  • by Rick Location: Commerce on May 18, 2007 at 07:44 PM
    Re Lillian. Good for you!! You are exactly right and it is very difficult for these people in recovery to get the support they need.The person you replied to is one of the reasons for misunderstanding. Ignorance is no excuse.
  • by Lillian Location: Sherman on May 18, 2007 at 02:08 PM
    re the post below about "we have enough crazy people in Sherman" Did you not read the article? This is for local drug addicts getting out of our jails here. I certainly agree we have enough in Sherman to fill it up within three hours. Its something that is badly needed as sending them to jail is not doing a bit of good. And dont say NOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, your next door neighbor could very will be cooking meth or selling drugs.. No excuse for ignorance anymore.
  • by Terri Location: Sherman on May 18, 2007 at 12:03 PM
    It's called break the cycle -- maybe this will help these offenders become productive citizens. With a place to do and someone to help direct them, maybe we can reduce our prison population.
  • by Anonymous on May 18, 2007 at 09:53 AM
    I think its a wonderful idea.
  • by Resident Location: Sherman on May 18, 2007 at 06:58 AM
    We have enough crazy people in sherman as it is- we dont need anyone to go dragging more in here. THANKS THOUGH.
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