Neighborhood and group home owner come to agreement

Neighborhood and group home owner come to agreement

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Garden District residents have come to an apparent agreement with the owner of a group home that some neighbors say has caused problems for years.

The Camellia House Boys Shelter is a group home for teenage boys located in the Garden District. People, like Ray Mack, who live near the home say they welcome facilities like this into their neighborhood, but not if the residents behave like some of the Camellia House teens reportedly have.

"It's alleged that the group home residents, not all of them but some of them, have been responsible for a number of thefts, property damage, cars broken into, fires," said Ray Mack, President of the Garden District Civic Association.

On Wednesday night, the civic association board members decided to do something about what they say has caused their peaceful neighborhood to be disrupted. Mack, several board members, State Rep. Alfred Williams' aide and group home owner Collis Temple met, reviewed and signed a memorandum of understanding. The two-part agreement states that the owner must at least consider selling the home, and if he does not sell there will be restrictions on who can live there.

"The owner will no longer put boys or men in the facility, but is looking at the facility for disadvantaged women who can no longer live alone," said Mack.

Mack says this memorandum is not legally binding but is meant to make sure all parties are on the same page.

"I believe that we need to treat this with the respect that it is due, and honor it until it proves that it's not working," said Mack.

Mack says right now there are no residents living here at the Camellia House.  He says the owner has agreed to consider selling the property.

9News reached out to Collis Temple to confirm these what Mack said, but he did not return any calls.

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