There's an on-going battle over bringing a group home for troubled kids to the Brunswick County town of Navassa. Residents don't want it in their community, but the town council has already approved it. People who work near a Leland facility may be able to ease the minds of concerned Navassa residents. The Strategic Behavioral Health Center in Leland is a lockdown facility that offers several types of treatment to troubled kids ages 12 to 17. Although it's not in a residential neighborhood, like what's proposed in Navassa, it is surrounded by several businesses, including flow sciences, across the street. "It's been a non-event,” said Ray Ryan who works near the SBHC. “They've been great neighbors, there's been no problems whatsoever." Navassa residents say something like this in their neighborhood would be anything but a gem. The proposed group home would be built on open lot on Wide Way Road, not far from where a few families already live. It would house about 12 people, ages seven to 17, and would be locked 24 hours and day, seven days a week. Navassa resident Yolanda Lee said, "I'm all for whatever to help the children, but I do feel there is a safety concern." Ryan encourages residents to speak to the developer, Alfred Dixon, but when they tried to do that at a recent public meeting, Dixon refused to participate when he saw our camera. WWAY was told he's out of the country for weeks. Still, residents aren't backing down and are planning to meet this Saturday at 6:00. They hope to get some answers about why the town's planning board recommended council approve the group home.
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