It was an all day debate but council approved the controversial relocation of a halfway house to an industrial area in Manchester.

Dozens of residents from nearby community of Parkhill filled council chamber yesterday for the heated discussion to voice their concerns on a land-use redesignation, but council allowed the John Howard Society halfway house to move from near the Stampede grounds to 4444 Builders Ave. SE, located near the 39th Ave LRT station.

 

“This isn’t a case of ‘not in my backyard’ at all,” Parkhill resident Janet Pearce said. She pointed out there was already the Calgary Dream Centre homeless shelter nearby, among other facilities.

“This is about over-concentration of these types of places in our community and we believe they should be more spread around the city, and they aren’t.”

A University of Calgary sociologist and a police inspector agreed that parolees are less likely to commit crimes than members of the general public.

Ald. Bob Hawkesworth said he believes council made the right decision.

“This city would be more unsafe if they were not able to relocate and expand,” he said.