WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 22, 2013, 05:41 PM

A neigborhood is now on "criminal watch" in North Fargo

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- A north Fargo neighborhood is concerned about a group of ex-cons moving in down the street.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Some residents living in a north Fargo neighborhood are concerned for their safety, after learning on the news just yesterday that a group of ex-convicts is moving in down the street.

"Project Home" is Fargo's first house opening it's doors to three released felons.

Since move in day back in 1997, Richard Sahr has seen the neighborhood he calls home go through several changes.

Richard Sahr: "I think every neighborhood, no matter if it's good or bad, it has criminals in it."

But he never thought he'd see the day when three make their home right across from his.

Sahr: "People of this type need to live somewhere, just why does it have to be in this neighborhood?"

Henderson: "Over 95% of those that are incarcerated are going to be released back into the community."

The house..called "Project Home" is a joint effort by Jail Chaplains Ministry and "My Fathers House" a Minnesota based non-profit.

And its founders see it as the perfect place for a new beginning

Henderson: "These folks have been screened."

Sahr: "We have the new life center, we have a co-dependency center around the corner, there's a lot of things in the neighborhood that's kind of attracted a negative vibe."

One cause for concern is the lack of communication. Residents say they were not told about the people moving in beforehand

Sahr: "I would have really liked to have known so that we could've at least petitioned it maybe."

But now the once close-knit community is out of Sahr hopes his new neighbors make the most of their new opportunity.

Sahr: "We all make mistakes in life and I think everybody deserves a second chance in life, so I don't want to be judgmental."

Henderson: "Those that are coming here are actually making decisions to improve their life and not just continue."

But says he'll keep his eyes open, just in case.

Sahr: "I think we just got to watch out for each other"

Some residents say "Project Home" will decrease property value in the neighborhood and believe they should receive tax breaks. Move in day is Saturday.