WILKES-BARRE — Residents in the Parsons section of the city were assured this week that a controversial residence would not be a permanent fixture in their neighborhood, a councilman said.
Councilman Bill Barrett said the pastors involved with the residence — described by some neighbors as a “halfway house” — met Thursday with him and members of the neighborhood Crime Watch, assuring them it was a temporary living arrangement.
The discussion alleviated some of the concerns, Barrett said.
“Everything seems to be OK,” he said Friday.
For the past few months, the parsonage of the Parsons Baptist Church on Austin Avenue has been the temporary home for four men participating in what one of the pastors described as a Christian leadership mentoring program.
Neighbors said they were not notified about what they described as a “halfway house” and asked that it be shut down.
According to officials, the residence complies with rental and zoning ordinances. City officials also have met with Pastor Wayne Nichol of the Parsons Baptist Church and Pastor Joe Roach of the Primitive Methodist Church of Nanticoke about the house.
Barrett said he and the others at the Crime Watch meeting were told the men will leave the house once they get back on their feet. The pastors have no plans to bring in new residents and continue the program after that, Barrett explained.
Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.