Family living next to substance recovery center feel they're at risk

CONWAY (KATV) -A Faulkner County homeowner living among dozens of recovering drug and alcohol abusers is fed up. He insists that his new neighbors are a danger to his family.

Javier and Alisia Diaz say they have nothing against their neighbors getting another shot at life but they believe their second opportunity is coming at their family's expense.

Alisia Diaz says her quiet neighborhood in Conway suddenly changed a little more than a year ago. Shannon Cir. in Conway was once filled with families and young kids. Now the 16 duplexes are occupied by recovering drug and alcohol abusers trying to turn their lives around.

Alisia and her husband, Javier Diaz, who only speak Spanish, said it's turned their lives upside down. She admits most of the tenants keep to themselves and have even helped them with yard work.

But she adds that with new residents moving in every other day, it's hard to know who you're living next to.

The unwelcome neighbors are part of the Phoenix Recovery center, a subsidized rent program . The Conway City Planning Department recently discovered the program is also accepting former prisoners and parolees.

Alisia Diaz says ex-convicts and kids don't mix. She has four all age ten and under.

Javier Diaz says they've even harassed his 20-year-old daughter on one occasion as she was getting in from work.

We reached out to the Phoenix Recovery Center and the executive director, Matt Bell, sent us a statement that reads in part:

"I don't want the Diaz family to feel unsafe or that their property value is affected in any way and we have offered to purchase the property for fair market value if they choose to move."

But after raising their nine children in this home, Javier and Alisia Diaz say uprooting their family is out of the question.

The Diaz home was built by Habitat for Humanity. That organization along with the center will try to work with the family and see if they will reconsider the possibility of moving to another home.