HOUSTON – How would you like to have 23 sex offenders living next door? That’s what people in an Acres Homes neighborhood are facing.
They say the halfway house in the 9300 block of West Montgomery is endangering their children. They’re afraid to let them play outside.
"My grandbabies, they can’t go back out there because I have to be out there with them now," said Phyllis Thomas.
"You can see over my fence," said another woman. "I can’t let them out, not even the front yard. We can’t even rest in our house."
The sex offenders served from six to 20 years behind bars for rape, aggravated sexual assault and other serious sex offenses.
They moved into the halfway house in February.
"They moved 10 in first," said Glen Jackson who lives nearby. "The next weekend, they moved in 10 more and then they send these cards out in the mail."
One woman says she decided to learn to shoot a gun after one man accosted her.
"They groped on themselves, like rub down there and telling me to come and I said, ‘No,’" Joycelynn Williams said.
Others say they cut through one neighbor’s backyard to go to the store.
A man hired to monitor the men said there’s nothing to worry about.
"There ain’t too much going on. They safe. They can’t go nowhere," he said.
The men are locked behind a chain fence, all of them living under one roof. A church and a police substation are across the street. But that still does not comfort neighbors.
"Get away, they need to move," Thomas said. "I think it’s going to be a repeat offense and someone in the neighborhood."
Meanwhile, state legislators are doing what they can.
"There is a contract in the works for their placement. I do everything in my power to move that along," said State Rep. Sylvester Turner.
We also reached out to the woman in charge of the home. We called her Austin office and she has not returned our calls.