DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — A Dothan community has lost a battle in its fight to stop a home for addicts and former convicts moving in. If the neighbors had concerns before, they may not like what we heard from people in another Dothan neighborhood, where the company has been running a similar house for women.
A group home that is known as the Oxford House officially became the new owners of the home in the Woodlands on Wednesday, and many residents tried to stop the sale.
“I do not want this body or anyone to believe that those are opposed to the goals of this business, and I stress business are not shared by us, it is the manner in which they have conducted their business that worries us,” Woodlands resident, Morgan Mcleod said.
Families from the Woodlands neighborhood took their fight to the city.
They wanted Dothan to keep a home in their neighborhood from becoming a house for drug and alcohol addicts in recovery, claiming there were too many unanswered questions.
But with the sale going through, they’ve lost that fight.
That means eight to nine men with past substance abuse addictions, some with prior convictions, are set to move in and begin their ‘self-run and self-support’ road to recovery. So what could happen once the men move in? There may be answers on the other side of Montgomery Highway.
As WDHN News first reported, that’s where Oxford House also runs a similar group home for women in Dothan, and on Thursday, some people in that neighborhood were less than pleased with their neighbors.
Raymond Kyzar has been living in his house on Fairmont Street and Westover Drive for over 30 years, and he knows every one of his neighbors.
“The ones to the front and to the right of us have been here as long or longer than we have,” Kyzar said.
Except for the seven that live inside this house which is not too far from his own. Its owned by Oxford Houses, and it houses women with past alcohol and drug addictions, some with convictions, and they have been living here for close to seven months.
Neighbors say, they have been quiet and keep mostly to themselves.
“Usually the people here in this neighborhood visit and talk to each other, but they haven’t reached out and we tried reaching out to them and it just didn’t work,” Kyzar said.
Like in the Woodlands, neighbors have many questions that remain unanswered and as time goes on, they are just left wondering, how a house like this ended up next door.
“Our next-door neighbor went over and tried to introduce herself and she said it wasn’t a good experience,” Kyzar said.
He felt the neighbors were cold and shied away from any interaction with the neighborhood, and that lack of communication is unsettling to some, given that the home is entirely made up of residents in recovery with no supervisors on site.
“I wonder whether or not they are really sticking to the rules and staying in their normal routine in trying to get back into a normal lifestyle,” Kyzar said. “It gives me some concern.”
These concerns are why he hopes the city will do something to keep more houses like these from coming to neighborhoods across the Circle City.
Neither the city nor Oxford House notified people in the neighborhood before they moved in, and once they are in, neighborhood residents haven’t been able to do anything about it.
“I thought really this was just a single-family neighborhood, but this really comes out to be something else,” Kyzar said.
Once again, the sale of the house in the Woodlands has closed, which means the paperwork has been signed, sealed, and delivered.
The city of Dothan currently is still in a legal battle with Oxford House, they are expected to meet in court again shortly, but no date hearing has been set.