Aurora residents learn more about proposed work program for homeless

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AURORA -- Residents of an Aurora neighborhood are at odds over a proposed work program for the homeless that could sit just feet from three elementary schools.

Program directors invited neighbors to hear more about their plans on Tuesday. Ready to Work is designed to help people who are down and out get back on their feet.

"We provide a year worth of housing, supportive services and employment," executive director Isabel McDevitt said.

McDevitt heads the Bridge House in Boulder, another work program that has been successful in the community.

The Aurora location will allow 44 people to live there and work in the community for one year.

"Our model is very controlled, we have 24-7 staff and we require sobriety. We know we will be a good neighbor," McDevitt said.

The center will vet potential residents and give them full background checks. Still, not everyone is OK with the potential location.

"Aurora does need a good program like this. The problem is location. Right across the street from a preschool and an elementary just doesn’t seem right," resident Rebecca Walters said.

The 16000 E. Colfax Ave. property is close to three schools.

"I’m opposed to it, I really am. Just with my kids right across the street, it's very scary." Walters said.

But not everyone is against it.

"The problem is real and especially in this area. I think something needs to be done," said Suzie Boyd, an Aurora business owner.

A public hearing for residents will be held in the future.

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