JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) – Despite its picturesque downtown, the city of Jeffersonville, Indiana has seen bad news roll into town too often. In 2016, drug overdoses killed 90 people in Clark County.
"That's huge in a community this size," Barb Anderson said.
She supports plans for a 45-unit housing development that would create independent living spaces for those trying to get off the streets and end their dependency to drugs.
"Our biggest barrier to getting anything done is housing and some stabilization for the people who suffer from addictions," she said. Anderson is the executive director of the Haven House, a homeless shelter in Jeffersonville.
Indiana developer BWI wanted to build those units at the intersection of Viking Way and Ewing Lane, across the street from Bridgepoint Elementary School and David Leppert's home.
"I was concerned about the proximity to the school," Leppert told WHAS11.
But, less than a week after listening to the concerns of those who live nearby, BWI announced its withdrawing its rezoning application and looking for a more adequate site.
Leppert believes southern Indiana needs more housing options, but he also wants to see more of an effort placed in faith-based organizations.
"Understanding their addiction and getting help with it, but also understanding the component of God and how he can help them," he said.
Anderson is on the front lines of getting the public's attention and she says it's not an over-exaggeration to consider it a life and death issue.
"We have needed permanent supportive housing in this community for years and I've begged for it as an activist and an advocate," she said.
BWI says it will continue to hold public meetings to determine where the new housing site fits best.